Monthly Archives: April 2014

ASUPD nearly botches a missing student case!

 On 04-03-14, ASUPD botched yet another major call–this time a potentially missing international ASU student.

The student was last seen on the ASU Tempe campus, and this time it’s the job of ASUPD to search for and locate this student instead of the Tempe Police Department. The student’s apartment was filled with personal items someone typically wouldn’t leave behind if they were going somewhere–credit cards, money, purse, phone, and items that would have been of evidentiary value if a crime was involved. Due to this student’s status as an international student,  there were not many local contacts available to interview for further information. Additionally, the student’s Facebook and email was being used by someone admitting to be a third party and leaving cryptic messages about the status of the student without giving a location

The direct supervisor of detectives, ASUPD Sergeant Lewis was under the impression a crime had to already be committed to apply for a search warrant in this missing person case. Over the next five days this must have been believed to be true by the commander, assistant chief, and chief closely following this case and overseeing its lack of progress. All the ASUPD Commanders (who are hardly ever at their respective campuses) were running around the Tempe station in a panic, clueless about how to proceed.

What was ASUPD’s solution to finding this missing female student over the next five days? Have patrol Sergeant Macias and Detective Bryner knock on the door of the residence on three separate occasions with negative contact. A brief interview was done with the boyfriend (usually a person of interest in missing persons cases), but nothing was discovered. There was NO extensive search of the jails or hospitals, and no search warrants issued for her residence, phone, email…nothing! After five days with no leads, the case looked increasingly bleak. Instead of searching for more information, ASUPD stopped looking for more leads in this case.

As this investigation grinded to a halt, Chief Pickens (clueless has how to proceed), delegated the responsibility for handling the situation to his two assistant chiefs.  Assistant Chief Hardina reacted with a typical ASUPD response: let’s not enter it into NCIC…let’s give it to Tempe PD! His counterpart, Assistant Chief Thompson (with experience from a legitimate police agency) decided to enter it into NCIC and work the case like a responsible, capable, police department would. There was an internal debate raging on the third floor; should ASUPD continue to work this stagnant missing persons case, or should ASUPD hand it over to Tempe (where the student resided)? This was a last ditch attempt to avoid any more negative press about ASU.

When Tempe PD was notified of the missing person case (and how ASUPD failed to make any headway in the case), they immediately demanded a meeting with ASUPD’s Command Staff. Commander Michele Rourke was given the task of meeting Tempe PD to answer for ASUPD’s incompetence. However, at the last minute, a search of the local jails was done and the student was located; the meeting with Tempe PD was subsequently canceled.

This is further proof that ASUPD is incapable of handling a major incident on campus, due solely to incompetent leadership and an understaffed (and undertrained!) police department.

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Can ASUPD effectively handle a major incident (assault/attemped kidnapping of ASU student) with low staffing?

Approximately a week ago, a woman was assaulted while running in the area of Lot 59 (possibly an attempted kidnapping?). At a competent police department, a perimeter would be set up to locate the suspect, photographs of the victim’s injuries would be documented, and the victim and any possible witnesses would interviewed as soon as possible.

At ASUPD, however, you are required to do all those things with only TWO OFFICERS AVAILABLE at Tempe campus, assuming one doesn’t get shifted to another campus for coverage (as an aside, there were TWO supervisors working to supervise those TWO officers!). There were a total of FIVE sworn between the FOUR campuses!! Check out a copy of the schedule here: schedule 2.

This is UNACCEPTABLE. Not only can the lack of officers impede the search for the suspect, one major incident could tie up all the available units on campus. Had the suspect attacked another victim elsewhere on campus, ASUPD would be completely incapacitated.

This is a prime example of the staffing crisis ASUPD has been experiencing for nearly seven months now, and its solution of “throwing more bodies at the problem” hasn’t worked due to ASUPD’s FTO program (two more officers were recently washed out). How many more of these incidents need to transpire before someone realizes ASUPD cannot effectively manage its own people and resources?

Until ASUPD manages to fix itself–either freely or by force–we will continue to post schedules, memos, documents, etc which highlight how unsafe and mismanaged ASUPD is. The next step is to begin submitting FOIA requests for ASUPD’s financial records, emails, and personnel files, as well as moving up the food chain toward Morgan Olsen, Kevin Salcido, and ultimately, Michael Crow.

We will continue to air the misdeeds and inaction on the part of ASUPD’s Command Staff (Chief Pickens; Assistant Chiefs Hardina and Thompson; and Commanders Orr, Scichilon, Willams, and Rourke) until the department’s problems are resolved or members of Command Staff start to throw in the towel–whichever comes first.

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Tempe named one of the most dangerous suburbs in America!

From the Phoenix New Times Blog:

Of the 10 most-dangerous suburbs in America, two of them are suburbs of Phoenix.

That’s according to the real estate website Movoto, which ranked Glendale as the seventh-most dangerous, and Tempe the eighth-most, based on FBI crime data.

The people who put the ranking together took into account murders, other violent crimes, property crimes, and total crimes, all per 100,000 people, to compare the suburbs to one another.

In Glendale, there were 6,410 property crimes per 100,000 people in 2012, the worst of any suburb. Total crime, at 6,901 per 100,000 was the sixth-highest. Glendale also ranked 18th for murders, and 18th for other violent crimes.

The odds of being a victim of a crime in Glendale in 2012 were 1 in 14.

Meanwhile, Tempe ranked 14th for property crimes and 12th for total crime.

The violent crimes are what put Tempe on the list: with seven murders per 100,000 people, the 11th-most, and 519 other violent crimes per 100,000 people, ranking 16th.

That put your odds of being a crime victim in Tempe 1 in 19 in 2012.

The six most-dangerous suburbs, beating out Glendale and Tempe, were East Point, Georgia; Camden, New Jersey; Miami Beach, Florida; Midwest City, Oklahoma; Miami Gardens, Florida; and Clarksville, Indiana.

We’re speculating the high property crime rate stems from ASU’s Tempe campus, which reported nearly 1,000 theft related crimes from it’s 2012 Clery Report. Violent crimes statistics on ASU’s Tempe Campus (forcible sex offenses, robbery, and burglary) also showed significant increases in 2012, as compared to the previous year.

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How The Integrity Report has changed ASUPD

We have received a few emails and comments from critics of The Integrity Report who like to categorize us as a  small group of “disgruntled ASUPD employees” whose issues aren’t important or legitimate. We also know ASUPD Command Staff and university officials have a similiar perception of the blog–complaints from one or two department members who don’t represent the majority opinion of the department.

The issues discussed here are very relevant to the majority of the department, and have been previously or are currently being discussed by members of ASUPD. Also, the reaction from ASUPD Command staff and university higher-ups have in regard to the blog supports the assertion that the issues discussed here ARE relevant, because many of them have elicited a knee-jerk response on behalf of ASU. Here’s our list of changes at ASUPD brought about as a direct/indirect result of the issues discussed at The Integrity Report:

The Pay Raises:During the Summer of 2013, an ASUPD employee posted a negative job review on the job searching site Soon after, a giant discussion began to brew on indeed’s employer forums area about how miserable people were working at ASUPD (the majority of the posts were subsequently removed by, thanks to a call from a member from Command staff to the site’s administrators). Following in the footsteps of for The Integrity Report was created for the purpose of continuing the open discussion about ASUPD’s problems.

After the slew of negative publicity about ASUPD continued (and was not able to be stopped), ASUPD decided to give its officers a “pay update” after 5+ years of pay freezes. The timing of the pay raise was very coincidental, especially considering that employees had broached the issues of a pay raise since 2009, only to be dismissed by Chief Pickens.

Resurrection of the Chief’s Advisory Board: The Chief’s Advisory Board is a tool where a select group of people chosen by the Chief go to voice their concerns over departmental issues , in hopes of some resolution. The Board has been around for years, but essentially went defunct in 2009. However, in September of 2013–directly following the and blog scandals–the Chief’s Advisory Board sprang back to life. Pickens’ sent out a department wide email promising to use the board to resolve issues and move the department in a positive direction. Since the advisory board has come back, it has only met a handful of times, and none of the suggestions on improving the department have been implemented (other than getting rid of the mosquito problem in Tempe 103).

ASUPD’s involvement with HR: In an effort to straighten out ASUPD’s problems (and perhaps quash the flow of information to the blog), the head of ASU’s Human Resources, Kevin Salcido, began to look into the situation at the PD. Many felt (us included) that Salcido was genuinely interested in helping the PD; he listened to the concerns of at least 10 previous and current employees and stated that he would “look into”problems that were reoccurring. However, after plainly stating he was not formally investigating anyone in the PD, it became apparent Salcido was only interested in intel gathering from these “disgruntled employees”, mentioning the blog to several employees.

Employees can’t access their email on days off, post old schedules: One of our posts (where we released an old schedule to show how dangerously low staffing levels are) prompted an email to be sent to all PD employees from Kevin Salcido. This email first discussed all the things the department is doing to turn itself around (none of which have made a positive impact), and went on to state that posting an old schedule was a “security” concern and could result in termination. Shortly after this email, another email was sent to department employees forbidding them from accessing their email on their days off.

ASUPD tried several tactics to bolster staffing numbers: Following the slew of posts made about ASU’s low staffing numbers, as well as the discussion in the Chief’s Advisory Board, ASU posted a job opening for a PD recruiter position on, as well as started an employee referral program., and created a recruiting video and brochure.

ASUPD kicked off it’s “2014 Apology Tour”: Chief Pickens held mandatory meetings at each of the satellite campuses in his first even “Apology Tour”. He felt the need to tell all of his supposed disgruntled employees personally how hard he was working to improve the department, and how much he cares about each of his employees in an effort to preserve his job. Prior to the blog, Pickens would rarely go to any of the satellite campuses, especially not for a positive reason.

 ASUPD starts taking training seriously: We have emphasized the important of training a lot here, especially in regards how poorly training your employees opens up your department for civil liability. After years of arbitrarily assigning officers/PAs to train new employees (without any formal training on how to properly do so), ASUPD has been actually sending their sworn and civilian employees to the appropriate training.

Recently, all of ASUPD’s supervisors also had some legal training from ASUPD’s legal advisers, Ginn and Edwards. The topic of discussion was none other than civil liability for supervisors! After year and years of improper training and supervision, it seems quite odd that ASUPD finally broached the issue now?

ASUPD’s “Start By Believing”: Again, the sudden emphasis on sexual violence victims comes on the heels of an article we posted on the safety of students on campus under Title IX, as well as an article about how ASUPD omitted or incorrectly reported the number of sex offenses reported under the Clery Act.

This blog and its issues have helped to set the stage for change, but it has happened because of all of ASUPD’s employees who refuse to get treated poorly, who refuse to work in a hostile environment, and who don’t accept the status quo! Thanks all for disseminating this blog and its issues to the entire AZ LE community (and also the rest of the world); it has shamed ASUPD into slowly changing their ways. However, there are still more hard issues worth discussing and battles worth waging in the near future, so stay tuned.

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Editorial: “Start by Believing” ASUPD is part of the problem!

ASUPD has been in the media spotlight a great deal recently, and this time, it’s for a good reason; ASUPD, in partnership with university officials, have kicked off a campaign called “Start by Believing” to show support for victims of sexual violence. According to the campaign website, the theory behind the slogan is:

…to bring attention to victims of sexual assault, and not revictimize them through disbelief when they report the crime. Disbelief may come from friends, family, nurses, law enforcement or others whom the victim normally would expect to support them….There are many instances that aren’t reported because of fear of being told that someone brought it on themselves. This type of thinking needs to change. We need to start by believing victims of sexual assault when they come forward. It’s traumatic enough.

The article also mentions the “proclamation” signed by Chief Pickens and Michael Crow (which all department employees received a copy of) that shows how committed ASUPD is to serving victims of sexual violence.

While we think the attention given to the issue of sexual violence on campus is much deserved, we can’t help but be struck by the irony of the situation. The sudden emphasis on sexual violence victims comes on the heels of an article we posted on the safety of students on campus under Title IX, as well as an article about how ASUPD omitted or incorrectly reported the number of sex offenses reported under the Clery Act. Let’s also not forget the rash of sex offenses that occurred during ASU’s “Safe and Sober Campaign”, or the increase in ASU’s sex offense numbers that were actually reported to Clery.

If ASUPD is serious about supporting victims of sexual violence, they could start by appropriately reporting sex offenses in the Clery Report, as they are required to do, by law. Omitting or reclassifying sex crimes into lesser offenses (such as assault) not only revictimizes the victim, it is another way of telling the victim “we don’t really believe you”.

Next, to counter the recent increase in sex offenses, Chief Pickens could actually staff and maintain a fully-functioning police department that has the ability to proactively deter crime, instead of punting ASU’s problems to the City of Tempe. Actively participating in the campaigns you sponsor/are involved in such as “Safe and Sober”, DUI Task Force, or the Student Safety Taskforce would work to both deter crime and show the campus community how committed you are to making ASU a safer place.

Finally, if ASUPD is serious about supporting victims of sexual violence, they can give their officers the appropriate training they need to effectively do their jobs. The academy spends very little time on training officers on how to deal with sexual assault reports, and the little bit of training that is retained fades exponentially with time. Allocating resources to the people who will actually be HANDLING sexual violence cases ensure cases are appropriately handled, and is more cost-effective than dealing with civil lawsuits or wasting tax payer dollars by writing a fancy “proclamation”.

No amount of squishy emails or “proclamations” sent to ASU’s students/faculty/staff can make up for the fact that behind the glossy exterior of ASUPD’s new building, new uniforms, new badges is a top-heavy Command staff completely devoid of compassion and integrity. No amount of campaigns that ASUPD “participates” in can cover up the glaring irony that exists within its “proclamation”.

Chief Pickens, you need to “Start by Believing” ASUPD is part of the problem before you can commit to supporting victims of sexual violence.


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