Monthly Archives: November 2013

Shocking revelation! ASUPD can write citations. In other news, water is wet.

In the latest story from ASU’s State Press, Downtown Phoenix Campus students verbalized their disagreement with ASU’s new ban on smoking. Mind you, this policy is peer-enforced…has nothing to do with the PD whatsoever (despite the fact the university was initially misleading by having officers and random members of command “ask students nicely to stop smoking”).

ASUPD’s own Commander Chris “Sparky” Speranza was compelled enough to take the time out of his super busy day (ie, doing nothing) to make ASUPD look even more ridiculous. “There have been no citations for littering since the no-smoking policy went into effect”. Someone should inform him that he has two STELLAR Sergeants that have the ability to enforce the law, but that also requires them to 1) show up to work 2) dress out into their uniforms and 3) leave the Post Office. Maybe have an Officer enforce the littering law? Oh wait…they keep getting pulled to work at other campuses due to staffing concerns.

In case you were wondering about his street credibility folks, Sparky also said, “This [lack of littering citations] was not because the no-smoke policy is peer-enforced, as an ASU officer can issue a citation to any citizen”.

So just to clarify…we can write citations to any citizen. Gotcha. I was wondering what that book of citations was for!

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Toxic Leaders: When Organizations Go Bad

Thanks to one of our readers for sending us this article courtesy of Read this and ask yourself…does this sound familiar?

In her book Toxic Leaders: When Organizations Go Bad, Marcia Whicker describes toxic leaders as “maladjusted, malcontent, and often malevolent, even malicious. They glory in turf protection, fighting, and controlling rather than uplifting followers.” A toxic police leader is maladjusted to the police context that values service to others over self; malcontented possibly because of a perceived slight experienced at some point in their career; often malevolent stemming from a pervasive disregard for the welfare of their subordinates; and surreptitiously malicious toward superiors who represent authority, while observably malicious toward peers and subordinates who are viewed as potential competitors. Toxic leaders specialize in demoralizing and humiliating subordinates in public.

We might well ask why world-class police organizations would put up with such behavior. One alibi stems from their ability to kiss up the chain of command while kicking down. Toxic police leaders always seem to have well-prepared presentations ready for their superiors and are ever ready to accept tasks without regard for the impact on their subordinates. Because they lead using fear, subordinates respond quickly to their direction. But they comply without commitment.

Toxic leaders are seen by many their subordinates and others in the police organization as arrogant, self-serving, inflexible and petty. Word among police officers spreads fast and they’ll go out of their way to avoid the toxic leader.

A chief-level officer in a large police agency once asked, “How do you know a leader in your organization is toxic?” We suggested that he observe how the patrol bid fills in. The last supervisors to get officers to voluntarily sign up for their sectors are often the ones being avoided by police officers because they display toxic tendencies. Patrol officers are not likely to voluntarily select the sector of a supervisor that displays these characteristics:

  1. An apparent lack of concern for the well being of subordinates.
  2. A personality or interpersonal technique that negatively affects organizational climate.
  3. A conviction by subordinates that the leader is motivated primarily by self-interest.

It is not one specific behavior that deems one toxic; it is the cumulative effect of de-motivational behavior on unit morale and climate over time that tells the tale.

When asked whether they have toxic leaders in their organizations police officers from many different police organizations and at varying levels respond with a resounding affirmative. After repeating that question in dozens of seminars we have anecdotal information that suggests toxic leaders are ubiquitous in police organizations.

It can be demoralizing when toxic leaders continue to get promoted to levels of increasing responsibility. In a recent coaching course for newly promoted police supervisors, a police sergeant stated, “We all know who the bad leaders are, but the police department sticks that person away in a bureau out of sight where the bad leader can spend all his time studying for the next promotion exam. The bad leader scores high on the promotion exam, gets promoted and is released back on the troops to exact revenge. Once they screw up again and/or destroy the careers of good, hard-working officers, they are placed back into a bureau to study for the next promotion exam.”

This newly promoted police supervisor’s statements must have resonated with the other 40 newly promoted police supervisors from varying police agencies in the room because everyone was shaking their heads in agreement and raising their hands for the chance to tell their toxic leader story.

Assignment changes and promotion provide the avenue that toxic police leaders use to go from one place to another within the police organization spreading their poison. Police officers who have to work with or for a toxic leader are relegated to waiting them out because it is only a matter of time before the toxic leader is removed, placed into another assignment or promoted.

This can have devastating effects on police officers and police organizational culture. Toxic leaders leave in their wake an environment devoid of purpose, motivation, and commitment. In short, toxic police leaders deny police organizations and individual police officers true leadership.

Some suggest that exposing toxic police leaders for what they are would go a long way to solving the problem. Unfortunately, tools like multi-rater leader assessments, climate assessments and employee surveys are not commonly used in police organizations. The argument stems from a questionable belief that these “business tools” do not work or translate well to police organizations.

A tool like a 360-degree feedback instrument would provide some insight into toxic police leadership, but according to Dr. Howard Prince, Brigadier General U. S. Army (Ret.) and Director of the LBJ School’s Center for Ethical Leadership, there is not a validated 360-degree feedback tool available specifically for law enforcement. Perhaps toxic leadership is so prevalent in police organizations because the organizational culture enables and sustains it.

In their book Toxic Workplace! Managing Toxic Personalities and Their Systems of Power, Mitchell Kusy and Elizabeth Hollaway suggest that toxic leaders can only thrive in toxic cultures. Promoting and moving toxic leaders around the organization might be an inappropriate organizational response that serves to enable them.

Another troubling explanation for the existence of toxic police leadership is the possibility that toxic behavior is tolerated, if not encouraged, by leaders at the top of police organizations. Police executives lose credibility when they claim to be advocates of healthy police cultures yet fail to take action against toxic police leaders. Leaders at the top of the organization often mistake short-term mission accomplishment for good leadership. It is possible to run even a good organization into the ground if attention is not paid to the long-term health and welfare of its members.

Leaders who serve at the executive level in police organizations may be the only ones that have the power and authority to counter toxic leadership. Subordinates are not generally in position to address the problem of toxic leaders because toxic leaders are characteristically unconcerned about them and immune to influence from below. Lynne F. McClure, author of Risky Business: Managing Violence in the Workplace, explains why toxicity goes without remedy: “The biggest single reason is because [the behavior is] tolerated.” McClure, an expert on managing high-risk behaviors, believes that if an organization has toxic managers, it is because the culture enables it—knowingly or unknowingly—through nothing more than apathy.

Police organizations can take steps to minimize the number of toxic leaders in their organizations by fostering a shared vision of what good leadership is and is not. Possible antidotes to toxic leadership include:

  • Put a label to the problem (toxic leadership) and talk about it openly.
  • Develop and select with an eye to leadership style, not simply technical skills and short-term effectiveness.
  • Hold supervisors responsible for the leadership style of their subordinates.
  • Implement climate assessments and 360-degree multi-faceted evaluations as developmental tools.
  • Have the hard discussions with subordinates who display toxic tendencies and promptly address behaviors that are not in keeping with the values of the organization.

This article summarizes ASUPD’s “leadership” style perfectly: ones who can’t hack it on the street are promoted (and allowed to run their subordinates into the ground), while the rest of command staff tolerates the toxic behavior.

Chief Pickens, whatever professionally credibility you previously had is now destroyed. You can’t claim you are a successful head of a police department when you have droves of employees quitting due to YOUR inaction and YOUR mismanagement. You have allowed the department to implode because you don’t care about the long-term health/well-being of your employees. But hey, McDonald’s is always hiring…right Chief?

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Thanks for reading and spreading the word!!

This post is long overdue, but we wanted to say THANKS to all of our readers; your feedback–whether its via email, comments, or simply word of mouth–is greatly appreciated. We couldn’t have undertaken this project without a significant amount of feedback from our readers, and we’re grateful to have made a positive impact on a lot of you (even if its as small as giving you hope that people at ASUPD will be held accountable for their actions!)

If you wish to contact us, feel free to send an email to:    OR    Comment on any of our posts! 

It’s important to note that due to the nature of this site, we can’t see your IP addresses when you comment on this page. Likewise, the IP addresses of the creators is also hidden. We also try to protect those that send us intel via email; we don’t want to jeopardize someones’ career for sending us information, so we go to great lengths to not leave a trail (sometimes this means withholding juicy intel from the site!) Similarly, we try and confirm the validity of the information we receive from an anonymous source so we do not become a glorified gossip site.

Thanks again for reading and keep fighting the good fight!

How many more officers can ASUPD handle losing?

One more piece of evidence that illustrates perfectly the end result of ASUPD’s mismanagement:

We’re told that a grand total of six more officers will be out of ASUPD by the end of December (this number includes the officer who just went to MCCPD). That is unreal! All six of these officers are intelligent and talented, and we’re so happy to hear that they’ve decided to move on to greener pastures. It’s not rocket science! Treat your people well, impart them with the tools to do their jobs effectively, and trust they will do the right thing! Intervene when necessary, and stamp out fires/conflicts before they fester.

If everything that has been said here on The Integrity Report is not true, Chief Pickens, then why are so many people fleeing from ASUPD in droves? You can keep trying to explain away us and postings on as just disgruntled employees, but the proof is in the numbers. There is obvious validity to our assertations here.

All these people who have left and who are actively trying to leave have formulated their own opinions of ASUPD based on their experiences in dealing with the department, seeing how others are treated, and hearing how other PDs in the valley treat their employees.

ASUPD can’t logically function with the staffing numbers they currently have, and aren’t able to staff the satellite campuses now. How much longer are you going to claim that there’s no problem, Chief Pickens?


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Excessive use of force cases: who watches the watchmen?

We’re all acutely aware how our reaction to a situation as law enforcement officers may sometimes have significant negative costs associated with them, sometimes in the form of criminal or civil punishment. How many times have we all seen a scenario where an officer used an excessive amount of force and was later sued civilly or sentenced to prison? Unfortunately, pretty frequently. But for every time an officer is reprimanded/fired for using force excessively, how many times did he/she use force excessively prior to this? Is it a sudden break in a person’s psyche that caused them to slip, or was their decent into the darkness of malfeasance a slow, yet loud path? More importantly, how are we as law enforcement professionals reacting to and dealing with the situation at hand?

At the ASU Police Department, no one  at the command level seems to be asking the aforementioned questions (quite frankly, the only questions being asked on the 3rd floor are, “How do we make this blog go away!?”). We’re pretty impressed there seems to be accountability within the officer ranks, but what happens when your command fails you?

One Cpl. is a prime example of an excessive use of force handled poorly at the upper level. Recently, a Cpl. deployed his taser several times on a subject who was restrained and was not an active aggressor. The situation was documented properly, all the ducks were in a row…and then nothing happened (it’s important to note that we are criticizing ASUPD’s response to the situation, not the action itself). At the MINIMUM, why would a department not place the person in question on administrative leave merely to assess the merit of the situation, and to allow that person to mentally recover? No PD that wishes to minimize its legal liability would even dream of letting this person back on the road anytime soon. However, in the parallel universe that is ASUPD, no IA was conducted, and no higher entity reviewed the use of force in this situation.

There are several more use of force incidents that have occurred within the past six months–a rookie officer tasing a subject running away from him, for starters–we know have NOT been investigated by the upper tiers of the department, and definitely not by anyone OUTSIDE the department. There is NO civilian/sworn use of force review panel, NO IAs, and NO information being sent to AZ POST.

Congratulations in hitting a new low, ASUPD; there is no longer even a thin blue line separating line level officers (good guys) from common criminals (bad guys), because command staff has dissolved that line with their inactions and mismanagement.

Welcome to the final frontier of policing, folks.

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We just received word that FINALLY someone decided it was time to  investigate the claims of ASU’s wrongdoing made by various employees, posters on, and also our blog. Apparently, Kevin Salcido was tasked by Morgon Olson to investigate the allegations made against ASUPD.

Salcido, if you are serious about investigating the PD for the good of the university, we suggest you be prepared for the can of worms that you’re about to open, and actually take some sort of formidable action once you verify the legitimacy of the claims us and others have ascertained. Inaction is just as bad as partaking in the aforementioned wrongdoing.

Why Tempe PD’s officer sex scandal could mean trouble for ASUPD.

Everyone in the country right now is talking about the former undercover Tempe PD detective who slept with the drug dealer she was supposed to be investigating. This is pretty scandalous, even by Arizona’s standards!

Needless to say, we weren’t surprised when this story made national news on a major media syndicate, Fox News. They discussed the topic at length, and a prior law enforcement officer “consultant” for the show said the department investigating the complaint should also be assessing the detective’s TRAINING and SUPERVISION in addition to alleged offenses.

All of us in law enforcement know that when something major occurs  in a department (excluding ASU) quite often the supervisors/trainers are also held liable because of their negligence or nonfeasance in supervision/training. How many times has a supervisor at ASUPD been written up for negligence in training or supervision?

We’re willing to bet virtually none, because almost all supervisors and FTO Sergeants (current and past) would have been fired already. In case you weren’t aware, AS supervisors or FTO supervisors, your job description ALSO includes either supervising or training (sometimes both). Additionally, your SUPERVISORS also have SUPERVISORS. That means when stuff really hits the fan, someone in a position of authority should look to see who was managing the person that messed up as well as THEIR supervisor.

Adequate training also plays a key role in the liability game too. All of us at ASUPD know the hard work Sergeant T put into building a LEGITIMATE, liability free FTO program. He knew how a failure for officers to be properly trained could cause a huge legal issue for ASUPD, so he utilized a previously established and legally sound FTO program. After being destroyed by both Sergeant Pam Osborne and Sergeant Fuchtman, what remains of the FTO program is nothing like the one Sergeant T implemented; it remains now as one of ASUPD’s greatest liabilities.

At this point, ASUPD doesn’t even require a major incident in order for someone to peel back the layers of liability and find out who hasn’t been doing their jobs; it only takes a FOIA request and half a brain. In addition to the aforementioned issues, ASUPD should be aware of the fact that the nation’s focus right now is on the major scandal transpiring in Tempe, AZ. It wouldn’t take a whole lot of work to throw some of ASUPD’s issues into the mix too.

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ASUPD’s temporary solution to staffing issues? Let the support service officers handle it!

Many officers have been unhappy lately with the departments’ slow, knee jerk reaction to the staffing crisis which is crippling police services at all four campuses.

The first solution was to ignore all the unhappy officers who were getting burnt out from the lack of officer staffing at ASUPD. Next, the solution to fixing the staffing problem was to try and hire every individual with a pulse who was referred by a current ASU employee. After these two plans failed miserably, ASUPD decided to now recall the support services officers to fill the gaps in the schedule. WHAT!

Instead of having your extraneous “specialty” assignments help out patrol (K9, the two officers assigned to Tempe Bike Patrol, the detective assigned to work with TPD, the Sergeant’s over various desk positions), you have the few detectives you DO have respond to calls “when patrol gets backed up”. How is that effective? Another idea…how about Command staff start shagging calls and running traffic?


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Editiorial: What ASUPD should learn about bullying from Miami Dolphins’ Jonathan Martin.

After the overwhelming response we received from our post on bullying in the workplace (titled, “The Bully at Work: how many apply to you current/former ASUPD employees?), we decided to follow it up with secondary post regarding workplace bullying, inspired by the Miami Dolphins’ offensive tackle Jonathan Martin.

As some of you may be aware, very recently Martin, a 24-year old rookie, quit the Miami Dolphins and checked himself into a South Florida hospital for treatment for emotional distress. According to the article, “the specific treatment of Martin’s emotional condition was not disclosed, but sources say it was related to his belief that he had been targeted during a sustained level of harassment from teammates, including suspended guard Richie Incognito”

Martin’s attorney stated that the issue is Martin’s treatment by his teammates. Martin endured harassment that went far beyond the traditional locker room hazing; he attempted to befriend the same teammates who subjected him to the abuse with the hope that doing so would end the harassment. This is a textbook reaction of victims of bullying.

So what does this have to do with ASUPD?

According to Drs. Ruth and Gary Namie (Authors of the book The Bully at Work),

Bullying in the workplace can have significant mental and physical impacts.What makes it psychological is bullying’s impact on the person’s mental health and sense of well-being. The personalized, focused nature of the assault destabilizes and disassembles the target’s identity, ego strength, and ability to rebound from the assaults. The longer the exposure to stressors like bullying, the more severe the psychological impact. When stress goes unabated, it compromises both a target’s physical and mental health. :

Physical health problems from stress include:

  • Cardiovascular Problems: Hypertension (60%) to Strokes, Heart Attacks
  •  Adverse Neurological Changes: Neurotransmitter Disruption, Hippocampus Shrinkage
  • Immunological Impairment: More frequent infections of greater severity
  • Fibromyalgia (21%), Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (33%)

Some physical indications of the above stress might include:

  • Nausea
  • Tremors of the Lips, Hands, Etc.
  •  Feeling Uncoordinated
  • Chills
  • Profuse Sweating
  • Rapid Heartbeat/Breathing
  • Elevated Blood Pressure
  • Chest Pain
  • Uncontrollable Crying
  •  Headaches

Psychological-Emotional Injuries

  • Debilitating Anxiety (80%)
  •  Panic Attacks (52%)
  • Clinical Depression: new to person or exacerbated condition previously controlled (49%)
  • Post-traumatic Stress (PTSD) from deliberate human-inflicted abuse (30%)
  • Shame (the desired result of humiliating tactics by the bully) – sense of deserving a bad fate
  • Guilt (for having “allowed” the bully to control you)
  • Overwhelming sense of Injustice (Equity – the unfairness of targeting you who works so hard; Procedural – the inadequacy of the employer’s response to your complaint)

(Note: All of these ailments caused by stress could explain a large surge in the usage of sick/vacation time currently transpiring)

Even more shocking? In the WBI 2012-D Study, 29% of bullied targets considered suicide and 16% had a plan. According to Police Chief Magazine, Various sources report 300 completed police suicides annually; other sources report that a law enforcement officer (LEO) is more likely to die by suicide than by homicide. Why? One reason cited is that one factor may be conflict with the police administration; more specifically, some officers may choose suicide to escape from an intolerable or unbearable situation.

How many times have we seen those in the department physically suffering from being bullied? We’ve witnessed a petite female officer lose 10 pounds from stress; we’ve seen several other coworkers suffering from high blood pressure, ulcers, insomnia, migraines REGULARLY due to unnecessary stress from certain members of ASUPD’s “clique”. We’ve also witnessed many good officers quit due to the unnecessary stress which caused the officers’ personal lives to be affected.

Law enforcement is stressful enough. As law enforcement professionals, we should be supporting each other, not constantly seeking ways to destroy each others’ personal and professional lives as some sort of sick trophy. Yes, we’re tough cops, but we’re also human beings first and foremost. If bullying can affect a strong, young (and well-paid!) professional football player to the point of quitting his profession, it can affect ANY of us.

ASUPD has an obligation–from a moral and a legal standpoint–to deal with the bullying problem (caused by a select group of people) it has previously refused even existed. If it continues to fester, what is going to prevent a  situation like Jonathan Martin (or worse!) from happening at ASUPD?



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K9 Disney: another ASU money pit!

Came across this article today about ASU’s shining star: K9 Disney!! According to the article, K9 Disney is SUCH a valuable asset….working football games, special events…and training several hours a day also!

In reality, K9 Disney has been nothing but a huge money pit, taking money away from things the department actually NEEDS (like more officers, new equipment/vehicles, etc). The dog itself was provided by funding through the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; however, all her incidental expenses have added up bigtime.

First, ASUPD paid for Det. Parker Dunwoody to go through 10 weeks of k9 handling school. Dunwoody gets a lot of OT and stipends for “training” and taking care of his dog (apparently, wandering around Sun Devil Stadium all day and making your own schedule constitutes “training”?). Also, since the first K9 vehicle Disney had wasn’t good enough, ASUPD recently purchased a brand new, pimped out K9 vehicle! Let’s not forget K9 Disney’s “official” trading cards too, paid for by ASUPD.

The absolute kicker to this situation is that K9 Disney spends most of her time WORKING AT EVENTS THAT AREN’T EVEN ASU RELATED!!! For example, according to this State Press article, K9 Disney Disney”assisted other agencies around the valley, including the Salt River Police and Tempe Police to search for missing firearms and possible bombs” and  “made appearances at the 2011 Super Bowl game in Dallas and the U.S. Open in California. Disney also assisted in the aftermath of the Gabrielle Giffords’ shooting in Tucson. ” Or what about competing in the Desert Dog Regional Police K9 Trials in 2012?

She isn’t available to ASU officer call-outs for assistance, but occasionally works special events on campus…that is when her handler stops reading all the google alerts put out by this blog! (“internet police” isn’t an ACTUAL job!).

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