AZCES raises relevant questions about ASUPD’s ability to train and investigate its officers

ASU Police Officer assaults prisoner

The Arizona Center for Ethnic Studies group raised some pretty interesting questions regarding ASUPD’s ability to train and investigate its officers. In the post, AZCES appeal to ASU’s administration with the following questions:

  • What policies and practices are in place at ASUPD regarding accountability for racial profiling and use of force?  How are complaints filed and investigated?  What is ASUPD’s record of complaints?  What kinds of training are in place to ensure police conduct that upholds the rights and dignity of all ASU community members?
  • What is the name of the outside law enforcement agency that will be reviewing this case?  What, specifically will they be reviewing?  What are the standards they will be using to evaluate officer conduct?  How many similar audits have they conducted in the past and what have been the outcomes of their investigations?

Although we strongly disagree with AZCES’s assertion that Officer Ferrin used force excessively and engaged in racial profiling, the points they raised are valid ones and are not just limited to the topics of use of force/racial profiling. AZCES’ blogpost has grazed the surface of the much larger issues raised on The Integrity Report involving training and supervision of ASUPD employees and transparency/fairness in internal affairs investigations

In any major investigation (such as the FBI’s probe of ASUPD), the actions of the individual involved is dissected, as well and the training and supervisor that the individual received. If the department acted negligently by not providing either adequate supervision or training, then the department (and also university) is also at fault. This could mean a litany of lawsuits against the university in circumstances where the arresting officer was trained by an FTO who wasn’t certified to be training, or supervised by an FTO or patrol Sergeant who wasn’t properly certified or trained to supervise others. Not only does this hold true for officers currently employed at ASUPD, but would also include officers who made arrests while employed at ASUPD that work for other departments or who have left LE completely.

Considering the amount of officers that have left ASUPD in the past 5-10 years, ASU could be facing a major class action lawsuit. 

Although this situation with Officer Ferrin is unfortunate (and again, we do believe he will be exonerated), it has brought a lot of attention and media scrutiny to a major problem that has been plaguing ASUPD for years. It will be interesting to watch the chain of events unfold in real-time.

Again…stand by, folks.

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15 thoughts on “AZCES raises relevant questions about ASUPD’s ability to train and investigate its officers

  1. DontLOLmeJP says:

    Here’s a relevant question.

    What did Pickens’s and Hardina’s faces look like today when they were handed boxes and told to pack their shit and get the fuck out by Friday?

    • Supervisor Facepalm says:

      I don’t know, but I wish I was there to see it. It would have been like Christmas as a child.

  2. Supervisor Facepalm says:

    There are a lot of relevant questions they need to be asking about many issues and one is the training program. The reason we have been in the lack of staffing crisis for years has a lot to do with how screwed up our training program has been for years. This is a no brainer.

    The worst was when our still useless Sergeant Pam Osborne was running it like a one person high school prom selection committee. She was pushing field training officers to fail officers with municipal experience who were far superior in police knowledge and performance to herself. She couldn’t even remember to give locations on her past stops and it’s been so long since anyone has seen her work it’s by the grace of John Pickens alone that she has a job. We would lose officer after officer because she has a personality conflict with 3/4 of the department.

    Who were her supervisors while this was happening for years? Commander Michelle Rourke, Former Commander Kevin Williams, former Assistant Chief Alan Clark, and former Assistant Chief Michael Thompson, now acting Chief of Police for the department.

    Nobody cared about all the issues with training or much of anything else until now! Until we made international news. Until now because they felt fat, dumb, and happy secure in their jobs. The chief and assistant chief Hardina being told to pack up and get out changed this. The pandering of the remaining command to save their own asses has reached an all time high.

    The same people just as responsible for the issues in training and retention are blaming the exiting for chief and assistant chief for their collective failures. Why?Because they, like many of our criminal contacts, simply can’t accept responsibility for their actions or do the right thing. You guys shouldn’t let them off the hook until there is real change, not just talk about it and shuffling stale insiders around! If you want to make substantial leadership change don’t promote from within, nothing will change. Hire outsiders only, otherwise you are recycling Pickens’s garbage.

  3. DL500unit says:

    You picked a relevant photo and information concerning ASUPD’s ability to train and investigate its officers. Salcido was letting Pickens investigate his own department. Of course there’s no wrongdoing when you are attempting to cover it up!

  4. yurhuckleberry says:

    These are good questions and I’m glad the AZCES is asking them, but it’s not enough to simply look at this one case. Good luck on getting anyone at the Arizona State University Police Department to answer these questions. I haven’t seen a PIO from our department other than Tempe PD’s chief talking about ASUPD issues.

    I will answer these questions as best I can even though ASUPD command should have to do this as part of their sworn positions and the fact they get paid handsomely to do so:

    Q: What policies and practices are in place at ASUPD regarding accountability for racial profiling and use of force?

    A: We have policies for just about anything like most police departments. By policy we are not allowed to discriminate against anyone for any reason. In practice we inside the department know this has not always been the case. The officer currently under inquiry by the FBI is the last person I would be looking at if you are looking for a guilty party. He barely has a year on and his supervisors, trainers were the example for him.

    Having said that he does have a reputation for stopping everyone for every violation he finds regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, or any discrimination imaginable. He will be cleared of this.

    It was mentioned previously on here about Sergeant Mark Aston who most likely would not be cleared of the same charge. The use excessive use force question will come up. I’m guessing the FBI will decide the use of force to be reasonable to make the arrest to someone who admits to resisting arrest. The FBI however would not condone the excessive use of force mentioned in the photo at the top of this post or in other comments related to other cases at ASUPD where Chief Pickens actively covered them up contrary to law and his oath of office.

    Q: How are complaints filed and investigated?

    A: Complaints are filed this way: http://www.asu.edu/aad/manuals/pdp/pdp203-01.html

    Q: How are complaints investigated?

    A: That depends on who the complaint is against. It seriously does. If you complain against Sergeant Mark Aston they will interview his personal friends as character witnesses. If you complain against an officer without internal protection there is a chance it will be more thoroughly investigated.

    Do a FOIA request for the complaints against all department staff initiated by the public and check it out. http://www.nfoic.org/arizona-sample-foia-request

    There are many more complaints against officers initiated by the agency against its own officers. Some are legitimate, but many are what we commonly refer to as, “frivolous” and represent nothing more than a negative retention tool meant to keep officers from lateraling to other police agencies.

    Q: What is ASUPD’s record of complaints?

    A: This question is vague. We get few complaints from the public now and then, but by far our internal complaints outnumber them. Again, some are legitimate, but many are what we commonly refer to as, “frivolous” and represent nothing more than a negative retention tool meant to keep officers from lateraling to other police agencies. As far as what the public complaints are about and how many are sustained I do not know. Do a FOIA request for this information to find out. http://www.nfoic.org/arizona-sample-foia-request

    Q: What kinds of training are in place to ensure police conduct that upholds the rights and dignity of all ASU community members?

    A: There are all kinds of “training” for this; online Blackboard computer check the right answer training seems to be the most common. Without a doubt the best training comes from good mentoring. The best officers for this try to get away from all the “bad eggs” in Tempe by going to the farthest places from, namely any satellite campus. By “bad eggs” I mean Commander Orr, Commander Scichilone, Commander Michelle Rourke, Commander Chris Speranza, Sergeant Mark Aston, Sergeant Pam Osborne, Corporal Luke Khalid, Corporal Katie Fuchtman, Corporal Dunwoody, Officer Mark Janda, Officer Dan Gaughan whose larger than life egos, poor examples of leadership, hostility to other employees, or willful complicity in undermining the department mission for their own whims have contributed to the decline of the department. Unfortunately, the section on the report card that says, “Plays well with others.” is a failing score for these individuals.

    Q: What is the name of the outside law enforcement agency that will be reviewing this case?

    A: Initially we were told the Arizona Department of Public Safety would be handling it. The supreme authority of US civil rights protection is the federal government, so it makes sense the FBI is investigating this issue. Considering the international press coverage of the issue and how much overtime ASU Police gives the command of the AZDPS this wouldn’t have represented transparency, especially for an international audience.

    Q: What, specifically will they be reviewing?

    A: I have no idea. Hopefully they will be examining every angle of this incident, but will also look at other department personnel who were outed for actually doing what Officer Ferrin is being accused of doing.

    Q: What are the standards they will be using to evaluate officer conduct?

    A: There are many angles to examine when it comes to the word “conduct”. The conduct of whether the stop was legal, the conduct of whether or not the use of language was professional, the conduct whether or not the use of force was justified and reasonable. The conduct of the officer means everything the officer did from the point of contact until the finishing of the paperwork at the end of the day. I would guess the FBI will look at all of this.

    Q: How many similar audits have they conducted in the past and what have been the outcomes of their investigations?

    A: To the best of my knowledge the FBI has never done an audit of the Arizona State Police Department. I have no information on other audits the FBI has done, but you could find out by doing a FOIA request

    http://www.nfoic.org/arizona-sample-foia-request

    One thing I would strongly suggest is that anyone who has any contact with ASU Police officials in any meeting should be recording their conversations for their own protection and for the sake of integrity. It is legal according to Arizona State law to covertly record any and all conversations. Federal law permits recording telephone calls and in-person conversations with the consent of at least one of the parties.

    See 18 U.S.C. 2511(2)(d). This is called a “one-party consent” law. Under a one-party consent law, you can record a phone call or conversation so long as you are a party to the conversation. In addition to federal law, AZ state law allows you to record all your conversations as long as one of the parties in the conversation is aware of the recording. That one party is you. Does this clear things up?

    • Cleanse this house of ill repute says:

      I’m glad somebody took the time to answer the questions. As PIO HArdina would have looked like a suspect under interrogation with um, well, yeah, ahhh, well yeah and so on. Do we even have a PIO anymore?

  5. indeedYOUsay says:

    The “corporal until investigation” in the picture was running around calling himself “the executioner” because he was proud of how many officers he ran out of our training program and along with Sgt. Osborne single handedly put this department in a never ending staffing shortage.

    He gave failing scores to a retired city cop who worked over 20 years on patrol in a variety of positions and whose accommodations were the highest of any officer who stepped through the door or out the door of this police department. People like this are who Pickens put in charge of other police officers for this agency.

    It’s no wonder everyone wants the new promotions to come from outside the department.

    • yolo says:

      Such an asshole, no wonder the chief protected him from any complaint ranging from sexual harassment to aggravated assault. You can’t be a cop if you act like a criminal. Khalid will make the news next, give it time.

    • ASUPDsmokeNmirrors says:

      I believe this all took place when the now acting chief, Mike Thompson, was in charge of the training program.

    • BurningheapofFail says:

      How can they try and fire Ferrin with this two-faced ass running around? The suspect in this case needs a victim’s rights form.

  6. Cleanse this house of ill repute says:

    The chief’s pet needs to be held accountable for what he’s done. He’s not alone, he had accomplices, and nobody should be given the special treatment afforded this officer or any of the other officers in the protected clique that pushes our people out the door.

  7. OneFlewOverTheCuckoo'sPD says:

    Sgt. Pam Osborne, Pickens’ former henchwoman, groomed many of these individuals, like Corporal Luqman “Luke” Khalid.

    One can only hope that she will ultimately be held accountable for destroying a lot of good officers’ careers as well as OITs’ (Officer-in-Training) burgeoning careers during her tenure as the FTO (Field Training Officer) sergeant coordinator.

    • DontLOLmeJP says:

      The issues of Sgt. Pam Osborne and her part in the failure of the program have been well known by our remaining shitty command and completely ignored. She did a lot of shady garbage and as usual wasn’t held accountable. Nobody wants to look backward for a second, especially while so many outsiders are looking into the department.

  8. I can’t wait to see this piss-poor excuse for a Police Officer FINALLY GET WHAT HE DESERVES. Fired, cert revoked and working somewhere where he can no longer derail peoples lives. Is that too much to hope for? I think not…

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