Monthly Archives: October 2013

ASUPD’s shoddy rape investigation costs ASU several million dollars.

This just further highlight’s ASUPD’s mistreatment of women. An old article, but worth mentioning:

A former Arizona State student claims that “ASU refused to authorize either a drug screen [or] rape kit for DNA analysis” and “obstructed and shut down the investigation” after she was drugged and sodomized at a Sigma Chi fraternity party. She claims campus police did not interview a single Sigma Chi member, blamed her for “having been forcibly sodomized,” and did it all “to make ASU appear safer than it was.”
   The woman claims that ASU police officers conducted a shoddy, halfhearted investigation to minimize the university’s liability. The woman sued the Arizona Board of Regents in Maricopa County Court, claiming the university violated Title IX by failing to fully investigate her claims.
She claims that ASU knew of “the risk of severe sexual harassment, including sexual assault, of female students at the Sigma Chi house on its campus,” but that ASU sought to use “pressure or policy to minimize sexual assault reports to make ASU appear safer than it was.”
The plaintiff, a former member of Pi Beta Phi sorority, says she went to a toga party thrown by members of Sigma Chi, where she was given alcohol. She was 19 at the time. At the party, she says, Matt Potter, a Sigma Chi member, gave her a drink “that had been spiked with a drug designed to incapacitate her and impair her memory.” She says her memory of the night was impaired by the drink, and that she woke up the next day at the Sigma Chi house with severe rectal pain, without her purse and some of her clothing.
She says two friends and the president of the ASU Panhellenic Council took her to Tempe St. Luke’s Hospital, where a sexual assault examination determined that she had been “sodomized with significant ‘anal injury’ with rectal and vaginal pain, bloody stool, and exposure to bodily fluids.”
She says that despite her injuries and a request from the emergency room physician, ASU police officers refused to authorize a rape kit, drug screen, or a SANE (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner) examination. She says the officers blamed her for “having been forcibly sodomized.”
She claims that “the reason [ASU] Officer Janda would not conduct a proper investigation of [her] sodomy and sexual assault because she had consumed alcoholic beverages before the assault, was a pretext to minimize ASU’s liability.”
After she was released from the hospital, she says, her sister drove her to Tucson, where she was examined by a physician at Northwest Medical Center Hospital and was found to be a “crime victim” of “sexual assault.” By that time, she says, it was too late to perform a drug screen or rape kit.

ASU’s Office of Student Life, Judicial Affairs interviewed her once, and interviewed only one of her sorority sisters for its investigation, she says. “No Sigma Chi members were ever questioned,” and ASU closed the investigation less than 2 months after the rape, according to the 21-page complaint.”ASU has in recent years systematically and severely underreported sexual assault reports,” the complaint states. “For 2008, ASU reported and posted only four forcible sexual assault reports in its 2009 Annual Security Reports, despite, on information and belief, having received at least several dozen reports. On information and belief, the motivations of ASU police for refusing to investigate [the plaintiff’s] rape and sodomy included ASU’s pressure or policy to minimize sexual assault reports to make ASU appear safer than it was.”
ASU is required by the Clery Act “to report to the U.S. Department of Education, and to post publicly, all reports of sexual assaults made to campus police or its Judicial Affairs or other personnel,” according to the complaint. But ASU never reported her rape and sodomy in its Annual Security Report, she says. And she says the school took no action against Gallagher or Potter or Sigma

This lawsuit alone cause ASU several million dollars due to horrible policies and horrible policing. Yet this officer is still working at ASU and is allowed to train new officers?!

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Loopholes in Clery Act Reporting: How ASU can skew its crime statistics!

Lengthy but good read from, in regard to campus police department’s abilities to skew sexual assault data through Clery Act loopholes.

The Clery Act requires some 7,500 colleges and universities — nearly 4,000 of which are four-year public and private institutions — to disclose statistics about crime on or near their campuses in annual security reports.

Many provisions have evolved since the law passed 19 years ago, but what hasn’t changed is Clery’s requirement that schools poll a wide range of “campus security authorities” when gathering data. That designation includes a broad array of campus programs, departments, and centers, such as student health centers, women’s centers, and even counseling centers. The designation also applies to officials who supervise students — deans, coaches, housing directors, judicial affairs officers, to name a few.

In theory, those stipulations should make for comprehensive crime reporting.

But the data gathering isn’t always meticulous. In fact, a 2002 study funded by the U.S. Department of Justice found that “only 36.5 percent of schools reported crime statistics in a manner that was fully consistent with the Clery Act.” A Center examination of 10 years worth of complaints filed against institutions under Clery shows that the most common problem is that schools are not properly collecting data. Some submit only reports from law-enforcement officials. In August 2004, Yale University became the subject of a complaint after it was discovered to be doing just that. Five years later, the U.S. Department of Education has yet to finish its review; a department spokesperson declined to comment on the pending inquiry.

Other schools submit inaccurate sexual assault statistics — in some cases inadvertently; in others cases, intentionally. Nearly half of the 25 Clery complaint investigations conducted by the Education Department over the past decade determined that schools were omitting sexual offenses collected by some sources or failing to report them at all. In October 2007, the department fined LaSalle University, in Philadelphia, $110,000 for not reporting 28 crimes, including a small number of sexual assaults.

There’s also been misclassification of sexual assaults. Schools can wrongly categorize reports of acquaintance rape or fondling as “non-forcible” sexual offenses — a definition that should only apply to incest and statutory rape. Five of the 25 Clery audits found schools were miscoding forcible rapes as non-forcible instead. In June 2008, Eastern Michigan University agreed to pay the department $350,000 — the largest Clery fine ever — for a host of violations, including miscoding rapes.

Another limitation of the Clery Act: it counts only those crimes occurring on or near campuses, and in school-affiliated buildings like fraternity houses. The initial thinking behind this narrow geographic focus was that off-campus crimes would inevitably be documented by local police, experts say. But that means that Clery statistics don’t include such settings as off-campus apartments, where most campus-related rapes are believed to take place. Last year, Jacqui Pequignot, who heads the victim advocate program at Florida State, recorded just nine sexual offenses on or near campus, as compared to 48 off campus. Pequignot, who estimates that 36,000 of FSU’s 42,000 students live in apartments more than a block from the university, notes that critics often suspect misreporting whenever they don’t see huge numbers of campus sexual assaults. “But sometimes,” she says, “it’s really just about the fact that the numbers are greater off campus.”

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“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?!

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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 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.

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“Changing ASU for future female officers”

A follow up to the previous post:

Former officer sues


Russell says police denied her allegations


 by Tim Taylor
published on Thursday, April 29, 2004

The ASU Department of Public Safety has denied accusations of discrimination and sexual retaliation of a former female officer, according to the officer, Jenna Russell, who worked for ASU police at the west and main campuses from October 2002 through September 2003.

ASU police was unable to make any comments on the situation, said Cmdr. John Sutton.

Russell filed a sexual retaliation and discrimination suit against ASU police with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on Jan. 26.
In it, Russell reported snide comments about her sexuality, disregard for her authority by a fellow officer and bogus negative reports of her field training. She also said that ASU West denied her a shift transfer when she was having a situation at home.

The EEOC sent Russell a “right to sue” letter on April 19 after deciding not to pursue the case, Russell said. That gives Russell the right to pursue legal action on her own. Russell recently hired Phoenix attorney Jerome Froimson and is continuing with the civil litigation through the courts.

She said that obtaining a job with another police department after taking legal action would be very difficult. “I’m pretty much blackballed after I do this,” she said. “I’m basically kissing my career goodbye.”

Russell resigned last August after she said she received three written reprimands in one day. She referred to those reprimands as “crap.” Her resignation became effective in September 2003.

Russell said ASU DPS’ denial of the accusations is an outright lie.

When the west, east and main campus departments converged in February 2003, she volunteered for what she thought was a two-week orientation. She discovered that she was to complete a 10-week field-training program identical to the one she had done for ASU West.

She completed it in seven weeks. Her scores in both field-training programs were above average, she said.

“I am determined that the truth will prevail, and I am not giving in,” said Russell. “I will make them change the way they treat their female officers in the future.”

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ASU’s issues with female officers and field training date back to 2004!

Former officer alleges harassment


Former female ASU police officer has filed discrimination lawsuit


 by Amanda Keim
published on Tuesday, February 24, 2004

Jenna Russell dreamt of becoming a police officer since she was 6. She proved to her father that a woman could attain that goal when she graduated near the top of her police class.

But now that she has come forward with the story of harassment she said she received as a female police officer with ASU police, she knows no police department is likely to hire her again, she said.

Russell resigned from the department in October 2003 after what she alleges was more than a year of harassment and mistreatment. She filed a sexual retaliation and discrimination suit against ASU police with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Jan. 26.

ASU Cmdr. John Sutton said the department had been served with a notification to a claim by the commission.

Russell originally was hired as an officer for ASU West in August 2002 after being a reserve officer in the Goodyear Police Department.

“I chose ASU because I wanted that family atmosphere [in the department],” Russell said.

Russell first faced problems when completing field training at ASU West in October 2002. She said that her field-training officer refused to turn off the Howard Stern radio show in the patrol vehicle after Russell repeatedly told him it made her uncomfortable “as a woman.”

After she complained to her sergeant, the department switched Russell’s field-training officer assignment, she said.

Russell said she completed field training with above-ave- rage reviews.

But she said that after her complaints were made, several officers made “snide comments about sexuality.”

One officer allegedly made several comments about Russell’s sex and disregarded her authority when she was the officer in charge. When she tried to confront him about one particular incident, he began yelling and then left his shift, she said.

“If that had been me, I would have been fired the next day,” Russell said.

Superiors ignored Russell’s complaints about the officer’s behavior, she added.

In December, the three ASU campus police departments began to merge into one department. In February, Russell became the first officer assigned to complete an orientation program at the main campus, she said.

Russell said she was told the orientation program would last two weeks, but when she got to ASU Main, she found she would have to complete the same 10-week field-training program she had successfully finished at ASU West a few months earlier.

This time, she passed the program with above-average reviews in seven weeks.

But Russell’s overall field-training evaluation told a different story.

The evaluation was compiled by a sergeant who based the report on an interview with Russell’s field-training officer and written evaluations, Russell said. It said she “had training issues, was insubordinate, did not get along with others and had an attitude problem,” Russell added.

“I couldn’t believe this entire thing was about me,” she said.

When Russell asked her primary field-training officer about the report, he said the evaluation did not reflect what he had told the sergeant.

Despite these problems with the administration, Russell requested a permanent transfer to ASU Main in June 2003.

“The officers I worked with were great,” Russell said. “I love them.

“You rarely have to deal with [the administration] unless there was an issue,” she said.

Russell withdrew her request shortly after the departments merged on July 1. She needed to stay on the graveyard shift at ASU West to accommodate a situation at home, she said.

But instead, ASU West transferred Russell to a daytime shift in August. Russell tried to retain her night shift, but the request was denied.

Even after explaining her situation to superiors and learning another officer with five years of seniority wanted the day shift, Russell’s request was still denied, she said.

ASU police and ASU General Counsel could not comment on specifics of the case due to commission guidelines.

Russell has not hired a lawyer and does not want financial compensation from ASU at this point, she said.

But giving up her career and bringing to light her story will hopefully start to force the department to evaluate its treatment of women, she said.

“I know I’m not going to change the world, but damn it, I’m going to make a dent,” Russell said.

Sound familiar?

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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.


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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


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“Just following orders”: an article from Law Enforcement Today

Found this article quite interesting and very pertinent to the situation at ASUPD. From Law Enforcement Today:

In the current maelstrom occurring as a result of the federal government “shutdown”, long neglected principles and important questions that need answers are being revealed.  Most Americans saw the government shutdown as a system failure and line up along political party allegiances, failing to see the principles the writers of the Constitution put in place to protect the American people against abuses of power that are inevitable with fallible human beings at the helm.

For those of us in law enforcement, there is a particular incident that occurred that brings up questions that need answering given the current conduct of our elected officials and agency bureaucrats, regardless of political affiliation.

The specific incident involves the Blue Ridge Parkway and a privately owned business located along the Parkway.  As a result of the “shutdown”, all monuments, federally run parks and national forests are closed and Park Rangers were ordered to “make life as difficult as we can.”  The Pisgah Inn, a privately-owned restaurant and inn is located on mile marker 408.6 on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

The executive branch ordered Park Rangers to inform the owner to close his business.  When he failed to do so in protest, Park Rangers were ordered to block the entrance of his business, while the Blue Ridge Parkway, in and of itself, an open air park remains open to traffic.  As of now, Rangers are stationed in shifts around the clock, blocking the entrances to the business.

The Park Rangers, apologetic, explained they were “just following orders”.  It is an ugly and morally untenable position to be in.  Given the current political situation in the country, it is one that more and more officers will find themselves in at all levels of government.  Law enforcement has an ugly history across the world of being utilized as a weapon to further political agendas and the establishment of tyrannical dynasties at a local level, as well as nationally.

Instead of protecting individuals against the predation of others and impartially enforcing laws established through the orderly legal process, police have been used to enforce the whims of political and often criminal tyrants. Though the vast majority of officers are performing their duties honorably and in good faith, too often, there is a failure to fully understand the full implications of the oath that every officer takes upon accepting the badge.

Though other countries have followed suit, the United States was the first to require an oath to uphold and defend ideas and principles, rather than swear fealty to a person or elected position.  The basic law enforcement oath, with minor variations depending on jurisdiction is:

Oath of Office
I (state your name), do solemnly swear (or affirm), that I will support the Constitution of the United States, and the Constitution and laws of the State of xxxxxx, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same, and defend them against enemies, foreign and domestic, and that I will faithfully and impartially discharge, the duties of a peace officer, to the best of my ability, so help me God.

What is the significance of swearing an oath to support the Constitution first, rather than to the President or the government in general?  Though many dismiss the founders, and the Constitution as outdated, the men that developed the Constitution anticipated and understood that human beings being placed in positions of power would abuse it, some for well meaning, but misguided purposes and others to accumulate or abuse the power given them.  They even anticipated that the whole people could be swayed by emotions, circumstances and the lies of ambitious, conniving people gaining control of the government.

That the supervisory chain of command issued orders to Park Rangers to “make life miserable” for American citizens to further political agendas is on its face an unlawful order.  There is no constitutional or statutory authority for government officials to harass, intimidate or make life difficult for anyone, let alone law abiding citizens, especially for the purposes of achieving political agendas in violation of constitutional limitations.  There are, in fact, court cases addressing privately owned businesses and individuals leasing federal lands winning in court when the federal government disrupted the lawful use of this property like the Park Rangers did when physically obstructing access to the Pisgah Inn and others along the Blue Ridge Parkway.

These politically motivated abuses are not limited to the federal government. One of many examples is in 2007, police were ordered to destroy the tents of the homeless in St. Petersburg, Florida with box cutters.  While the homeless do present problems for many local communities, there are lawful means to address the issue that do not involve police officers destroying the personal property of citizens, even though they are homeless and have no political influence.  The city excused ordering the actions stating that they didn’t want to arrest and get into conflict with the homeless, yet ended up with an entire cadre of homeless up in arms, along with others in the community.

The oath of office we take provides that we first support the U.S. Constitution and one of the fundamental principles of the Constitution is that all laws must flow from within the foundation of it.  We are then directed to support the State Constitution of our jurisdiction and the laws flowing within those boundaries.  We are to bear true faith and allegiance to the former and here is where many have missed the significance of their oaths.  We are directed to defend against foreign and domestic enemies of that which we swore to support through the faithful and impartial discharge of our duties.

Our oath requires that we are knowledgeable of the Constitution and the limitations of government authority, as well as the laws that uphold those principles.  That oath does not provide for blind obeisance to any and all orders given by our superiors.  The challenge we face as a profession is to answer the question of what will be done when we are faced with increasingly blatant unlawful orders.  The weight of the badge can be a very heavy weight to bear.

It is my hope that all who swore this oath and accepted the noble weight of the badge, regardless of whether it is at a federal, state or local level will look to the immense sacrifices that were made to change the relationship between the citizens and their government to birth the liberty that allowed the greatest nation to begin the journey to fulfill the promise of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, along with all of mankind being created equal.  We are not blind automatons mindlessly following orders; we are American citizens first and peace officers after that.

Perhaps George Washington outlined our duties best in the following quote:

“The value of liberty was thus enhanced in our estimation by the difficulty of its attainment, and the worth of characters appreciated by the trials of adversity…The name of American, which belongs to you, in your national capacity, must always exalt the just pride of Patriotism, more than any appellation derived from local discriminations…Guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism…It should be the highest ambition of every American to extend his views beyond himself, and to bear in mind that his conduct will not only affect himself, his country, and his immediate posterity; but that its influence may be co-extensive with the world, and stamp political happiness or misery on ages yet unborn.”

And John Adams:

“…Cities may be rebuilt, and a People reduced to Poverty, may acquire fresh Property: But a Constitution of Government once changed from Freedom, can never be restored.”