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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11 thoughts on “ASUPD nearly botches a missing student case!

  1. FlamingPileMallcoppery says:

    I would call this a case of dodging the bullet, but after so much bumbling for so long it’s a just another time out in a corner with the dunce cap. She eventually turned up so there was no publicity, no accountability from Crow’s office, no consequences, and another chance ASUPD command to screw up big.

  2. exploring delinquency says:

    This is an astounding screw up of ASUPD’s job. Ever since my first encounter with ASUPD, i asked myself why they call themselves an actually police department as there are some notable differences in their actions compared to other departments, but this just spells it out clearly… I hope that soon there will be some heads rolling, or some proper legal scrutiny in response to the handling of this case.

    Most PD i have respect for because i know that if i were to ever need them they will be there and they genuinely care about the individuals (even though I’m a delinquent!). ASUPD however has left me feeling more insecure about my personal safety than any other department which actually has led me of all people to get firearms training as i believe that i could do a better job protecting myself.

  3. Justanotherdispensible50 says:

    One of the many many people who worked at ASUPD and left in disgust to be successful at another agency said it best when they said, “At ASUPD you have a lot of certified police officers and no cops.” The truth is most of the supervisors at ASUPD only worked at ASUPD and briefly worked the road before rapid promotion up through the ranks.

    Most ASUPD supervisors were on patrol for a relatively short period of time and this is patrol at a relatively tame university where civilian police aides can handle most of the traffic.

    The ASU downtown campus is almost entirely staffed with civilian, non-police officers. When real police incidents happen there is a lack of people who know what to do and that’s how come incidents like this happen over and over again. I heard Tempe PD was pissed and they have every right to be.

  4. Quick call Tempe! says:

    It’s only “astounding” if you don’t work in the department. I don’t know why anyone with options would voluntarily come here to work as an officer unless they didn’t know anything about the “organization”.

    You won’t get a pay raise unless you get promoted. Promotions are not by merit, they’re political decisions. “What? Who got promoted?!?” is common. There won’t be any realistic chances for promotion happening soon because we already have a 3-1 supervisor to officer ratio. The tuition benefit isn’t “free” and you will earn enough elsewhere to send your dependent to school.

    Rookie officers in training and veteran lateral officers who don’t get washed through our lousy FTO program quickly figure out the game and attempt to salvage their careers by leaving as soon as possible. You wonder why ASUPD is always hiring? There it is.

  5. BurningheapofFail says:

    It’s going to get a whole lot worse before it gets better, command is clueless, nobody trusts them, and everyone is looking out for themselves. If 2013 was a rough year for the PD 2014 and beyond will be much worse. The negative karma is coming back with interest and then some.

  6. guerriero says:

    This is a play by play demonstration of why the current ASUPD administration can talk the talk and not walk the walk. Good work Integrity Report, another kick in the balls to the people responsible for nosediving this agency into the ground.

  7. WheresMy907 says:

    I’m glad you exposed this, it needed to be told, and it makes my day. What’s it going to take for decision makers above the chief to fix this shit? The broken Mickey Mouse club leadership doesn’t know what to do and doesn’t have enough sense to ask the people who do know.

    They listen to nobody, no advisory boards, no oral board hiring recommendations, no outside group of experts, nobody. Why? Because they are self-righteous, prideful, ignorant, vindictive asses.

  8. ASUPDsmokeNmirrors says:

    More tales of ASUPD incompetence, what a surprise. I believe Tempe’s command wanted to come to ASUPD for a meeting about why ASUPD couldn’t cope with this case and did nothing for five days. A meeting they were justified in calling for since the Hardina crowd and commanders wanted to dump the case on them. It was an ASUPD dispatcher who did the detective work looking into the details and was finally able to locate the girl.

  9. ComeOnNow says:

    Why is it everyone is leaving out the fact Tempe punted it to us in the first place and had no idea that they had arrested her already and she was in jail. I guess ASU is the only department that gets called out on their mistakes on this blog.

    • Justanotherdispensible50 says:

      Why? Because this blog is titled, “The Integrity Report on the ASU Police Department”. There is too much bullshit to contend with here to even begin to be concerned with what’s going on in Tempe PD. It sounds like they got tired of taking our calls punted to them and finally punted back to us for a change.

      Besides why would any officer here want to bad mouth his nearest backup officer’s department? They might cancel them on their way as our 906 the way some of our former night sergeants did when our guys went to back up their officers calling 906. Maybe you weren’t here when that happened? Were you there when they saved the day at the Wells Fargo riot/stampede?

      Were you there when they told our officers to stand aside on perimeter as they went in and got a potentially barricaded subject who may have had a firearm. The Tempe patrol officer is the ASUPD patrol officer’s best friend. You must be some admin desk jockey who knows more about office fornication than police work. Carry on.

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