The truth behind ASUPD’s staffing numbers!


M Rourke have a staffing or morale problem.

Last night, our friends over at ABC15 published an article which highlighted ASUPD’s lack of staffing, and how the City of Tempe is fed up with  footing the bill for ASU’s problems.

TEMPE, AZ – For years, ASU has borrowed resources from Tempe Police Department and the City of Tempe for special events. However, that free ride will soon come to an end.

Lt. Mike Pooley says Tempe Police Department and the city of Tempe absorb the costs when ASU borrows resources from them.

Often times, Tempe officers help with football games and events.

However, the university and Tempe police department are working on an mutual aid agreement where ASU will pay for the extra resources.

“Right now we’re in the beginning phases of resources that ASU will pay for and what resources Tempe Police Department  will pay for,” said Pooley.

Currently ASU has 78 patrol officers, which is less than the recommended amount for the size of the university.

The 78 officers cover all of ASU’s Tempe, Polytechnic, Downtown Phoenix, and West campuses.

According to the President of International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators (IACLEA) David Perry, universities are encouraged to follow the same FBI formula for staffing that other city police departments follow. Essentially it’s 2.1 officers per 1,000 students.

According to the equation, ASU should have around 153 patrol officers.

However Perry says the formula can be tricky because often times a college has to deal with the hand it’s given.

“They’re strapped in a tough position between getting the professors, academia and resources they need for the university and at the same time that they can spread those funds out.”

Besides the FBI equation, a university can also determine its staffing levels based on environmental factors, enrollment size and how many properties it has.

ASU declined multiple on-camera interviews from ABC-15 on this matter.

Michelle Rourke, a spokeswoman for ASU gave the following data for patrol officers at ASU:

July 2014 – total sworn: 78

January 2014 – total sworn: 74

July 2013 –  total sworn: 66

July 2012 –total sworn: 65

Julie Newberg, also with ASU, released this statement:

“ASU is working in close conjunction with the Tempe Police Department on numerous efforts to address student safety. These include the party patrol, Safe and Sober campaign, DUI taskforce and traffic enforcement. The Tempe Police Department will join ASU Police Department personnel on campus for back-to-school and move-in events to convey safety messages to students.”

It’s about time ASU ponies up cash to pay Tempe PD for all the resources the city expends during football season! Most of the traffic control–from directing traffic in pedestrian heavy intersections to closing down roads–occurs within Tempe’s jurisdiction. It’s extra time, money, and staffing Tempe has to spend to ensure an event that they receive NO funding for and doesn’t even occur in their jurisdiction runs smoothly. If the tables were turned and ASU had to foot the bill for another municipality, you better believe money-hungry ASU would ask to be reimbursed. Therefore, it is only fair that ASU stops mooching off the city, and pays Tempe PD for using its resources. After all, it’s not Tempe’s fault ASUPD can’t properly staff its special events.

As for the lack of staffing on ASU’s four campuses, you might recall in January, we posted a link to a Department of Justice study that analyzed staffing at university/college campuses. In the post, we illustrated how grossly understaffed ASUPD in comparison to the student populous. ABC15 recently revisited this issue, and also asked ASU officials to comment on the low staffing numbers for the PD. In lieu of agreeing to an on-camera interview, the university released a vague”statement”, and interim Assistant Chief Michele Rourke released the staffing numbers to ABC15.

What “Assistant Chief” Rourke failed to mention, however, is how ASUPD doesn’t really have 78 “patrol officers” because the majority of the people in the aforementioned number are assigned to duties OTHER THAN patrol!

The 78 officers that work patrol incorporates: 7 officers in training who are NOT able to work as solo units; 3 chiefs, 5 commanders, 17 sergeants, a K9 handler, 3 detectives, a special events officer, and a crime prevention officer…NONE of which engage in regular, routine patrol duties as one of the primary functions of their jobs! The vast majority of these positions are either supervisory in nature or incorporate desk work for the majority of the work day, so they aren’t “on patrol”.

When you subtract the new officers, administrators, supervisors, and people assigned to other duties, you’re left with about 40 officers to patrol 4 campuses twenty four hours a day, seven days a week. That number also doesn’t account for officers who may be out on sick leave, vacation, training, comp time, etc. Therefore, at any given time in the BEST case scenario, ASUPD has a mere 40 officers on patrol. THAT’S IT!

For the largest public university in the country with crime rates on the rise, only having 40 officers working in a patrol capacity is unacceptable! Promoting more and more people to interim positions in an already top-heavy department is operational suicide; there needs to be LESS administrators and MORE boots on the ground. This staffing issue has morphed from a nuisance to a legal liability, and unfortunately, it will only get worse until ASUPD retains competent leadership.

When shit hits the fan on patrol, is Thompson or Rourke going to be rolling code for backup? After all, that would require they find/wear their duty weapons, leave the comfort of their air conditioned office, and actually get their shiny patent leather boots dirty.

Here’s a redacted current schedule for Days and Nights that shows the truth of the staffing issue on the four Arizona State University campuses. The 400 badge numbers are not patrol units. The 500 badge numbers not available for patrol are noted.

ASU Police Day Schedule

ASU Police Nights Schedule


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28 thoughts on “The truth behind ASUPD’s staffing numbers!

  1. Embudo says:


    Comment posted: January 25, 2014 at 4:06 pm

    Embudo says:

    Michael Crow, Morgan Olsen and Kevin Salcido, we know you are monitoring the Integrity Report blog. And we can only hope that you are taking many of our concerns that have been presented in this open forum to heart, especially the shortfall in police officers.

    The continual reliance on outside police agencies to cover our areas of responsibility is unacceptable! Barring public events, if we had to go it alone, as a department, we would have imploded long ago.

    Not appropriating additional funding for at least doubling the police officer force could be perceived as irresponsible at best and negligent at worst. This is not, and never has been, the time to nickel-and-dime the university’s PD.

    Our faculty, staff, students, and visitors are entitled to a level of safety and security that we, the ASU PD, cannot currently afford them while on the university’s four campuses.

    If you look at the university budget that totaled around 1.926 billion* in 2013, and if the ASU PD’s unofficial budget was around a paltry 11 million** during the same year, what’s wrong with that budgetary picture?

    Again, based on the above hypothetical/close-enough dollar figures, we should probably have, at a minimum, double the police officers currently allocated.

    *Source: Arizona State University 2013 Financial Report, with an addition of $211.9 million to Scholarships and Fellowships, resulting in Scholarships and Fellowships uses of $324.3 million.

    **Dollar number obtained by anonymous source; exact amount for 2013 is unknown officially due to a lack of transparency.

    Note: For our readers that are not familiar with Arizona State University (ASU), Dr. Michael M. Crow is the president at ASU; Dr. Morgan R. Olsen is Executive Vice President, Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer at ASU; and Kevin Salcido is Associate Vice President and Chief HR Officer in the Office of Human Resources at ASU.

  2. Space Cadet Rourke says:

    Rourke can’t find which end of that bullhorn to bark into, she can’t be honest about our true numbers, she doesn’t have a clue about morale because she could not care less about it. The media needs to ask “How many officers are working patrol?” The numbers are disturbing. You have single officers at every satellite, non-Tempe, campus. 14 million dollars well spent!

  3. 10-98Over says:

    Agreed. But even in a perfect world, ALEA only allows, what, five ASUPD Recruits in each class? Of course, it would help out a ton if the department could hire 80-100 all at once. But would never actually happen.

    • Embudo says:

      Unfortunately, we will be competing for candidates, laterals and recruits, that will be highly sought-after by other Valley police agencies. So the competition to recruit and retain well-qualified sworn officers will be more keen than ever.

      If you include other factors, i.e., pay, etc., it will be virtually impossible to ever achieve that ideal sworn officer number necessary to adequately staff all four campuses.

    • 10-98Over says:

      Good point. Using the ALEA timetable of what, an average of 4 academies a year, and at max enrollment by the department, you’d need about 40 academy classes enrolled and graduated by all 5 to reach about 200+ which would be more than ideal.

  4. indeedYOUsay says:

    We have had staffing and morale problems for years, everyone knows it, talks about it openly, so why lie about it? You can’t run a police department with some idiots at the top who don’t know what they are talking about and keep their heads in the sand. You need to know what the situation is before you can address it and the subject in the photo is part of the old Pickens crew that don’t get it.

  5. yurhuckleberry says:

    Finally the news get ahold of someone in the ASU police department, “spokeswoman” acting Assistant Chief Michelle Rourke. Rourke hussled into Hardina’s office before the seat was cold.

    Just like the former Assistant Chief Hardina,she runs around telling employees that there’s no staffing problem, there’s no morale problem, and ordering employees not to talk about these non-issues to conceal the problem and let it continue. Out of touch leadership continues.

    Meanwhile, employees are getting slammed by concerned students asking about concerns with the department, staffing numbers, and their safety. Just like they were on video interviews with the news.

    “Michelle Rourke, a spokeswoman for ASU gave the following data for patrol officers at ASU:

    July 2014 – total sworn: 78
    January 2014 – total sworn: 74
    July 2013 –  total sworn: 66
    July 2012 –total sworn: 65

    The spokeswoman didn’t have crap to say, but shot out a cloud of ink like an octopus and retreated to the safety of her desk.

    Acting Assistant Chief Michelle Rourke neglected to mention how many of these “officers” do not reflect patrol in any way at all. The public thinks that total number means officers in cars on patrol. When those numbers are thrown at them with no explanation of what they really mean it is lying by ommition. Integrity matters.

    Michelle Rourke keeps telling everyone we don’t have staffing or morale problems and Hardina said the same thing, that’s one of the reasons he’s unemployed 6 years short of a public safety retirement. Integrity matters.

    Thanks for posting the schedule and showing the real numbers for the public to see for themselves. After taking out all the desk bound sergeants we have very unsafe staffing levels, now the public knows it because…Integrity matters to some of us in the ASUPD.

    • Justanotherdispensible50 says:

      When was the last time our police department had a spokesperson who came from our department? After Hardina flubbed an interview about active shooters Tempe PD’s chief and a public relations head, Julie Newberg, have been the only people saying anything to the media about ASUPD.

      It wouldn’t be a disaster if problems, problem staff, were addressed years ago. Now some of those staff have upper level command positions.

  6. Justanotherdispensible50 says:

    No staffing issues my ass! We have we had mandatory work weeks where nobody was allowed time off due to no staffing. This year will also be the first time regular patrol units will be diverted to working overtime details.

    So who’s left watching the campuses they are coming from? I love the picture of Rourke, she deserves to be showcased as an example of incompetent command for making absurd statements about staffing and morale.

    • OneFlewOverTheCuckoo'sPD says:

      So who’s left watching the campuses they are coming from?

      Answer: Virtually no one!

  7. ComeOnNow4real says:

    I’m sure they are freaking out you posted the schedule and blew their house of cards to the ground. The are fibbing to the media and public about our patrol numbers.

    When you add up all the officers who will be working patrol this fall you get 32! That’s 32 officers to cover 24/7 coverage for 4 campuses!

    If this doesn’t point to the collective failure of the current ASUPD leadership nothing does. As much as the current people in power want to point a finger at Pickens they were in key positions of leadership to make a difference when it came to our attrition rate, our turnover, and the amount of people trying to leave as soon as they were able.

    The 32 number doesn’t include the grade school SRO, school resource officer at Polytechnic who doesn’t perform a university patrol function. This doesn’t include the officers on administrative leave, alternative leave, or sick leave. Only one of these will most likely be returning.

    Ask the ASUPD spokeswoman Michelle Rourke about the number 32 and how this contrasts with the number 78. Over half of our total number performs no patrol duty. They sit in air conditioned offices, leadership delegates their work, and they apparently have nonstop meetings about finding somebody else to do the patrol.

    There are plenty of good reasons you won’t catch ASUPD command in front of a camera talking in any way to the news, they don’t want to lie any more than they have to and get called out on it.

  8. WheresMy907 says:

    Only 32 patrol officers is the real number, not the lie Rourke gave. Only 32 patrol officers is why our command is taking officers off patrol and having them work the upcoming football games for their shift. This has always been an overtime detail.

    Only 32 patrol officers is why officers are getting released from FTO training early, first time ever. Only 32 patrol officers is why there are blackout months where none of us are allowed time off. Only 32 patrol officers are why officers from agencies all over AZ will be working football games.

  9. Embudo says:

    Arizona State University’s projected enrollment of 100,000 students by the year 2020 is a statistic that some people find surprising. But the projected growth in college-eligible high school graduates demands that ASU expand to support the needs of the state.*

    The university’s growth in undergraduate students will occur on the Downtown Phoenix, West and Polytechnic campuses. The Tempe campus, already one of the largest single campuses in the nation, is currently at its planned instructional capacity.*

    The projected growth in the student population demands that the Arizona State University Police Department expand proportionally in sworn officers to meet the projected enrollment growth, this includes the satellite campuses that have often been neglected and relegated to the back burner. If not, the ASU PD will continue to flounder and be more and more reliant on outside police agencies for day-to-day and contingency operations.

    The ASU PD leadership and subject matter experts within the ASU PD, must communicate the need for growth within the sworn officer corps to the university’s leadership often so that we can start moving the ASU PD forward in a methodical and purposeful direction for the safety and security of the ASU community.

    The ASU PD leadership must restructure the current top-heavy inverted pyramid to a structure that will translate into more boots on the ground. The restructuring is critical in order for the ASU PD to provide the essential police services that the faculty, staff, students, and visitors are so rightfully entitled to while on campus.

    *Projected enrollment and growth from asu news [now] January 31, 2008.

  10. DL500unit says:

    You released what ASU and ASUPD don’t want anyone to see, our pathetically weak schedule with less than half the patrol officers Rourke claims we have. If she was telling the media we have 78 patrol officers she lied. She lied and brought discredit to the profession of police officers who are supposed to be above lying, who get fired every day for lying. Here’s a perfect example of the consequences officers at other departments face:

  11. DontLOLmeJP says:

    It sure would be nice to have a dozen of those officers we drove out of the department or out of field training in the last several years. The department and university wouldn’t have to fib about staffing numbers and stretch the truth making everyone think our numbers of employed people reflect patrol.

    The root causes, the people responsible for driving away our numbers are still very much in key positions within the department. Maybe the 80,000 students will behave for the 32 patrol officers and cut us a break.

  12. popo39machine says:

    The numbers don’t lie, but Acting Assistant Chief Rourke does. How long before another campus crisis happens and she has to answer for lying about this?

    • yurhuckleberry says:

      The only ones so far to answer for anything left about a month ago pushing carts full of their junk like homeless men.

      If Dr Crow and his team exercise the management saavy of a McDonald’s shift supervisor they will come to understand our department is wantonly top heavy and needs to lose a lot of dead weight holding us down.

      When the clueless subject in this photo can’t acknowledge a staffing or morale problem in this department you can hardly define dead weight more succinctly. For years this hasn’t affected ASUPD command, until now.

  13. yurhuckleberry says:

    I was admiring the bull horn action photo and asked myself where in uniform regulations is bed head authorized?

    Looks like a violation here, but what’s more concerning is the reluctance to honor the peace officer oath of office and report facts honestly in order to safeguard the public trust we have to do our jobs effectively and safely.

    Representing us without integrity in uniform is a detriment to every one of us. We have 32 patrol units and by the time we get more we will lose more and be back in a pickle.

    • Seguridad perdido says:

      The clueless look is accurate, but what does she care making 90k now over 100k to screw up whatever she’s in charge of just like Clery. She couldn’t pass a vote of no confidence, only some of the “acting command” could.

    • Justanotherdispensible50 says:

      News flash, integrity is important in law enforcement. How long will it take Crow to figure this out?

  14. Quick call Tempe! says:

    Our patrol officer numbers were always the lowest priority because they generate crime stats by officers on patrol actively going and looking for criminals. These numbers were either kept low intentionally or through incompetent management.

    The toxic work environment, especially in Tempe, lower than average pay, also contributed greatly to turnover. Sgt Pam Osborne, currently on the exclusive permanent non-work light duty program, did unprecedented damage to the training program. This upset the numbers coming in and going out trend that we are still experiencing.

    Having some of the lowest paid officers, always too few of them, was never a problem for the highest paid chief in the state. He promoted half the department to supervisors further ensuring patrol work would remain the lowest priority where crime was something we were reactive to, not proactive in preventing or deterring.

    • Justanotherdispensible50 says:

      You hit the nail squarely on the head! These problems aren’t only at the PD. Michael Crow gives them marching orders and this has been going on under his watch for years.

  15. Getitright says:

    Rourke is the Pinocchio of this department. The more she lies the more poofed out her hair gets. I dare her to tell the news how many non-office bound, non-supervisor, sworn officers will be working patrol when classes start this month. Working regular patrol, not temporary overtime details. It sure isn’t 78, it’s 32. The schedule posted here is pretty clear, nights, days, every campus.

  16. guerriero says:

    Rourke is out of touch like the rest of them and if she thinks we don’t have a morale or staffing problem she’s out of her fucking mind.

  17. ComeOnNow4real says:

    Our staffing sucks and Rourke is liar who will do anything to save her job, that’s the truth.

  18. […] aren’t carrying the rifles yet”). There are currently more M-16s at ASUPD than there are officers on patrol to actually deploy them! Additionally, there are even fewer people at ASUPD (who are assigned to patrol) that are current […]

  19. […] ASUPD mislead the public into thinking there were more patrol officers working the street when they told ABC15 they had 78 officers working patrol. The truth is, the majority of those 78 officers do not work patrol (most are in administrative or […]

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