ASUPD’s cycle of dysfunctional supervision, and how it destroyed the department’s morale, retention, and ability to function


A lot of the problems regarding morale have been very deeply entrenched into the culture at ASUPD. Personal issues that were once limited to a small clique of people quickly morphed into a pervasive, department-wide disease once the problem employees were promoted. The promoted person taught his/her twisted working “style” to their subordinates who viewed it as an acceptable way to treat other employees. Once those people were promoted, the entire cycle repeated itself.

Understanding this dynamic is crucial to solving the department’s problems because until the root causes are removed, no amount of superficial changes will be able to slow the mass exodus from ASUPD. Ignoring the reality of this dynamic by attempting to “retrain” problem employees will only slow–not stop–this cycle of dysfunctional behavior.

For example, in the memo below, problem people within ASUPD’s FTO program were identified as early as 2004, yet these individuals were both allowed to act without consequence and were also later promoted (The person in the memorandum is now currently a Commander).

Memo on hostile supervisors and trainers

The memorandum supports the “cycle of dysfunctional supervision” theory  because it highlights a few individuals engaging in unacceptable behavior, unchecked, who later passed on their working “style” to their subordinates once they became supervisors.

For  any long-lasting and substantial change to take foothold at ASUPD, both ASU’s administrators and HR must finally come to terms with the notion that problem people at the department must be removed–not retrained, assigned to alternate duty, or given another position in the university. However, given Kevin Salcido’s track recording of dealing (or rather, failing to deal with) problem employees, we forsee the endless cycle of dysfunction continuing to run ASUPD into the ground.


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33 thoughts on “ASUPD’s cycle of dysfunctional supervision, and how it destroyed the department’s morale, retention, and ability to function

  1. jackoffthompson says:

    This is exactly why I had issues on FTO and am no longer there… No standard to by or don’t care to go by. Enjoy messing with individuals lives and dreams. Wasting money sending good candidates through ALEA and then purposely washing them out for the thrill. How how about the piece of shit Cpl on third shift that was fired from Scottsdale Police who was removed from being an FTO and brought back only to lie and try to have a 16 year veterans AZPOST certification revoked because he caught the FTO in a lie.. how about the numerous times I was on the road with non FTO Officers because one FTO kept bitching about wanting to go home early. How about another the would play mind games with you and give hits that he was going to fail you and see you sweat it out and say your doing ok then go back to failing again. Another great FTO stated several times to individuals on traffic stops ” IF YOU DON’T LET ME SEARCH YOUR VEHICLE I WILL GET A K9 TO DO A WALK AROUND” is that really giving the driver a choice??

    ASUPD was the most unprofessional disorganized job I ever had and I have no clue how they continue to operate like they do. Destroying careers and WASTING PUBLIC MONEY AND MISS USING PUBLIC MONEY.

    • DontLOLmeJP says:

      We have some good people who could repair the damage done by the Pickens era, but also have too many real assholes who helped cripple the agency. The “piece of shit Cpl on third shift who was fired from Scottsdale Police and removed from being an FTO” is Luke Khalid.

      His open hostility to the people he trained was no secret and now, like his mentor Pam Osborne, he’s on a reinvent my image tour hoping that will change how he’s perceived. Too fucking late assholes.

      Khalid survived the department because he was the former chief’s pet getting 5’s on his evaluations for 3 consecutive years, despite all the issues he’s created, when most employees are guaranteed nothing more than a 3. After trying to score with every female, possibly a guy, in the department one finally complained and he still got a 5. Removed from FTO, still a 5. Assaults a prisoner in handcuffs, still a 5. As if his track record isn’t bad enough he’s openly hostile to females, talking about wanting to urinate on them to several employees downtown and in Tempe.

      His idea of police work is the show up second on to every call so he doesn’t have to take paper, go hang out in remote unpatrolled areas, and sit at the station watching movies on the computers. If this is the standard for supervisors at ASUPD, no wonder nobody wants to fucking stay.

      Still think it’s all about the money Acting Chief Thompson? Keep telling yourselves what you want to hear we will never get this agency prepared to handle the eclipsing student population. Calling, “Help!” to other agencies year after year is hardly a management strategy.

    • ComeOnNow4real says:

      It’s not their money, so they couldn’t care less and it shows. I wish the blog would put up the budget. It was interesting to see where the money was going.

    • DL500unit says:

      Khalid gave far more experienced officers failing scores on FTO. He has shown definitively that he has no business being a supervisor and I’m surprised he’s still wearing a badge.

  2. Embudo says:

    The continual public exposure documenting how Arizona State University’s leadership allows its police department’s leadership to maliciously operate, will eventually rock the foundation of President Crow’s New American University.

  3. Getitright says:

    If these issues have been going on since 2004, were being done by current members of ASUPD command, then it’s no wonder the department still struggles with retention problems in 2014. The real cost is to the community. They have had to pay the price for inadequacy in public safety.

    • ComeOnNow4real says:

      It really isn’t a wonder, it’s a fact. I wouldn’t trust our command to run a lemonaide stand without someone standing over them watching what they’re doing.

    • DL500unit says:

      It’s true, it’s been going on that long.

    • Justanotherdispensible50 says:

      I was seeing the same type of stuff on fto, spent years watching it and hearing about it. The people responsible for it like “Sparky” Speranza pictured here are the problem with ASUPD.

      Like the rest of our failed command they earned the distinction of not having their contracts renewed and should be fired asap to save face for the university and it’s administration before more breaking news unfold.

    • Embudo says:

      Command staff employees are no longer on contract. They did away with contracts a couple of years ago.

      They are at-will employees and can be dismissed from their high-paying position by ASU, for any reason, without having to establish “just cause” for termination, and without warning.

      That’s why when the university’s leadership, or anyone else of authority, tells someone in the command staff to jump, they merely respond: “how high!”

  4. ComeOnNow4real says:

    I almost think it’s just too difficult for Crow and his people to understand without experiencing it themselves. This is one of those “Who in their right mind would do this?” situations that just happens to be true. I don’t believe Thompson has the will to make the changes and terminate contracts or quite possibly the authority given the heavy handed management of the PD from above him after our wonderful John Pickens got the axe and hasn’t been heard from since.

    • DL500unit says:

      Crow’s people are a little slow on the uptake when it comes to what’s happening within the police department. At least they knew Pickens and Hardina were no good whatsoever.

    • Embudo says:

      Command staff employees are no longer on contract. They did away with contracts a couple of years ago.

      They are at-will employees and can be dismissed from their high-paying position by ASU for any reason without having to establish “just cause” for termination, and without warning.

      That’s why when the university’s leadership, or anyone else of authority, tells someone in the command staff to jump, they merely respond “how high!”

    • WheresMy907 says:

      How many doctoral degrees over how many years does it take to figure out the police department isn’t being managed properly? I’m sure they have a lot on their plates, but maybe it’s time to get an outside professional review from people who know what they’re talking about.

      Look at other large universities and what was successful with their police departments. Older outside former experienced leadership will beat out in house pretending contenders every time.

  5. DL500unit says:

    The main person in the memo is ASUPD Commander Chris Speranza and he’s talking with now Sgt Mark Aston, both founding members of the Orr’s boys clique. This retarded clique single handedly took a department that should be twice it’s current size and whittled it down to a nub.

    The MO is the same as it always was, grade school politics and games to chase out talent or people they don’t like from the department so they could be king turd on shit mountain. This dysfunctional shit is why Tempe PD laughs at ASUPD.

    • fixmycorruptpd says:

      What a great example of leadership to set! Pickens and his earlier lackeys taught them the self-absorbed asshole leadership model.

  6. Embudo says:

    There’s an evil cruel sickness that permeates the very fibers of the ASU PD’s leadership and mid-level supervisory tier.

    The email displayed may have been written in 2004, but both individuals depicted in the email continue to thrive within the ASU PD.

    One of the individuals depicted even promoted to commander under the ex-chief, John Pickens, who was recently unceremoniously removed from power after 14-years at the helm.

    Both individuals are also part of ASU PD’s so-called clique and have been allowed to maliciously operate with impunity over the years.

    The university’s leadership has been unwilling to investigate, or permanently remove, such malignant leadership from the ASU PD.

    Inaction by the university’s leadership to investigate the ASU PD’s leadership, indicates a serious cultural and systemic problem within the university.

    Now everyone knows one of the reasons why we’ve never had the number of sworn officers to adequately staff all four campuses–the malicious, incompetent, and insecure clique drums them out!

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

  7. Justanotherdispensible50 says:

    We need a chief empowered to make all the necessary changes with the department, who can weed out all the self-destructive types and get this department in gear. So far that hasn’t happened. The fact that the person in this memo is now a commander says everything.

  8. fixmycorruptpd says:

    Other than Walmart you couldn’t find a place where management has been so poised against the interests of the employees and could care less about them. This isn’t talking negatively about the university, just this department. It’s bad, and the police department is supposed to be a moral institution trusted with impartiality and justice, but fails to achieve this within it’s own ranks.

  9. guerriero says:

    ASU continues to grow every year. The police department responsibility increases, but the department doesn’t. How hard can it be to see the problem with this? How hard can it be to look at people like this and understand they were never meant to be leaders?

    • WheresMy907 says:

      A understaffed police department means less on view stats, but the lack of proactive patrol means less deterent for 80,000 students coming here expecting a party school and stats shooting through the roof with two or more outside agencies doing the work and generating an enormous amount of stats that fall into Clery. Since we were falsely reporting stats for Clery

    • OneFlewOverTheCuckoo'sPD says:

      Allegations that Arizona State University‘s police department may have intentionally failed to accurately report crime statistics, in violation of the Clery Act, could once again put the university and its police department in the national spotlight.

  10. WheresMy907 says:

    When you have over a decade of like minded negative and hostile leadership getting promoted to the highest levels of this organization you get what we have today. The department is in ruins trying to rebuild simply by piling on new employees.

    People like Chris Speranza and Mark Aston, featured in this memo, ran off more experienced officers and potential leadership because they couldn’t handle the competition. This demented management style is shared by the Pickens promoted leadership currently in charge and holding a contract.

    The acting people in charge have a good reputation. Everyone is hoping the new chief will clear the third floor out and bring in new leadership to jump start the department. Without that nobody is sticking around.

  11. ThySummons says:

    We can only hope that the new chief has the inner fortitude to terminate virtually every member of the command staff and rebuild it with individuals that understand the basic principles of leadership, management, and human relations.

    • Getitright says:

      In most cases someone would say a rotten apple will spoil the bunch, but with our command it’s just the opposite. If we get a good willed leader the bunch we have spoils them. Look at former commander Williams.

      These guys are the prime example of ineffective, inexperienced, uninventive, inconsistent, inconsiderate, and out of touch leadership. They inspire nothing but contempt from most of the people they have dealings with. This is why only old timers are sticking around and everyone else leaves on the first agency available.

    • yolo says:

      Amen to that brother. Roto rooter these clogged pipes and get some talent up there.

  12. PickensPlayPen says:

    FYI – the 16 year veteran (from Ohio) that Kooklid TRIED to railroad is doing fine. AzPOST dismissed the complaint with no action and he recently received a conditional offer w/ another department. I hope he sends Kooklid a “thank you” card. Turns out he’s going to a better department AND getting a $16,000 raise. LMAO!!

    • yolo says:

      That’s because that man was a real veteran cop for years and not the glorified security guard, police aide with a gun, like Khalid. The immature and inexperienced Pickens promotions are scared of guys with genuine outside police experience because they know they don’t have that experience and the respect that comes with it.

  13. Embudo says:

    The continual revelations of a self-serving, incompetent and ineffective leadership within the ASU PD is mind-numbing.

    Commander Chris Speranza and virtually every member in the command staff, must be eventually removed from their positions if the ASU PD is to move forward in a positive and meaningful direction.

    The new chief must take bold and decisive action to revamp the entire command structure and implement a new ASU PD action plan that is in alignment with the university’s growing student population.

  14. […] on with  its head in the sand, unable and unwilling to acknowledge any problems such as staffing, morale, and lack of adequate […]

  15. PickenPlayPen says:

    Just a little update on my bud from Ohio. I spoke to him yesterday and he’s loving it. He got on with another agency in the valley almost a year ago. For those of you who knew him, he had a training background and his PD is sending him to GI school. He’s a good guy and not nearly as angry with ASU PD as he has every right to be.

    For my $0.02 – he’s just another in the long list of quality guys that got shafted by this morally bankrupt posse of assclowns. He was a bit disappointed that his formal complaint against Khalid didn’t yield better results. He did ask me to pass along a message to Khalid…”go bucks!” – apparently there’s an Ohio-Michigan thing. LOL. I kinda miss that bald guy… :)

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