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.


According to the folks at the Fulton Center, “none of this is real”.

Yes folks, you heard that right. In the face of factual evidence, both Chief Pickens and Morgan Olson managed to convince the folks at the Fulton Center that the posts on and this blog “aren’t real” and the majority of ASUPD’s employees are pleased as punch to come to work everyday.

We’d like to offer a challenge to those folks who are convinced that everything at ASUPD is A-OK. We understand your skepticism about the facts presented here by random internet posters; after all, we have the benefit of knowing you folks and how you operate, but the same can’t be said about us. Even if you completely discount what is being said here, we challenge you try and obtain your own answers through one of these methods:

  1. Create an anonymous survey, distribute it to the line-level officers and PAs, and tell us what you see.
  2. Assess the department’s retention rates (heck, even do five year retention rates!) and tell us what you see there.
  3. Look at the exorbitant amount of sick time being used (check out this article on “The High Cost of Unhappy Employees”).

We think these three tactics will shed some credibility on this site and our assertions.
It’s important to note that our intentions with this blog AREN’T to personally attack anyone. That being said, you’re all public figures paid for the taxpayers of the State of Arizona, and subsequently, your professional credibility is fair game. You have a duty and obligation to serve the people of the State of Arizona and students/faculty/staff at ASU, as well as uphold the law. If we as law enforcement officers are negligent or reckless in our jobs, we’re held  accountable IMMEDIATELY…command staff and above are NO EXCEPTION.

The reaction on behalf of ASUPD’s admin as well as the university has been shocking for a blog with supposedly “no merit”. Going to the extent of tracking down IP addresses for posters and commenters that have maybe committed a policy violation (at most) is ridiculous, and is walking the very fine line between legal fact finding and illegal searches/curtailing of free speech.

We’ll end this discussion with two quotes that really speak to the core of the issue here…ones we’ll hope will cause some relatively intelligent person at Fulton/whatever to question the desperate motives of ASUPD to keep its dissenters silent.

First Amendment freedoms are most in danger when the government seeks to control thought or to justify its laws for that impermissible end. The right to think is the beginning of freedom, and speech must be protected from the government because speech is the beginning of thought.”—Supreme Court Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, Ashcroft V. Free Speech Coalition

“Once a government is committed to the principle of silencing the voice of opposition, it has only one way to go, and that is down the path of increasingly repressive measures, until it becomes a source of terror to all its citizens and creates a country where everyone lives in fear.”— Harry Truman


ASUPD unveils its “Change for Chumps” program (aka employee referral program).

Just when we all thought ASUPD couldn’t sink to a new low…

…today ASU unveiled a new desperation tactic tool in its futile attempt to salvage the ASU Police Department known as “Change for Chumps” (or the employee referral program).

How does this work?

One simply has to work for ASU as a faculty or staff member and convince a family member, transient, etc to apply for ASUPD; upon the family member/transient’s successful completion of ASUPD’s field training, the referring faculty/staff member will receive $1500.

There are so many things wrong with this equation here…where to start?

  • Convincing someone with no interest in law enforcement whatsoever to sign up for a job they couldn’t care less about is definitely a great way to hire people that will stay in the PD for an extended period of time!


  • Assuming Joe Public can actually pass a background and complete the academy, will he be able to successfully complete FTO in a department that fails the majority of its trainees?
  • Beyond that, are there enough QUALIFIED FTOs (ones that are certified to train OITs) to train this influx of people?
  • Will this new person want to stay at ASUPD?

Chief Pickens continues to ignore what the majority of his officers (…and above!) think about the state of the police department, which is demonstrated by the number of employees he has quit on a weekly….DAILY…basis. All these GIMMICKS are NOT SOLVING ANY PROBLEMS!

Consider this blog as the mouthpiece for the silenced majority. Nothing that has been said on this blog is new information; it is comprised of things we think on a daily basis the moment we all step foot inside the department.

We know you and your “people” read this blog Chief. We know you’re in a state of panic because your New World Order has been disturbed, and you’re desperately trying to hide the fact you’ve let the department go to shit. Instead of trying to get bodies inside the door, why don’t you assess the reasons why they’re leaving in the first place?

No amount of pay raises or incentives you can dangle in front of our faces will change the fact that EVERYDAY we all come to work, we’re miserable.

We’re working in a hostile work environment, wondering when we’re going to get yelled at for coloring outside the lines; we’re prevented from seeing our families because we can’t take time off due to “staffing issues”; we’re so accustomed to seeing supervisors get praised for doing unethical or ILLEGAL activities regularly that we’ve lost faith in our chain of command for accountability; we’re so used to seeing new people who were once happy employees get their spirits broken that we can’t even interact normally with them anymore (what’s the point of getting to know someone who will be quitting in a month?); we’re used to seeing good talent run out the door; we’re so sick of working in a toxic environment that we’ve considered leaving law enforcement completely; most importantly, we are FED UP with a department that constantly ignores all common sense/logic and REFUSES to see the truth!

Until you really start to LISTEN to those under you, you’re essentially putting a band aid on an amputated limb.