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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14 thoughts on “Why ASUPD is incapable of handing an active shooter scenario

  1. TalkingHead says:

    According to Hardina’s line of thinking, when officers have to deal with an active shooter–a person who has already shot or attempted to shoot innocent people–we should try other tactics to take care of the situation…pepper spray, baton, taser, a hug, etc.

    I am glad Hardina got called out! This video is proof of his incompetence; he can’t even answer simple and direct questions about his own departments policy, or what type of training his officers receive.

    His role in the department is basically occupying a chair and doing absolutely nothing; he prevents critical information, paperwork, requisitions, etc from making their way onto the Chief’s desk…basically a black hole.

    • FlamingPileMallcoppery says:

      As a sock puppet for the chief’s 9 iron he doesn’t do a lock of thinking. If he did he would have something credible to say in this encounter. Instead he’s caught with his ass hanging out the same way many would be caught if an active shooter incident happened.

  2. FlamingPileMallcoppery says:

    He doesn’t have a fucking clue, look at the video, he’s looking left, right, up, everywhere but at the person asking him questions. Liars do the same thing. The truth is we don’t have a plan, even if we did he probably wouldn’t know what the fuck it was. If he was honest he would look the reporter in the eye and say, “Sorry, we don’t have a plan, but we hope Tempe does.”

    If anyone was wondering why our command staff was hiding behind Tempe’s Chief as the public speaker of ASU safety this is a good example. They can’t answer the basic questions any officer should be able to answer and that’s an epic fail. Maybe they should have spent more time doing police work and less time talking about shit they don’t have a clue about it. Maybe they should have spent more time doing police work and less time politicking.

    If they spent more time doing police work they could have a plan. What are a chief, two assistant chiefs, five commanders, and seventeen sergeants so busy doing besides developing a plan for the most critical of calls? Other than wasting tax payer dollars, we have no idea.

  3. DL500unit says:

    I haven’t seen this much blinking since OJ said he was innocent. Keep searching for the answers, the lies will come to you. This peacetime admin marine needs to talk to the wartime combat marine from the wars in the middle east where you didn’t just go in and kill everything, you distinguished between foe and friendly just like the reporter explained or hasn’t he read anything on the war in 10 years? Probably not. I wish the real combat marine was there at this meeting to clear up this misconception. Hardina was too busy searching for his answers to listen.

    Another issue is the dancing around about not shooting and killing the active shooter. He would fail a basic officer recruit oral board with his lame duck answer. This is one of many ways you can distinguish the puppet in the video from someone who was a real cop dealing with actual police threats. Hardina would be chunks in a banger’s stool if he worked a real police beat with his scripted outdated use of force continuum nonsense. We identify the threat and take it out, plain and simple, otherwise more people die.

    He dances around the possibility of “allowing” Americans their constitutional right to carry with the argument that you would be arming boyfriends and girlfriends who would shoot each other? That’s a liberal talking about guns, not someone who knows anything on the subject. This isn’t the hood. Most college students don’t own a gun or know how to operate one. The few who do are more than likely good guys who could handle the situation long before help arrives. Instead an active shooter can count on an unarmed populace and no resistance. Ask Jared Lee Loughner how effective the no guns wanted belief worked out in 2011. It didn’t stop him.

    Based on this interview if there is an active shooter officers should respond with Hardina on point as the less lethal deployment tool. When he gets the most likely response from an active shooter the officers behind him can use him as a shield to absorb rounds and prevent further casualties.

  4. smokey261 says:

    From the way Jimbo is answering it looks like he was walking to lunch and the reporter ambushed him. We know this isn’t true, he appears unprepared and doesn’t understand the topic.

    Our leadership is so resistant to anyone but us having guns to protect themselves, but that’s how it is in the real world outside of ASU. We don’t have enough of us to adequately patrol the campuses, so is it fair for the government to tell all the people we can’t protect, no sorry no guns for law abiding citizens? Common sense says no, scared ASUPD leadership says yes.

  5. ScumDevilPO says:

    Any skilled investigator could tell you Hardina’s eye movements, evasiveness, and circular logic would be indicative of deception.

    So essentially, asking any pointed question or telling him the truth about what is happening within the department would cause him to lose his shit (and he is supposed to be a professional!).

  6. popo39machine says:

    Quite a few problems here. First the public needs to realize this man is the second in charge of leading the police department. Can you believe it? Do you see a leader when you watch this? No, of course not. This is the most indecisive video of a man wearing a police uniform during an interview I have ever seen.

    Second, when a mad man is blowing away people this guy says we will be considering less lethal options and carefully assessing? Wrong again. Our job is public safety, we have a known deadly threat actively killing people. Our job is to get there safely, tacticly, and eliminate (kill, kill, kill) the threat as soon as possible. If he barricades himself we trap him in and set up a perimeter for what most likely would be Tempe SWAT.

    Special Weapons and Tactics training has been used by the wartime marine corps for some time, the active duty guy knows this and Hardina worked at a desk nearly his whole life. The Ooh Rah began and ended at boot camp.

    Aside from the wishy washy unpreparedness, the lack of knowledge to speak intelligently with authority on the subject the assistant chief missed the most obvious issue.

    The threat of an active shooter comes from the public, who will most likely do some research about the target, the responding agency, in order to be successful with their evil plan. What kind of dumb shit would want to give the bad guys the plans of what we are going to be doing so the bad guy can counter our response and kill responding units, more of the public, before we get them? Not too hard to find this video and by seeing this man as the head of leadership it can only be a boost in confidence for those who wish us harm.

  7. Justanotherdispensible50 says:

    How about getting a working plan and training together, putting it in place, doing it instead of fibbing about it. Chief Hardina can start off sitting up, looking into the camera, and saying, “Our goal is public safety and we work hard to maintain that promise. The Arizona State University Police Department has a number of response plans for an active shooter scenario. Every year our agency conducts active shooter training in different buildings throughout campus in order to adapt our tactics to different challenges.

    We use training projectile weapons against one another to apply what we have learned and learn new tactics from guest SWAT instructors coming from agencies throughout Arizona. As much as I would like to tell you our plans I cannot because this information could be used against us in the future. What I can do is invite you and reporters from your group to a training session as long as none of our tactics are revealed in your story. You would have to sign a waiver given us redaction rights over copy covering tactics.”

    Instead you have an adolescent reaching for answers that aren’t there as an adult questions him about a real serious issue. If you can’t play get away from the camera until you can and avoid embarrassing the agency. Dealing with an active shooter isn’t a joke; it’s not something we can afford to take lightly.

  8. WheresMy907 says:

    Most police departments would be sensible enough to realize better trained officers mean less liability and increased public safety. The ASUPD command has a much different perspective.

    Why spend money to better an employee when chances are they are going to run away to another agency? This is why training is more than an afterthought, it’s discouraged by command who shoot down free training requests for officers year after year without justification. No justification they want to admit to at least.

    Look how unprepared Hardina was for this interview, he must have had his training requests for public speaking, organization, and leadership denied.

  9. Twocents says:

    Without Tempe it could be a disaster, Crow and our command are wearing out their welcome with them.

  10. Thinblueline1 says:

    We are constantly sending out overtime requests for people to work normal shifts. We send Tempe staff to polytech campus, west, and downtown nearly every day.

    Clearly we don’t have staffing. No training for active shooters, and most officers don’t have rifles they are qualified to used.

  11. DoneSon says:

    There’s a lot you can’t do when you can’t staff a police department because the level of suck is so high nobody worth a shit wants to stick around. They continually leave for better work environments, teams, pay, benefits, opportunities, and they don’t have to pay for parking to risk their lives at work as part of their job.

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