Everyday life at ASUPD has morphed from a job that somewhat resembled a watered-down version of law enforcement to a real life version of The Hunger Games; if one can survive the work day in the presence of low morale and arbitrary enforcement of policies/law without going insane or killing/harming themselves or another employee, they will be safe until the following days reaping. Those that don’t make it to the end of the workday are thrown to the wolves (metaphorically, of course) and become another HR statistic on a piece of paper in Kevin Salcido’s office.
In today’s edition of ASUPD’s Hunger Games, the two employees that didn’t survive the workday today were Assistant Chief James Hardina, and Chief John Pickens.
This afternoon, ASU CFO Morgan Olsen sent the following email out to all ASUPD employees:
The Assistant Chief (Thompson) over admin “ascends” to the position of acting Chief instead of the AC above patrol operations…odd. There is also no mention of Hardina vacating his position AT ALL in the above email; only after Hardina was seen packing up his desk and officially left the building was patrol notified about Hardina’s departure. We speculate that Hardina was forced out of his position by someone in the university, simply because Hardina doesn’t have another job waiting for him, nor is he remotely close to retirement.
The email also mentioned that Pickens will be vacating his position as Chief by this Friday, July 11th. This is a complete 180 from the email sent to all ASUPD employees barely a month ago, which stated that Pickens would remain in his position until his successor was hired. Pickens’ “leave” was probably forced upon him by the university who will most likely allow him to “retire” quietly, instead of rewarding his bad behavior with another cushy ASU job.
Someone at ASU finally wised up to the fact that the entire ASUPD Command staff was allowed to function relatively unchecked for decades. Command staff’s strategy of punishing those who speak out against them while allowing their “battle buddies” to do whatever they please FINALLY backfired; its hard to employ that tactic when your department is beyond critical staffing levels and the FBI/news media are sniffing around your dirty laundry.
Until the department has cleaned out “Chief” Thompson and all of his Command staff, we expect to see ASUPD’s Hunger Games played out on a daily basis.