ASUPD recently put out a recruiting video (you can watch it here) that was very well produced, but it was full of inaccurate or misleading statements. Here’s our dissection of ASUPD’s recruiting video.
#1 “Great New Facility” This is a misleading statement because the building is going on 8 years old. While this building is a huge improvement over the old one, it remains mostly empty except for the top heavy management third floor and one quarter of the second floor.
#2 “Specialty Assignments” This video gives you the impression that if you work hard you will get a specialty assignment, which is inaccurate. Specialty assignments, with the exception of investigations, are one person details that took half a law enforcement career to get into. All of these assignments are currently filled, and the people in them aren’t leaving anytime soon.
#3 “Bike Squad” There is no designated ASU bike squad, and there never has been. The phrase “Bike Squad” implies you are out patrolling on a bike alongside fellow officers as part of a team. The only ASU officer on a bike squad is the one loaned to Tempe to be a part of their bike squad. The only place you will see more than one ASU officer on a bike is at an ASU football game working overtime. It’s not a squad, it’s a once in a while overtime detail lasting a few hours. ASUPD policy requires more than one officer on duty in order for one to be allowed to ride bikes. The numbers of officers has been so low that no officers have been riding bikes for years unless it’s at a football game.
#4 “Narcotics Unit” There is no ASU Narcotics Unit whatsoever! The phrase “Narcotics Unit” implies you are part of a group of people going after drug dealers, suppliers. There should be one considering the amount of illegal drug use on campus (and the recent DPS bust of an ecstasy pill factory in Vista). We don’t even have a drug dog on campus!. The only ASU officer on a narcotics unit is the one we loaned to Tempe to be a part of their narcotics unit.
#5 “Investigations” Investigations consists of a Sergeant and two officers currently. There is currently one competent detective left, as the other competent one left the department for another agency that appreciates his experience and work ethic. The footage shows the other remaining “detective” dusting for prints inside the department. This “detective” spent under a year on patrol after the academy before she moved into investigations.
#6 Joint Terrorism Taskforce Our only link with the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Taskforce is the corporal we sent them to work full time in their office. His time in the JTTF has really no benefit for ASU, as he spends most of his time doing work unrelated to ASUPD. The footage here shows us at “the qualification range” which is a patch of desert on the Salt River Indian Reservation which is usually 110+ degrees in the summer time.
Urban Environment: Not sure what benefit this is supposed to represent. Urban compared to Phoenix AZ? No. Urban compared to Gilbert AZ Yes. Was this selling point supposed to represent all four of the campus’s we staff? Polytechnic campus is urban? No. The last officer in this slide quit the department for another department prior to the release of this video!
Unique Modes of transportation: You get to be ridiculed for driving around in an electric powered hybrid Ford Escape mocked up to represent a police patrol vehicle. If there’s more than one officer (and there never is unless you are at Tempe) you get a Segway like Paul Blart Mall Cop, or a mountain bike, or a small cc scooter…if you wait a year or many more for the training to come around. Remember, you can’t pedal a bicycle unless you’re trained.
Special Events: Probably a third of the ASUPD staff work overtime for the university. The ASUPD earns half of what the vendors pay for your overtime and you get the other half. Too few ASUPD staff work overtime details that the events coordinator is required to offer outside agencies overtime details to get them filled. After a group departure of dispatchers from three years ago we are still offering department overtime for outside agencies to work our dispatch.
Promote from within: Some internal promotions have been merit-based (we do have some Sergeants that genuinely care about their employees), but primarily promotion processes at ASUPD are riddled with politics. Factors such as who you know, how much brown nosing you accomplished, how you made yourself look competent by putting down others become standard. Promoting people with these character traits reinforces the idea that in this organization it’s not about what you can do in police work.
Tuition Waivers: Assuming you are looking to utilize this benefit, the department’s short staffing make it impossible to take advantage of this perk; after all, how can you plan your class schedule if your work schedule changing REGULARLY due to “poor staffing”
Join us in partnership: The most watered down, over used generic phrase imaginable. The department is a house divided against itself when it should be one team, so if the public doesn’t join us we have nothing.
In conclusion this video packed with half-truths in order for the department to attract prospective employees. ASUPD has a lot of internal work to do before it will be able to respect and retain its employees, and thus eleminate the need for a video filled with fluff. This gimmick video is the latest of a series of gimmicks enlisted to retain or attract employees without any effort or cost to the department.