Monthly Archives: March 2014

ASUPD’s recruiting brochure: trying to “fix” the department by throwing more staffing at the problem

As part of ASUPD’s desperate effort to “fix” the department, ASUPD has focused the majority of its time and energy on bolstering staffing; this has included hiring a recruiter, establishing an employee referral program, and also producing a recruitment video. Additionally, ASUPD also quietly produced and distributed a formal recruitment brochure filled with the same half-truths contained within the training video.

While this is certainly not groundbreaking information, it perfectly illustrates the attitude the university/Command staff has about the current problems in the PD: instead of reprimanding or removing problem employees that hurt morale and cause people to leave, we will throw more staffing at the problem and hope that it goes away.

Clearly the department has put forth more effort producing recruitment materials than it ever has actually managing people and improving the department from within.

Check out the brochure here.

Comment below with your thoughts!


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ASU is non-compliant with the Clery Act and also Title IX!

Two major state universities in Michigan are currently under investigation by the Department of Education for alleged non-compliance with the Clery Act and also Title IX, according to a recent article from Campus Safety Magazine. The complaint states that both the University of Michigan, and Michigan State University failed to appropriately handle sexual abuse cases.

The complaints lodged against UM/MSU are very similiar to issues we raised in our recent article, ASU misrepresents its crime statistics, violates Clery Act (Part two).  Like UM/MSU, ASU failed appropriately handle several forcible sexual offenses.  ASU failed to report a sexual assault statistic in its 2013 Clery report, and in 2011, ASUPD failed to report at least seven sexual forcible sexual offenses.

We have previously discussed the requirements ASU must follow under the Clery Act (due to their status as a university which accepts federal financial aid), but we have yet to mention how ASU may also be in violation of Title IX. Title IX is a law passed in 1972 which requires gender equity for boys and girls in every educational program that receives federal funding. It is most commonly thought of in reference to college athletic programs, but it has a wide range of applicability, including sexual harassment and sexual violence.

According to an article on Title IX from Campus Safety Magazine:

  • Sexual violence is viewed under the law as an extreme form of hostile environment/sexual harassment and must be addressed. When an institution “knows or reasonably should know” about a hostile environment, they are required “to take immediate action to eliminate the harassment, prevent its recurrence and address its effects.” Institutions must adopt and publicize policies as well as designate at least one Title IX coordinator to respond to their obligations under the law.

In 2011, the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights began an initiative to require greater compliance for schools to adhere to Title IX, which included sending a letter to applicable institutions outlining the requirements. Under the requirements, ASU’s Title IX coordinator is required to communicate regularly with the school’s law enforcement unit investigating cases (ASUPD) and provide them with information regarding Title IX’s requirements. How can ASUPD refer cases to the Title IX coordinator when the department reclassifies or omits sexual offense cases from its Clery report? In addition to this, ASU’s Title IX coordinator has been accused of failing to investigate claims of sexual harassment, making the purpose of having a Title IX coordinator effectively useless.

By failing to comply with Title IX, ASU is at risk of losing its federal funding, and some cases may also be referred to the Department of Justice for litigation (this is in additional to the financial penalties the university may suffer from failing to comply with the Clery Act requirements). The student group Sun Devils Against Sexual Assault is currently in the process of filing a complaint with the Department of Education over ASU’s non-compliance with Title IX (which will hopefully incorporate ASUPD’s non-compliance with its Clery Act reporting.


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ASUPD’s firearms training is far from “professional”

In the past, we’ve briefly mentioned some issues surrounding ASUPD’s firearms training unit, and its professional standards (we are discussing the unit as a whole). The problems surrounding firearms training at ASUPD have been already extensively documented within the department, through both formal and informal complaints. Unfortunately, the issues at hand have yet to be even broached within the department, and are still ongoing.

This list is by no means conclusive, but touches on the major issues department personnel have with ASUPD’s firearms training.

  1. ASUPD’s line-level officers must utilize an outdoor range, while ASUPD’s firearms instructors are allowed to utilize Tempe PD’s indoor range.
    • This is self-explanatory. Line-level officers have to suffer through 110+ degree weather and no shade to qualify, while the firearms instructors (and occasionally, an officer tight with the firearms crew) use Tempe PD’s indoor, air conditioned range.
  2. ASUPD’s outdoor range has no restroom facilities, no access to water or shade. 
    • The outdoor range in the summer time is like being in hell. It’s dirty, very hot, and very dry. Have to use the restroom? Hope using the open desert as your toilet is acceptable. One officer previously filed a complaint with OSHA regarding the lack of bathroom facilities. Did we mention the broken glass and garbage scattered around the range as well?desert
  3. The range is a very long commute for nearly all of ASUPD’s officers…and that commute doesn’t come with reimbursement for mileage (most officers use their POV).
  4. ASUPD’s officers aren’t provided ammo for practice before qualification.
    • Officers already don’t make very much, but having them bear the additional burden of paying for their own ammo to practice is ludicrous. Tempe PD’s officers make more than ASUPDs’, AND they still receive a box of ammo for training purposes per month.
  5. Some members of the firearms staff create a hostile training environment on the range.
    • While handling a firearm, the last thing an officer needs to be concerned about is being treated like a scolded child. Even in emails sent out to members of the department, some of the firearms staff come across as condescending and rude. Qualification is already stressful enough–you shouldn’t be assing up your employees BEFORE they even get to the range.
  6. The firearms training unit is similiar to a fraternity!
    • It is essentially a “good ole boy’s club”, and if you are not part of it, you are treated like an outsider. The mission and focus should be on making sure all your officers can successfully qualify, reinforcing good habits, emphasizing marksmanship…ie, TRAINING! The mark of a good instructor is measured by the officers that succeed.hay

ASUPD Firearms Frolic

These pictures are NOT indicative of a “professional” firearms unit, and convey how serious some of the instructors take their jobs.

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Why ASUPD is incapable of handing an active shooter scenario

We have made several posts on The Integrity Report about why Arizona State University’s campuses are unsafe, and the issue of handling an active shooter on campus has been a reoccurring topic (click here to view our previous posts about active shooters).

To adequately prepare for a possible active shooter scenario, ASUPD’s approach must be three-pronged: ASUPD needs more officers to be able to respond/manage major situations, ASUPD needs to have a clear/common sense policy, and ASUPD needs to give its officers appropriate training.

Whether or not ASUPD will actually recruit and retain additional officers remains to be seen, but Command staff has known for years that its ability to deal with an active shooter is nonexistent. Several years ago, former Arizona Republic intern Matt Haldane interviewed then-Commander Jim Hardina about active shooters and guns on campus (view the video here). Hardina was unable to articulate what ASUPD’s policy in regards to dealing with an active shooter was!

Here are some excerpts from the interview:

(at :27)

In regards to ASUPD’s policy about active shooters:

Matt Haldane: And does ASU have a specific way of doing that? [referring to handling an active shooter]

Jim Hardina: Well, uh, the police department has a policy and the policy is…you…find the shooter…and…stop them from shooting. And you can’t really say you should do A, B, C, and D, because each situation’s dynamic, so, you know, each, uh…you’ll never have the same situation twice. So basically, the police’s role is to the stop the shooter from shooting, and the public’s role is to put themself (sic) in a position where they’re both safe. And again, you can’t have a specific policy because each situation is uh, different.

In regards to the active shooter training ASUPD’s officers receive:

(at 1:45)

MH: And…we spoke with a former Marine who was suggesting that ASU Police go through the same type of training that um, soliders do, in a combat situation where they’re able to quickly distinguish between a shooter and a bystander. What type of training do police officers receive?

JH: Um, I was in the Marine Corps also, and its a little bit different, what you don’t want is you don’t want police officers training with military tactics because you think soldiers…their job is to attack people and kill people…and that’s what they do. We don’t train police officers with that same kinda mindset clearing buildings, you know, looking to kill people. Um, what we train officers to do is exactly that, identify who’s a threat and who is not a threat, and um, act on the side of not shooting, as opposed to shooting. Police officer’s role is to take the least restrictive amounts to controlling somebody, which, the last resort would be actually killing them.

(So according to Hardina, in an active shooter situation, you shouldn’t be trying to kill the person (threat) who is actively maiming or killing innocent civilians. Interesting.)

Also, according to Hardina, 97% of all campus shootings involve a domestic violence dynamic (3:15); yet according to an FBI report addressing targeted violence at institutions of higher education, only 33.9% of incidents involving a weapon were domestic violence related (and firearms comprised only 54% of weapons used in targeted violence on campus).

So…what is ASUPD’s policy in regards to dealing with an active shooter?

First of all, the policy is titled “Rapid Response and Deployment” PSM 461-03, and it is not specifically limited to an active shooter; it also incorporates active terrorism. The initial officer on scene is responsible for notifying SWAT or hostage negotiators (neither of which ASU has). After a determination is made that tactical intervention is necessary, “available officers shall form a contact team and deployed as trained”. NONE of ASUPD’s officers receive training in forming tactical teams in a rapid response scenario.

Also, “the contact team should wear soft body armor and ballistic helmets and deploy service weapons, patrol rifles, and shotguns
with slug ammunition, if possible. The team should deploy according to departmental training“.

ASUPD’s officers are lucky if their body armor is replaced before it falls apart or expires; the “patrol riles” purchased by the department are currently in the custody of Chief Pickens and the rest of Command staff (who wouldn’t respond to a situation like this). Once again, no member of the department receives ANY departmental training that would adequately prepare them for this scenario.

This policy is not applicable to any member of the department, as NOONE has the proper training that falls in line with this policy (nor does ASUPD have the resources–SWAT, hostage negotiator, rifles–it cites its officers should use). The unofficial policy of dealing with a scenario like this? Call Tempe PD.

What type of training do ASUPD’s officer’s receive to deal with active shooters?

In addition to not receiving tactical ANY training to deal with an active shooter, the only post-academy training ASU’s officers receive is limited to free training ASU provides to all its students, faculty, and staff (check it out here). This video is geared toward  students/employees faced with an active shooter, and does NOT provide any sort of tactical training to a person working in a law enforcement capacity.

As we’ve previously mentioned, it is only a matter of time until ASUPD is forced to deal with an active shooter. The indifference/incompetence allowed to fester on the top level of the department will ultimately come at the expensive of an innocent civilian or a fellow officer.

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ASU misrepresents its crime statistics, violates Clery Act (Part Two)

In our last Clery post, entitled “ASUPD misrepresents its crime statistics, violates Clery Act (Part One)” , we looked at what the Clery Act is, what reporting is required  of universities who are obligated to adhere to Clery, and why the Clery Act is so important. In this second installment, we are going to discuss how exactly ASUPD is misrepresenting its crime statistics (and how that violates the requirements of the Clery Act).

1. ASUPD omits crime stats from specific reporting areas required under the Clery Act

In our previous post about the Clery act, we discussed different areas other than campus ASU is required to provide crime statistics for, namely:

Public Property

  • Public property (All public property, including thoroughfares, streets, sidewalks, and parking facilities, that is within the campus, or immediately adjacent to and accessible from the campus, as well as any public transit stops adjacent to campus).

However, according to page 33 of ASU’s 2013 Annual Security and Crime Safety report, we found this small disclaimer:

Clery public prob

Similarly, on page 34 of the Crime Safety report, we found this disclaimer for West, Poly, Downtown and Lake Havasu campus’ public property reporting:

West poly public

Down Lake Havasu

So essentially, what ASUPD is telling the public via the Crime safety report is that the crime stats on the report do NOT include areas adjacent to ANY campus, nor do they include the crime stats for the EIGHTEEN areas considered “non campus properties”.

ASUPD’s excuse for not including public property crimes is that ASU “is unable to provide a statistical breakdown appropriate for Clery Act reporting” is a weak excuse. The “Handbook for Campus Safety and Security Reporting” requires a university  to show a “good faith” effort to collect crime data from another non-university police agency.

This “disclaimer” about not having statistical data appropriate for Clery reporting is to be utilized when other agencies refuse to release their crime statistics, or  the information provided to the university is unable to be attributed to ANY of the university’s Clery geography (page 103).  ASU IS provided crime stats/information (by Tempe PD) that are able to be broken down to the “public property” level simply by looking at the physical location of the offense; this is the type of work that crime analysts routinely engage in.

ASU is also able to request the crime stats for their non-campus properities by merely providing the address of the property to the appropriate jurisdiction. We reached out to Scottsdale PD, home of Skysong (one of the non-campus property locations) and we were told that ASU contacted them approximately one time to request crime information.

We accessed the database referenced in page 33 of the Crime Safety report to see what crimes ASU may have missed because of its exclusion of public property statistics, and this is what we found for ASU’s Tempe Campus:

Tempe 1

Tempe 2

ASU excluded a significant amount of crimes occurring adjacent to campus (and several that occurred ON campus but were handled by other police agencies) from its Crime Safety Report (go to and use the date range of August 2012-August 2013 to view the above posted data in a clickable format)

 Non-campus property

These are the non-campus statistics from ASU’s Skysong Campus which are not included on the Tempe non-campus property in the Crime Safety report (cited from, using the date range of August 2012-August 2013): Note that the campus boundary is marked with a solid blue line, and each of the crimes are circled in red.

Skysong crimes

Note there are five motor vehicle thefts, one sexual assault, and one commercial burglary NOT included in ASU’s Crime Safety Report.


2. ASUPD improperly classifies crimes so they don’t meet the criteria for Clery reporting

Sex offenses

Perhaps the most misclassified/reclassified type of crime are those linked to sex offenses. Clery Act has a much more broad definition of what a sex offense is compared to definition used by the UCR (which excludes forcible fondling). Under the Clery Act, there are two types of sex offenses: forcible and non-forcible.

  • Forcible sex offense: Forcible rape, forcible sodomy, sexual assault with an object, forcible fondling.
  • Non-forcible sex offense: Incest, statutory rape.

“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”, according to an article by

In August 2007, an ASU student reported being sexually assaulted at the Sigma Chi fraternity house. Subsequent follow-up emails to then Assistant Chief Jay Spradling went unanswered, and the sexual assault was later reclassified. The student alleged that her sexual assault was not investigated by Officer Janda (who documented the assault on a field investigation card) because she was intoxicated. Clery specifically states that a sex offense is presumed to be forcible if the person is incapable of giving consent “due to his or temporary/permanent physical or mental incapacity”.

The woman, who later sued the Arizona Board of Regents for violating Title IX, stated ASU has in recent years systematically and severely underreported sexual assault reports. Her complaint states that in 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.

A 2010 State Press article interviewed a counselor who works with sexual assault victims and is closely affiliated with the university and stated, “ASU does not take sexual assault reports seriously enough, creating a climate that keeps victims quiet and crime stats low”.

In 2011, ASUPD arrested a man accused of fondling at least 14 victims on ASU’s campus the previous year. Under the Clery reporting guidelines, forcible fondling is required to be reported as a forcible sex offense. For the year the incidents occurred (2010), ASU reported a mere 6 forcible sex offenses that occurred on campus (see Campus_Security_Policy )

Prevalence of under reporting sexual assaults

USC, UC Berkley, and Occidental College are all major universities currently facing the possibility of sanctions from the Department of Education for failing to properly report the number of sexual assaults on campus.


ASU has also reclassified several robberies into felony thefts, which would prevent their inclusion into ASU’s Crime Safety Report. Under the Clery Act, robbery is defined as:

    • Robbery: is the taking or attempting to take anything of value from the care, custody, or control of a person
      or persons by force or threat of force or violence and/or by putting the victim in fear.

ASU has had several strong arm robbery series which occurred on ASU’s campus where the victim was robbed of an IPhone and then dragged by a vehicle; under the Clery Act, these crimes should have been listed as a “robbery”, but they were later reclassified to a “felony theft” or merely “theft”.

3. ASU doesn’t utilize its resources properly

While formal training in the field of statistics and crime analysis is not required for persons preparing the Crime Safety Report under the guidelines specified by the Clery Act, that type of knowledge is useful when tasked with processing a large amount of data in a relatively short period of time. ASUPD has been fortunate to have a crime analyst on board for the past few years, but unfortunately, the analysts’ job has been reduced to producing crime maps for bike thefts on campus.

ASU’s former analyst (who has subsequently left the department for greener pastures) was much more qualified to process and analyze crime data compared to the Commander in charge of Clery reporting (Michele Rourke), who merely possesses a bachelor’s degree in English and has no formal training in statistics

Additionally, with such a large criminal justice undergraduate/graduate program, ASUPD could utilize several unpaid student volunteers or interns to process and catalog crime reports; this is a relatively common practice in larger departments such as Tempe PD.

4. ASU needs stronger partnerships with other agencies

After looking at the various locations where ASU has property/research labs, it is obvious that the university’s footprint is pretty significant. ASU has demonstrated that it does not have the resources, training, or personnel to effectively fulfill its obligations under the Clery Act; ASU needs to form stronger partnerships and more effective ways to communicate with other police departments. Building a rapport with another agency would assist ASU in obtaining the proper crime information necessary for a thorough Crime Safety report, and perhaps allowing ASU to assist that agency in some other area in the future.

 All of this information, especially when coupled with the storm of negative media coverage over ASU’s crime situation, are evidence that ASU’s students/faculty/staff are NOT as safe as the university would lead them to believe. ASUPD knows the magnitude of the crime problems on and around all campuses, but refuses to do anything about it. 

There is no more hiding behind Tempe PD or any other police agencies; the other agencies did not create the staffing shortages, the lack of training, or incentives to stay in the department—you did, Command staff!  ASUPD is unable to fulfill its basic obligation to serve and protect its community. It is now a matter of time before ASU starts losing students (and $$) because of these shocking safety issues.

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