Editorial: What do we stand for? Integrity, accountability, and competency at ASUPD.

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Fresh off the heels of the Arizona Republic‘s investigation into ASUPD’s staffing levels, it was apparent that Chief Thompson was fretting over the negative media exposure. Thompson sent out several long winded and bizarrely worded emails to the entire department…at 2330 hours….on a Sunday evening:

Acting Chief Clown Thompson email

Here’s our response to Chief Thompson’s email:

Your highly emotional and generic email response to the solid facts presented by the Arizona Republic article is proof that you are not a leader; you more than likely wrote this to appease your bosses who are probably starting to figure out you’re not the man for the job. The troops know you’re just another reactionary Pickens-styled politician who is scared and doesn’t know what to do.

The lengthy analogy of washing your hands in comparison to the ASU Police department works…but not in a positive way for you. We’ve been standing under the scalding water for years getting burned, waiting for a competent leader to turn the department around. New officers can sense it too; most want to get in and leave the agency before they get burned. It doesn’t take them long to figure this out. (Look at the record of employee turnover, it proves this theory, yet it is one more fact you don’t want to acknowledge)

New officers have heard and seen many so examples of officers who have been burned by the department’s management for any number of reasons, with the main reason as not being a member of “the clique”. No matter how bad you screw up, no matter how bad you treat others, you have someone to support you. Yet, you refuse to address the clique’s existence or their inability to be held accountable for anything, instead throwing out a broad statement about how we need to treat everyone with “dignity and respect”. Most all of us treat each other with respect, but there are a handful of people who can’t seem to understand that concept, which in turn destroys the morale of the department.

If you weren’t addressing the department clique with your warm and fuzzy  statements, then this is your attempt to explain away what has taken place under both your and Pickens’ watch.  Your words are meaningless to us all without any sort of follow up action.

The current command staff pride themselves on a negative management style of inbred cronyism. This cronyism may work at a backwoods sheriff department in a town with a population of 10, but it doesn’t work in a large, ever-expanding city like Tempe. Values such as integrity, accountability, and competency in management are required in a department like ASUPD in order for officers to stay engaged here. How many of the dozens of officers hired under Pickens still remain at ASUPD? Maybe a handful?

Thompson, you are getting paid a lot of money to sit at a desk, have meetings, and do a lot of excuse making for the state of affairs at ASUPD. We had 14 years of that. For years we have been waiting for someone that gets results. For years we have been waiting for staffing,  adequate training, and more equipment; but more importantly, our leadership deficit has been the most critical issue of this department.

Thompson, you ended the email with, “each of us serve a noble purpose and I ask you to never forget that and always remain worthy of wearing the uniform or serving within the police department.” As our leader, we the troops are waiting for you to serve a noble purpose, and to remain worthy of wearing the uniform or serving within the police department.

So far we haven’t seen it.

ASU gets called out for redacting “embarrassing” information from its FOIA requests

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Yet another publicized misstep for Arizona State University’s administrators! This article is in direct response to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests filed by The Arizona Republic which pertain to the low staffing numbers at ASUPD.

From azcentral.com:

When I was a kid back in a more innocent time, the pre-Beatles 1960s, my friends and I occasionally hung out in the magazine section of the local drugstore and flipped through publications that our parents didn’t want us to see.

But it seemed that every time we got to the good stuff, a black bar blocked our view of an offending part. Magazines are less discreet these days, but those black bars still get plenty of use by your government officials. The federal Freedom of Information Act and the Arizona Public Records Law are among statutes that require governments to make their documents available to the people who pay for their bills.

That doesn’t mean they must let you read everything. In certain situations, they are allowed, and sometimes required by law, to redact information in those documents.

That’s when the little black bars get a workout. There are even computer programs like Adobe Acrobat Professional that make it easy to cover up the sensitive parts with solid inkjet lines. But sometimes we in the media believe the government goes too far in obstructing our view of information that is rightfully yours.

On June 2, we requested a copy of any and all minutes of recent meetings of the advisory board to the chief of the campus police at Arizona State University, citing the Arizona Public Records Law.

Reporters Anne Ryman and Rob O’Dell were working on a story, published last Sunday, about the staffing shortages at the university’s Police Department, which was a topic taken up by the advisory board.

The university complied, but with six pages missing from the minutes of the Oct. 17, 2013, meeting. Ryman, as is her right, appealed and asked for the full document. This time, the university provided all the pages, which included comments from officers about the morale problems in the department.

Among their gripes: “… no unity exists in the department.” “The Department is short-staffed by 50-80 officers.”

Still, not everything was there. Eight lines were redacted under the heading Officer Safety Issues. These were concerns expressed by the university’s police officers. We thought the public had a right to know what they were.

The Public Records Law requires that the government state its reason for blacking out information. ASU information officer Julie New­berg said the section was “redacted according to the Best Interest of the State.”

The law does say that “a public officer or public body may refuse to disclose documents that contain information protected by a common law privilege where release of the documents would be harmful to the best interests of the State.”

Our only course of action at that point would have been to take the university to court to obtain the unredacted document.

Except …

Two sources with legitimate access to the full text of the minutes provided us with copies.

So, what was the university hiding?

They didn’t want you to know that the university’s main campus was sometimes staffed by only two officers on a shift. (The department’s own policy requires four.) They also didn’t want you to know that their officers are sometimes unfamiliar with the areas they police during “party patrols” and that they have difficulty communicating with Tempe police officers because they use different equipment.

Harmful information? I don’t think so; the specific understaffed shifts weren’t revealed. More likely, school officials were embarrassed by the short staffing and lack of training.

And under the law, “the cloak of confidentiality may not be used … to save an officer or public body from inconvenience or embarrassment.”

As I recall it, some of those folks in the magazines way back when would have looked better covered by some kind of cloak as well.

ABOUT THE WRITER

Stuart Warner is a senior content manager and Pulitzer Prize-winning editor. He supervises coverage of the border, immigration, higher education, the environment, Maricopa County government and justice enterprise.

The writer, Stuart Warner, hit the nail on the head.

ASU has used this “cloak of confidentiality” for years to conceal the totalitarian leadership which exists both at ASUPD, and also the university at large. Beyond the censoring of public documents, ASUPD has gone even further to prevent exposure and potential embarrassment. ASUPD’s policy manual seeks to broadly sensor the 1st Amendment rights of its employees outside of work by stating, “when reasonable suspicion exists that the police department is being discredited by an employee through electronic media, the employee may be required to allow access to personal accounts or hardware/equipment for inspection.” (PSM-26-102). Therefore, if an employee (even anonymously) brings forth documentation that the department has discredited itself, he/she is the one who falls under scrutiny, NOT the department or the university.

It is becoming more apparent to the public that the ideology found in Michael Crow’s “New American University” has more in common with communism than it does with the democratic principles found in the United States Constitution.

 

 

 

 

The Arizona Republic investigates ASUPD’s staffing issues

Front page reality for Michael Crow

Anne Ryman and Rob O’Dell, investigative reporters from the Arizona Republic, have been digging into our assertions that Arizona State University’s Police Department is understaffed, due in part to low departmental morale (which negatively effects employee retention).

From azcentral.com:

Arizona State University’s Police Department struggled to schedule a full complement of patrol officers, failing to meet its own requirements a majority of the days during the spring semester, The Arizona Republic found.

Six out of seven days during the semester, at least one shift did not have all seven officers scheduled, as ASU police requires to patrol Tempe and three other satellite campuses.

As a result, supervisors had to either pay overtime, reassign someone from another job or leave positions on a shift vacant. The department can’t say how often it left a post empty on any given patrol shift.

MORE: ASU police acquire M-16 assault rifles

Public records, the police chief’s advisory-board documents and interviews with more than a dozen current and former employees paint a picture of an agency that is understaffed for patrol shifts.

It’s not clear whether the staffing shortage affects crime rates. But records and interviews show the department sometimes needs to pull officers from performing other duties, such as criminal investigations and proactive police work like crime prevention, to work patrol shifts.

Former officers have expressed concern about their safety and the safety of students in a report to the police chief and questioned whether the department had the staffing and training to properly respond to a shooter on campus.

That report has a section on morale, where past employees who were interviewed contend the department is “short staffed by 50-80 officers. This is a stressor for the officers that still work there.”

Campus police staffing levels have not kept up with ASU’s enrollment. ASU’s ratio of sworn officers to students is about25 percent below the national average for large, public schools, a national report found.

ASU officials acknowledge there have been staffing challenges but have been hiring to bolster department resources. The police budget was increased for the budget year that began July 1 with a half-dozen new officers hired since then. ASU police officials recently signaled how important it is to have a more visible police presence when they announced they were beefing up patrols following a sexual assault on campus Sept. 9.

Morgan Olsen, ASU’s executive vice president and chief financial officer, said the university places a priority on having safe and secure campuses, and to his knowledge, public safety hasn’t suffered with the staffing.

Some police agencies reduced staffing during the recession, but ASU didn’t eliminate police officers or aides, he said, even as the university’s state funding was cut 40 percent and ASU eliminated 2,055 jobs in other areas.

“Generally, we’ve been able to maintain coverage and maintain responsiveness,” Olsen said.

ASU President Michael Crow, who has often touted the safety of the campuses, said through a spokesman that Olsen was the appropriate ASU official to speak about police staffing.

In June, Police Chief John Pickens, who had led the department for 14 years, announced that he was transferring to a newly created job in charge of university security initiatives.

An ASU student-safety task force is recommending the Arizona Board of Regents, which oversees the state universities, conduct an independent review of the safety needs at all three state universities. The task force was formed in response to a series of articles in The Republic last September about alcohol-related crimes.

The regents will hear safety recommendations at a meeting this week in Flagstaff.

But one former employee is clear what he believes the university should do: increase staffing.

Retired ASU Sgt. Marvin Tahmahkera compared the daily scheduling of patrol officers to a popular video game in which a player must manipulate random blocks into position before the pieces fall to the bottom.

“Every day it seemed like a game of Tetris. Someone would call in sick,” said Tahmahkera, who retired last year after 22 years with the department.

He recalls responding to a domestic-violence call by himself at ASU’s Polytechnic campus, a situation where law-enforcement best practices say having a backup officer is a necessary precaution. The staffing levels sometimes made it difficult to patrol dorms, look for underage drinkers and rattle doors at night to make sure they were locked.

“Many times I was the officer in charge, and I was just praying nothing would happen that night,” he said.

Short staffing

ASU is the largest public university in the country with 82,000 students, including 13,000 online-only students. The Tempe campus alone covers more than 700 acres with 57,800 students.

A typical patrol shift has seven sworn officers, including a sergeant, to watch over ASU’s four Valley campuses: Tempe, West, Polytechnic and downtown Phoenix.

But on six of every seven days in the spring semester, ASU was unable to schedule the full seven staff officers for at least one of the three daily patrol shifts. The shortage could have been caused by a variety of factors, including officers out sick, on vacation, injured, on family-medical leave or at court.

On more than half of the 151 days examined by The Republic, at least two of the three daily patrol shifts were scheduled to be short staffed. All three shifts were consistently scheduled to be short of staff, The Republic found, with the swing shift beginning in late afternoon the most underscheduled.

ASU police and administrators contend that not every shift had vacancies because they used overtime pay or pulled someone from another job to cover the open position. The university could not say which shifts they were able to cover, saying it would take them weeks to determine if officers actually worked those shifts.

Staffing levels sometimes dipped so low the Tempe campus would have only two officers on staff, according to a report given last year to the police chief based on interviews with police officers and aides.

The university can call surrounding city ­police agencies for backup when help is needed. But officers from another agency are sometimes unfamiliar with the campuses, so it takes them longer to arrive.

Olsen acknowledged that last fall, an unusually high number of people were on family-medical leave for injuries or as new parents, he said. Others had to work more overtime as a result.

“We’ve pretty well worked our way out of that now,” he said. “But we’re continuing to build because we would like to have a force that allows us to do just a little more now than we have been doing.”

The department had 74 full-time officers at the end of the fiscal year. Department officials say they’ve hired six since July and say they plan to hire nine more, which would bring the total to 89 sworn officers and supervisors.

Below U.S. averages

ASU has about 1.1 sworn officers for every 1,000 students, below the national ratio of 1.5 for large, public schools, and below the University of Arizona’s 1.6.

A 2005 survey by the U.S. Department of Justice found larger public schools with more than 15,000 students had 1.5 sworn officers per 1,000 students.

Filling all the budgeted slots would bring ASU up to 1.3.

ASU’s five-member investigative unit has one less person than UA’s, which has 40,000 fewer students and fewer violent crimes.

When 42 police aides are factored in, ASU officials said, the per-student ratio of police to students is higher. The aides help patrol, respond to emergency calls such as minor traffic accidents and take reports on minor thefts. The mostly full-time aides are not required to go through the police academy, they don’t make arrests and they don’t carry guns.

The department plans to hire 20 more police aides this year.

But David Perry, president of the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators, said it’s not appropriate to include police aides in the per-student ratios because aides cannot perform all the functions of a sworn officer.

Campus law-enforcement experts say there is no universally accepted method of determining staffing and no “magic” number of officers per student, though enrollment is a key factor. More students means more calls for service, Perry said.

Campus police in some other areas of the country also are grappling with determining the appropriate number of staff.

Last year, Capt. Eric Chin of the Purdue University Police Department surveyed schools in the Big Ten Conference. He found the highest ratio at the private Northwestern University at 2.9 per 1,000 students. Ohio State was the lowest with 0.85 officers per 1,000.

Olsen said ASU uses a more complex calculation than enrollment to determine staffing, including crime trends and the department’s ability to cover the campuses. He said he wouldn’t necessarily characterize the department as being understaffed.

“If you were to go out and ask a particular department in the university, maybe the biology department or the folks who maintain the grounds, ‘Are you understaffed? Could you do more with more people?’ Well, sure, we could do more good things with more people. So that’s not necessarily surprising,” he said.

‘Malls’ for thieves

Whether the staffing shortages affect crime rates is inconclusive.

Crime statistics reported to the federal government under the Clery Act show a mixed picture of ASU’s Tempe campus. The Republic compared ASU with its 15 peer universities along with University of Arizona and Northern Arizona University from 2008 to 2012, the latest data available.

Rates of forcible sexual offenses and robbery have risen at ASU’s Tempe campus, while burglary and aggravated assault rates have fallen or remained the same. ASU’s rates of sexual offenses are lower than most of its peer schools. It has a higher rate of robbery and a much higher rate of aggravated assaults when compared with its peers.

The Republic filed public-records requests July 29 with ASU for police response times and clearance rates for crimes, but the department has not provided the information.

Tahmahkera, the ASU retired sergeant, calls ASU a “big shopping mall for thieves” because of the open nature. A student gets up to get a drink of water and leaves his laptop on a table. He returns to find it gone, including his paper due for class.

The Tempe campus reported 963 thefts and another 98 burglaries, the category that includes bike thefts, in 2012, the most recent year annual statistics are reported to the federal government.

Violent crimes are rare. The Tempe campus reported 16 sexual offenses in 2012. Ten robberies and 10 aggravated assaults occurred on campus that same year.

A larger police force is something the university has planned for several years, ASU’s Olsen said. But like a lot of other things, it didn’t get funded during the recession.

The university would like to have more officers at the downtown Phoenix campus as well as multiple officers on the West and Polytechnic campuses, he said.

Staff discord

Blogs and public comments show conflict within the campus police department.

An anonymous blog called “The Integrity Report” published complaints about working conditions and a supposed clique that runs the department. Then, the video of an ASU officer arresting an African-American professor in May went viral. Civil-rights groups were outraged. An FBI investigation is ongoing into whether the professor’s rights were violated.

ASU declined to make a representative of the Police Department available to speak on the record for this story. But public records show discord within the department.

Last year, then-Chief Pickens reinstated a police chief advisory board to improve communication. At the October meeting, the board heard written concerns from current and former employees. ASU redacted some of the complaints from the minutes,but The Republic obtained complete copies from other sources. Among the deleted comments:

“Outlying campuses often only have one officer on shift at a time.”

“Tempe campus goes down to only two officers on staff often.”

The minutes offer recommendations such as boosting pay and significantly increasing staffing. ASU officials say many changes have already been made. ASU hired a police recruiter earlier this year and raised pay for experienced officers. Retention pay was added to encourage officers to stay. A new police chief is expected to be named soon.

Olsen said the university is trying to do everything possible to foster a good environment, where high-quality people want to work.

Former employees, such as Tahmahkera, hope ASU can turn things around. The key will be recruiting and keeping good employees. Given the right resources, he said, ASU “could be the best police department to work for.”

How ASU’s ratio of sworn officers stacks up to enrollment:

ASU: 1.1 per 1,000 students.

UA: 1.6 per 1,000 students.

U.S. Department of Justice survey: 2.1 per 1,000 students at public colleges and 1.5 per 1,000 for public schools with enrollments of more than 15,000.

Eric Chin, Purdue University Police Department survey in December 2013 of Big Ten Conference schools: Highest ratio was Northwestern University at 2.9 per 1,000. Lowest was Ohio State at .85 per 1,000.

ASU’s ratio excludes 13,000 students who only take classes online and don’t come to campuses.

How we reported the story

The Arizona Republic filed public requests for staffing schedules, police patrols, budgets, meeting minutes and other information related to police staffing from the Arizona State University Police Department, beginning in May. The newspaper compared ASU staffing figures with national studies and data provided by other universities.

One of the documents The Republic received was a breakdown of staffing for the spring semester 2014, which shows how many sworn officers were scheduled to work each of the three patrol shifts and the department-required staffing for that shift. The Republic analyzed the staffing on each of the three patrol shifts and determined that in six out of every seven days, ASU police had at least one shift with a scheduled staff shortage.

 

Just a few more points to add to Anne’s exceptionally well-researched and well-written article:

  • Morgan Olsen makes excuses for ASUPD’s problems: Dismissing the obivious staffing shortage by claiming that every department at ASUPD could use more staffing is ludicrous. Unlike the two departments Olsen cited–biology and grounds–their staffing levels do not have any impact on the crime rate or safety of the campus. A university CAN function with an understaffed or non-existent biology or grounds department; it can NOT function with an understaffed or non-existent police department.
  • Olsen said “the university is trying to do everything possible to foster a good environment, where high-quality people want to work”: That would mean that the university’s Human Resources department would work with employees who have expressed their concerns with the work environment at ASUPD. Instead, ASU’s HR, Kevin Salcido, has disregarded any employee concerns regarding ASUPD that have been brought to his attention. Salcido has repeatedly refused to intervene in the department’s issues.
  • ASU claims the university has a higher police to student ratio than the numbers the Arizona Republic reported…because ASU included its unarmed, civilian police aides. Police aides are an effective tool, but they are merely support the role of sworn officers; police aides can not make arrests, and they can’t respond to serious calls for service.
  • ASU refused to fully release public documents to the Arizona Republic that prove employees expressed their concerns about staffing to then-Chief Pickens:Meeting minutes, notes, emails are all considered public records that ASU is obligated to fully release upon request (save for a few specific exemptions). Because ASU refused to fully comply with a public records request, they are legally liable for damages that may result from wrongfully denying a person access to public records (A.R.S. § 39-121.02(C))
  • People are paying attention to the situation at ASUPD: Between this article, The Integrity Report, and the viral news article about the arrest of Professor Ore, the university’s problems have become increasingly exposed in a way that hasn’t previously happened. No amount of PR or minimization of the issues can hide ASUPD’s problems now. The only true solution to saving the department is to remove problem employees, and restructure the department from the top down.

Edited to add: We covered the situation with the Chief’s Advisory Board in December 2013. To read the full contents of the meeting minutes, click here.

 

ASUPD has more rifles than patrol units!

Commander Orr the range master

Another day, another public guffaw from ASUPD!

From abc15.com:

TEMPE, AZ – Arizona universities are taking advantage of the federal government’s 1033 program which gives away military equipment and weapons for free.

Arizona State University Police received 70 M-16 rifles from the program.

The firearms originally came from the Department of Public Safety, who were going to turn the weapons back in, according to ASU Sergeant Daniel Macias.

Arizona’s 1033 Director Matt Van Camp says the ASU has acquired more weapons than any other Arizona university.

The University of Arizona acquired bag or barracks under the federal program.

Sergeant Macias says the ASU officers aren’t carrying the rifles yet. In fact, officers will go through extensive training before taking the firearms out into the field.

Sergeant Macias says the rifles are an important tool in the day of active shooters.

The Pentagon loaned the weapons to the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office in the early 90s, through a free program called 1033.

In 2012, the Pentagon found out Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office couldn’t account for nine firearms it borrowed from the program and was immediately suspended MCSO from the program.

Last week, Detective Van Camps says MCSO was terminated from the program and sent a letter requiring all of the equipment back within 120 days.

The 1033 program has come under intense scrutiny since the Ferguson, Missouri shooting.

When riots broke out in the streets, local officers responded in armored vehicles, automatic rifles and even some camouflage.

What this article fails to mention is that ASUPD acquired these rifles from DPS back in 2012! So for over two years now, these weapons have been used exclusively by the elite and always professional ASUPD firearms staff . (In the article, Sgt Macias states that “the [ASU] officers aren’t carrying the rifles yet”). There are currently more M-16s at ASUPD than there are officers on patrol to actually deploy them! Additionally, there are even fewer people at ASUPD (who are assigned to patrol) that are current with their rifle qualification.

According to Macias, “the rifles are an important tool in the day of active shooters”. This explains why ASUPD has kept these rifles hidden from patrol for two years; if there is a tool that is vitally important and necessary for the successful execution of well thought-out plan, it most likely doesn’t exist at ASUPD (because ASUPD operates in a universe void of any logical or rational thought). Or, alternatively, if the aforementioned magical tool does make its way into the ASU universe, it is most likely being used incorrectly by the most useless member of the department. (No, Allen…the M-16 is not used to scoot food off a nearby table because you don’t feel like getting up and walking!).

ASUPD won’t enforce newly implemented “keg ban”

In an effort to curtail excessive and “reckless” drinking at football games, ASU decided to ban kegs, beer pong, and drinking games from football tailgates. ASU spoke to several media outlets in a  carefully managed PR campaign designed to show the public how committed they are to curtailing underage drinking.

However, ASUPD has slowly backed away from their “keg ban” enforcement, undoubtedly a result of having an insufficient number of ASUPD officers to actually enforce the ban.

In a KTAR News article detailing the return of ASU Football, the author briefly mentions ASUPD’s sudden “about face” toward the end of the article:

Despite the ban, ASU Police said it would not be enforcing the new regulations. Instead, violators will be asked to return the offending items to their car or home. If they fail to comply, they will be asked to leave.

Essentially what ASUPD is telling the general public: we only care about your safety or enforcing our policies when the media is paying attention.

President Crow addresses sexual abuse concerns, but ignores the fact that its understaffed PD is part of the problem

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This email was sent to all ASU students, faculty, and staff and outlines ASU’s commitment to address sexual abuse prevention.

From: Michael Crow <Michael.Crow@asu.edu>
Date: Fri, Aug 22, 2014 at 10:00 AM
Subject: Sexual Abuse Prevention

Dear Members of the ASU Community:

Sexual misconduct, including sexual violence, is a national problem, and college and university campuses certainly have not been immune. National surveys report that one in five undergraduate women and one in sixteen undergraduate men experience attempted or completed sexual assault while in college. Such violence has a profound impact on a victim’s academic, social, and personal life, and negatively affects the experiences of their friends and families, other students, and all members of the university community.

Arizona State University is committed to combatting this complex social problem and strives to foster a positive learning, working and living environment that promotes every individual’s ability to participate fully in the ASU experience without fear of sexual violence, or even sexual harassment. Through university policies, awareness efforts, education and training programs, and advocacy, every member of the ASU community should be prepared to actively contribute to a culture of respect and keep our community free from sexual violence, harassment, exploitation and intimidation.

 Cases involving allegations of sexual misconduct that are reported at ASU are fully investigated in accordance with the Arizona Board of Regents Student Code of Conduct. ASU provides victims with resources that let them know they are not alone, including guidance on finding a safe place, filing a police report, talking with counselors and seeking medical care. This fall, more than 4,000 students are participating in training to raise awareness about sexual violence prevention and bystander intervention. Additionally, all ASU students will be completing Consent and Respect, an online educational module designed to enhance awareness of sexual violence and its impact on college students, and to provide critical information on what to do if you or someone you know experiences sexual violence. Expanded sexual assault prevention training and education will also be provided to all faculty and staff. Information on how to report an incident, university policies and procedures can be found at a new web portal that provides a comprehensive list of campus resources dedicated to combatting sexual violence.

In order to ensure that our current policies, practices, programs, and support services foster an environment in which all community members have the opportunity to thrive, I have established a task force to review our current efforts related to sexual violence prevention. The task force will review our current policies and practices, strengthen our education and awareness efforts, enhance existing and forge new partnerships with key organizations and agencies, and review and recommend support services and resources for victims of sexual misconduct.

Specifically, the task force will:

  • Review current reporting and adjudication processes and procedures and make recommendations for change or improvement;
  • Review current support services and recommend opportunities to provide maximum support to community members who experience sexual violence;
  • Recommend ways to increase overall awareness within the campus community on  issues of sexual violence, community standards, and campus resources;
  • Identify ways to enhance the effectiveness of our educational efforts regarding sexual assault prevention and bystander education;
  • Recommend ways for members of the community to engage in educational activities towards building a culture that fosters prevention;
  • Examine the role of alcohol and drugs in relation to issues of sexual violence and make recommendations for policy, education, and outreach; and
  • Identify how the institution should best evaluate the effectiveness of our efforts.

The task force will be co-chaired by Marlene Tromp, vice provost & dean, New College of Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences, and Jennifer Hightower, deputy vice president for Student Services. The task force will seek  input  broadly  from  students,  faculty,  administrators,  law  enforcement  and  subject matter experts, and I have asked the co-chairs to move expeditiously so that we may have the opportunity to make improvements and modifications to our efforts to prevent sexual violence during the 2014-15 academic year.

As the new academic year gets under way, we all must strive to build a culture of respect in which every member of the Sun Devil family feels free from the threat of sexual violence.

Sincerely,

Michael M. Crow

This email uses lots of broad, empty language to discuss ASU’s “plan” to deal with sexual abuse/sexual assault, in order to prevent a repeat of last years sex assault explosion. Noticeably absent is the direct inclusion of ASU’s own police department in ANY stage of the planning or implementation process, save for the tidbit where the university will assist a victim of sexual abuse or assault with filing a police department (whether or not your criminal complaint will be handled appropriately by ASUPD is an entirely separate discussion).

Preventing sexual abuse/assault starts with notifying students about incidents that occur on campus in accordance with the Clery Act. ASUPD has shown it is unable to correctly report its crime statistics under the  Clery Act by reclassifying sex offenses, or by completely omitting sexual assault statistics  from Clery due to ASUPD’s inability to analyze crime reports.

Many of Crow’s suggestions have broad implications for ASUPD, but with staffing hitting a critical low, President Crow completely ignores the fact that his police department can’t even fulfill its basic functions, yet alone proactively engage with the community on issues pertaining to sexual violence. The “broad input” Crow seeks from law enforcement is nothing more than a fancy buzzword used by Crow to look like he cares about what the police department’s perception of the situation is.

Bottom line, Crow: If you are really concerned about curtailing sex abuse and sex assaults on campus, you need to invest the time and money into building and retaining a solid campus police  force.

 

ASUPD tags along while Tempe PD does ACTUAL WORK during “Safe and Sober”

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From abc15:

TEMPE, AZ – Tempe and ASU police went door-to-door Monday, trying to prevent problems before school starts, by talking with residents in neighborhoods surrounding campus.

On Monday, officers from both departments, ASU students and city officials teamed up to talk with residents in the neighborhoods surrounding Daily Park off Apache Boulevard about any problems they have or had with ASU students.

Tempe police Lt. Mike Pooley said the purpose is to foresee what could be a potential problem and stop it before students start school.

In 2014, ASU moved 24 of its fraternities back onto college-campus housing at the Villas at Vista del Sol apartments.

In 2012, ASU closed Alpha Drive, where fraternities and sororities had houses.

The majority of fraternities moved into neighborhoods off of: Broadway Road to University Drive and McClintock to Mill Avenue.

Tempe police called the area the “Loud Party Corridor” in a 21-page document, outlining the problems in the neighborhood.

The main message Monday – no matter which agency a person contacts about a problem, everyone will work together to solve it.

ASU officials say they want to make sure the first few weeks of school are as safe as possible as many students transition into their new lives as Sun Devils.

Yet again, ASUPD’s Command Staff has shown the world they are merely along for the ride while Tempe PD does the actual work during the start of the “Safe and Sober” campaign. ASUPD Chief Thompson went “door to door” with TPD to express his concern about the increase in loud parties caused by ASU students living in Tempe. He was so concerned, in fact, that he proactively stood by while Tempe’s Command Staff contacted local residents (watch the video here). Thompson’s body language tells Tempe’s residents all they need to know about ASUPD’s stance on crime: we will stand by, look concerned, and then let Tempe PD fix the problem.

Perhaps, Chief Thompson, you should have informed Tempe’s residents that your department is grossly understaffed, and is already running its officers call-to-call…and the school year hasn’t even started! Surely they will be completely understanding about the lack of police presence if they become victims of crimes, right?

“The Bully at Work”; how many of these apply to all you current/former ASUPD employees?

“The Bully at Work” is a pretty informative book by Dr’s Gary and Ruth Namie. In it, they discuss what workplace bullying is, why it occurs, why bullies pick their targets, and how to deal with bullies at work.

To all the current and former ASU Police employees out there, read some of these excerpts and see if they apply to you; for those admin outside of the department, think about how issues like these are affecting employee productivity and retention:

Bullying at Work

  • Bullying at work is repeated, health-harming mistreatment of a person by one or more workers that takes the form of verbal abuse; conduct or behaviors that are threatening, intimidating, or humiliating; sabotage that prevents the work from getting done; or some combination of the three.  Perpetrators are bullies; those on the receiving end are Targets.
  • It is psychological violence – sublethal and nonphysical – a mix of verbal and strategic assaults to prevent the Target from performing work well.
  • The bully puts her or his personal agenda of controlling another human being above the needs of the employing organization.
  • In 62 percent of cases, when employers are made aware of bullying, they escalate the problem for the Target or simply do nothing. 
  • Workplace bullying is a serious threat to:  (18-19)
    • Freedom from fear and trauma
    • Employee health and safety
    • Civil rights in the workplace
    • Dignity at work
    • Personal self-respect
    • Family cohesion and stability
    • Work team morale and productivity
    • Employment practices liability
    • Retention of skilled employees
    • Employer reputation

Understanding Bullies

    • Bullies can be categorized, but individuals who choose to bully can adopt any tactic at any time to accomplish their goal.   [One of these is] The Constant Critic.
      • Operates behind closed doors so that later she or he can deny what was said or done to you.  Extremely negative.  Nitpicker.  Perfectionist.  Whiner.  Complainer.  Faultfinder.  Liar.  Loved by senior management because of his ability to “get those people to produce.”
      • Constant haranguing about the Target’s “incompetence
      • Demands eye contact when he speaks but deliberately avoids eye contact when the Target speaks
      • Accuses Target of wrongdoing, blames Target for fabricated errors
      • Makes unreasonable demands for work with impossible deadlines, applies disproportionate pressure, expects perfection 
      • Excessively or harshly criticizes Target’s work or abilities 
      • Most bullies work to make themselves well-connected to senior management, executives, or owners.  While Targets focus on prideful work, bullies are busy kissing up to the big bosses. 
      • They have allies – we call them executive sponsors – willing to block punishment for malicious behavior if they are ever exposed.  The big bosses think the bullies can do no wrong.  Targets have a hard time being believed for this reason. 

      Does this sound familiar?!

Crime down across campus? Nah, just less cops.

Found this gem of an article from The State Press:

Crime is down across ASU campus, police said after releasing crime statistics for 2012.

The report shows a 7.6 percent decrease in all crime on the Tempe campus, with individual decreases in alcohol-related, aggravated assault and arson arrests. (Yes, let’s skew the data by excluding the major crime spikes at the outlying campuses).

ASU Assistant Chief of Police Jim Hardina said the decrease in crime can be attributed to programs that focus on educating students.

“I think a lot of factors of it has to do with different strategies, enforcement, education and working with other departments on campus to educate students and reduce crime,” Hardina said. (Translation? Other departments do our work for us!)

ASU spokeswoman Julie Newberg said in an email that the University has implemented many programs to increase safety on campus.

“The safety of students, faculty, staff and visitors is the University’s top priority,” Newberg said. “ASU has extensive programs and services in place and is continuously monitoring and improving them.” (What programs would these be? The alcohol taskforce you initally refused to participate in?)

ASU saw a decrease in alcohol-related crime in 2012, with arrests decreasing by 22 percent and violations referred for action down by 12 percent across all campuses, according to the report. (Arrests down for alcohol? ASUPD has become reactionary in nature, due the critical shortage of staffing. Less officers to be proactive = less arrests. Alternatively, having other agencies take the arrest stats for you).

While many areas did see a decrease in crime, all campuses saw an increase in theft and burglary, the report shows.

Tempe saw 28 more burglaries in 2012, a 40 percent increase from the previous year, according to the report. (40% increase!!)

According to the report, the Downtown, West and Polytechnic campuses saw a 42, 33 and 70 percent increase in theft, respectively. (Up to a 70% increase!? Unacceptable!) This translates to a relatively small 4.5 percent increase across all campuses, because each campus, excluding Tempe, has fewer students and fewer number of incidents. (Fewer students at the outlying campuses, yes…but crime rates nearly tripling in some cases!)

Another area in which crime increased is in drug-related arrests with ASU Police arresting 296 students in 2012, according to the report. This shows a approximately 62 percent increase from the previous year, when only 183 students were arrested, according to the report. (62% increase!??! How is the PD doing its job here? Let’s not forget not too terribly long ago ASUPD stated to azfamily.com that ASU’s drug crimes had DECREASED. So now they’re changing their story? )

Stewart Adams, crime prevention specialist for ASU, said the Crime Prevention Unit is the “proactive” unit of ASU Police and works to prevent crime on campus by giving safety presentations and checking the campus for safety. (Handing out flyers and pencils isn’t being “proactive”; having adequate staffing to allow OFFICERS to be proactive is most effective). While Crime Prevention Unit is very active on campus, the unit’s efforts are hard to measure, because prevented crimes are not able to be measured, Adams said.

 

Since when did ASU’s spokesperson/media relations guru Julie Newberg decide to release a story on behalf of the PD? Oh yeah, when negative stories come out about ASU that need to have a “positive” spin on them. Nice try.

How ASUPD’s organizational structure is setting itself up for failure.

It has been mentioned repeatedly on this site that ASUPD’s organizational structure is causing a large majority of its problems. Bottom line: a department that is too top heavy isn’t able to function effectively; communication isn’t efficient/non-exsistant, and micromanaging (which creates different standards for different people, low morale) is allowed to flourish. The Harvard Business Review has written an article on this topic.

Another valley police agency, Gilbert PD, seems to have to right idea; by utilizing a “flat” organizational structure there are shorter lines of communication (but more work for command staff!). Gilbert PD has very few specialized units but rather expects patrol officers to be well-rounded, which puts more police on the street.

Let’s examine U of A’s police department structure versus ASU’s and see how ASU’s top-heavy structure limits the resources needed to carry out the mission on the ground level.

University of Arizona Police Dept. Staffing

40,000 students (72 sworn) 1 campus

Chief                                                     1

Commanders                                     3

 Lieutenants                                       3

Sergeants                                            12

Detectives                                          5

Officers                                                                48 (all on a patrol function)

Police Aides                                       20

If ASU had U of A student to officer proportions they would have a whopping 136.8 officers. How many do they have? Approximately 66 and falling. Yikes.

Arizona State University Police Dept. Staffing

76,000 students (66 sworn) 4 campuses

Chief                                                     1

Asst. Chiefs                                        2

Commanders                                     5

Sergeants                                            17

Corporals                                            8              (3 without a patrol function, so essentially 5. This is supposed to be a position for senior officers, but most corporals have far less experience than many officers.

Officers                                                                33           (6 without a patrol function), so essentially 27.

Police Aides                                       36

Add up how many supervisory positions ASUPD has! One supervisor per officer!

Unfortunately, any type of effective change must also involve a significant department restructuring to be fully functional.