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

  1. ASUPDsmokeNmirrors says:

    When you apply your version of what you think the county attorney standard will be without letting the CA apply it themselves then you shortcut the criminal justice system. Instead of a positive record that stands on it’s own you are having to prop up the ASUPD standard on this issue which has been dismissive, doubtful, and half assed for years.

  2. BurningheapofFail says:

    They need to complete their sentances. It says “Start by believing…”, it should continue with, “because if you don’t believe then you can’t imagine us giving a shit about an issue we sidelined years ago, an issue we have continually been under scrutiny for for years.

    These used car salesman gimmicks are no substitute for doing what is expected, doing your job.

  3. DoneSon says:

    Come on now embrace the bullshit, we have a strategic plan, it’s called saying we care instead of actually doing something about it.

  4. Justanotherdispensible50 says:

    Maybe they could have given us some step by step plans of how to implement this campaign. How about a practical how to? If you were going to use this nothing more than a publicity stunt then what we have is fine.

  5. WheresMy907 says:

    This little proclamation on paper saying we care uses a lot of fluffy words to say, “Please stop fussing over being raped, victimized and never taken seriously. We don’t want to do anything proactive, we don’t have an intact police agency, we don’t want to get sued, and most importantly we don’t want any negative publicity.”

    It reads like you’re being sold something without knowing what it really is, how you’ll get it, or what it’s worth.

  6. guerriero says:

    You can’t trust a word out of a politician’s mouth. This proclamation is a sales flyer on a program that doesn’t exist.

  7. yurhuckleberry says:

    Start by believing? I do believe. I believe John Pickens and his merry band of suck up fools can have 1001 high priced meetings, power lunches, and still not have a clue how to run this department effectively or make quality people want to stay here. By having our leader I’ll equiped and I’ll advised he’s the single largest liability for this agency and the university.

    Crow, you need to ask Tempe Police Command what they think of ASUPD and it’s command after how ASU mismanaged the missing Korean girl for five days and didn’t do one competant thing to find her to that point.

    Crow, you are paying top dollar for bottom tier results and you need to re-examine your police department management before you have crisis after crisis you can’t contain.

  8. indeedYOUsay says:

    If the university administration and leadership at asupd were doing their jobs you wouldn’t have to issue this pat yourself on the back for nothing proclaimation.

  9. DL500unit says:

    Look at the slogan of this public relations campaign, “Start by believing…? This implies you were not believing in the first place.We will investigate property crimes to the fullest extent, but unfortunately the people in charge now set the tone that sexual assaults didn’t need any real investigation if alcohol was involved. Genius.

  10. guerriero says:

    More gimmicky game bullshit to hide the facts of what the records show. Nobody believes this shit, they look at the record, the facts.

  11. popo39machine says:

    The public would flip if they knew how poorly our department handled sexual assaults over the years. The facts don’t lie, the stats don’t lie, but you have to be in a privileged place to see the big picture.

  12. […] an editorial last spring entitled “‘Start by Believing’ ASUPD is part of the problem!” we questioned ASU’s true commitment to handling the sex assault problem on campus; we felt […]

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