Recently, a “taskforce” aimed to increase safety for students on ASU’s Tempe Campus met for the first time.
The group was originally formed in the fall of 2013, in response to an increase in the number of violent/alcohol related crimes in and around ASU’s main campus. It is comprised of the presidents of all three state universities (ASU, NAU, U of A), representatives from nearby apartment complexes, as well as Tempe Police Chief Ryff, and ASU Police Chief Pickens.
CBS 5 did a short story about the “taskforce”‘s initial meeting, complete with video footage/interviews shot on campus. Who was selected to represent ASU’s “taskforce for student safety” on ASU’s own turf? Ideally, it would have been someone from ASUPD, since their student populous is the primary focus of the meeting; however, it was Tempe PD’s Chief that spoke to the media about the dire crime situation the student population is facing (notice in one part of the video clip, Chief Ryff is holding a binder emblazoned with ASU’s logo).
According to Ryff, things like changing demographics of the student body and huge growth at ASU are factors that need to be looked at. “We have some serious issues with some catastrophic outcomes and our goal is to try to prevent that from happening again,” Ryff said.
Once again, ASUPD relies on Tempe PD to solve its crime problem, mainly because ASUPD is unable to do so as a result of inadequate staffing and training. It is embarrassing to watch this clip and see how Chief Ryff cares more about ASU’s crime problems than ASU’s own Chief does. Chief Ryff is also intelligent enough to realize the student population of ASU is growing so fast that even if ASUPD was fully-staffed, the department would still struggle to remain on top of the situation.
This is yet another reminder of the shortcomings on behalf of Chief Pickens and his command staff. They are unable to provide any viable discussion or suggestion on the topic of student safety; they are unable to recruit and retain a viable amount of officers (thus, not solving the staffing issue); they are unable to increase the morale of the current employees; they are unable to adequately supervise/train/discipline subordinates that routinely engage in inappropriate behavior; they are unable to effectively run a police department in any capacity.