On 09/09/14, a student was attacked and sexually assaulted near Adelphi II Commons. This has been especially shocking to the ASU community and general public due to the brutal violence involved, and also because it is relatively uncommon to be sexually assaulted by a person unknown to the victim (The Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network states that in approximately 2/3 of sexual assaults, the offender is someone known to the victim)
After a slew of sex assaults last fall, ASU gave the impression to the community it was proactively and aggressively dealing with the situation, by participating in a “Start by Believing” campaign last spring aimed at sex assault prevention.
In an editorial last spring entitled “‘Start by Believing’ ASUPD is part of the problem!” we questioned ASU’s true commitment to handling the sex assault problem on campus; we felt the department did not have the staffing nor the resources to adequately and proactively respond to and deter sexual assaults and other major crimes. Unfortunately, the vicious sexual assault on 09/09/14 supports this hypothesis.
On 09/09/14, Tempe campus had a mere 4 officers working on patrol, and two of those units were working OT for shift coverage. The total population of ASU is now 82,000, with the majority of students living on ASU’s Tempe campus. With 4 officers for roughly 82,000 students, that means there is 1 officer per every 20,500 students. Even Chicago, a city with some of the highest crime rates in the country, has a higher officer to citizen ratio: 44.2 officers for every 10,000 citizens.
On the night of this sexual assault, ASUPD had 7 officers dived amongst 4 campuses, which means there is 1 officer for 11,714 students (which doesn’t include the numbers of staff, faculty, and the general public who come to ASU on a regular basis). Simply put, the negligent management of public safety by ASU President Michael Crow is unacceptable.
How many more sexual assaults will happen before Michael Crow and ASU’s administration will give its officers the staffing and resources they desperately need to effectively do their jobs?
It’s a good thing everyone showed up for overtime! The lack of coverage only encourages more criminal activity.
The lack of leadership only encourages more officers to leave the department as soon as possible.