The Arizona Republic investigates ASUPD’s staffing issues

Front page reality for Michael Crow

Anne Ryman and Rob O’Dell, investigative reporters from the Arizona Republic, have been digging into our assertions that Arizona State University’s Police Department is understaffed, due in part to low departmental morale (which negatively effects employee retention).

From azcentral.com:

Arizona State University’s Police Department struggled to schedule a full complement of patrol officers, failing to meet its own requirements a majority of the days during the spring semester, The Arizona Republic found.

Six out of seven days during the semester, at least one shift did not have all seven officers scheduled, as ASU police requires to patrol Tempe and three other satellite campuses.

As a result, supervisors had to either pay overtime, reassign someone from another job or leave positions on a shift vacant. The department can’t say how often it left a post empty on any given patrol shift.

MORE: ASU police acquire M-16 assault rifles

Public records, the police chief’s advisory-board documents and interviews with more than a dozen current and former employees paint a picture of an agency that is understaffed for patrol shifts.

It’s not clear whether the staffing shortage affects crime rates. But records and interviews show the department sometimes needs to pull officers from performing other duties, such as criminal investigations and proactive police work like crime prevention, to work patrol shifts.

Former officers have expressed concern about their safety and the safety of students in a report to the police chief and questioned whether the department had the staffing and training to properly respond to a shooter on campus.

That report has a section on morale, where past employees who were interviewed contend the department is “short staffed by 50-80 officers. This is a stressor for the officers that still work there.”

Campus police staffing levels have not kept up with ASU’s enrollment. ASU’s ratio of sworn officers to students is about25 percent below the national average for large, public schools, a national report found.

ASU officials acknowledge there have been staffing challenges but have been hiring to bolster department resources. The police budget was increased for the budget year that began July 1 with a half-dozen new officers hired since then. ASU police officials recently signaled how important it is to have a more visible police presence when they announced they were beefing up patrols following a sexual assault on campus Sept. 9.

Morgan Olsen, ASU’s executive vice president and chief financial officer, said the university places a priority on having safe and secure campuses, and to his knowledge, public safety hasn’t suffered with the staffing.

Some police agencies reduced staffing during the recession, but ASU didn’t eliminate police officers or aides, he said, even as the university’s state funding was cut 40 percent and ASU eliminated 2,055 jobs in other areas.

“Generally, we’ve been able to maintain coverage and maintain responsiveness,” Olsen said.

ASU President Michael Crow, who has often touted the safety of the campuses, said through a spokesman that Olsen was the appropriate ASU official to speak about police staffing.

In June, Police Chief John Pickens, who had led the department for 14 years, announced that he was transferring to a newly created job in charge of university security initiatives.

An ASU student-safety task force is recommending the Arizona Board of Regents, which oversees the state universities, conduct an independent review of the safety needs at all three state universities. The task force was formed in response to a series of articles in The Republic last September about alcohol-related crimes.

The regents will hear safety recommendations at a meeting this week in Flagstaff.

But one former employee is clear what he believes the university should do: increase staffing.

Retired ASU Sgt. Marvin Tahmahkera compared the daily scheduling of patrol officers to a popular video game in which a player must manipulate random blocks into position before the pieces fall to the bottom.

“Every day it seemed like a game of Tetris. Someone would call in sick,” said Tahmahkera, who retired last year after 22 years with the department.

He recalls responding to a domestic-violence call by himself at ASU’s Polytechnic campus, a situation where law-enforcement best practices say having a backup officer is a necessary precaution. The staffing levels sometimes made it difficult to patrol dorms, look for underage drinkers and rattle doors at night to make sure they were locked.

“Many times I was the officer in charge, and I was just praying nothing would happen that night,” he said.

Short staffing

ASU is the largest public university in the country with 82,000 students, including 13,000 online-only students. The Tempe campus alone covers more than 700 acres with 57,800 students.

A typical patrol shift has seven sworn officers, including a sergeant, to watch over ASU’s four Valley campuses: Tempe, West, Polytechnic and downtown Phoenix.

But on six of every seven days in the spring semester, ASU was unable to schedule the full seven staff officers for at least one of the three daily patrol shifts. The shortage could have been caused by a variety of factors, including officers out sick, on vacation, injured, on family-medical leave or at court.

On more than half of the 151 days examined by The Republic, at least two of the three daily patrol shifts were scheduled to be short staffed. All three shifts were consistently scheduled to be short of staff, The Republic found, with the swing shift beginning in late afternoon the most underscheduled.

ASU police and administrators contend that not every shift had vacancies because they used overtime pay or pulled someone from another job to cover the open position. The university could not say which shifts they were able to cover, saying it would take them weeks to determine if officers actually worked those shifts.

Staffing levels sometimes dipped so low the Tempe campus would have only two officers on staff, according to a report given last year to the police chief based on interviews with police officers and aides.

The university can call surrounding city ­police agencies for backup when help is needed. But officers from another agency are sometimes unfamiliar with the campuses, so it takes them longer to arrive.

Olsen acknowledged that last fall, an unusually high number of people were on family-medical leave for injuries or as new parents, he said. Others had to work more overtime as a result.

“We’ve pretty well worked our way out of that now,” he said. “But we’re continuing to build because we would like to have a force that allows us to do just a little more now than we have been doing.”

The department had 74 full-time officers at the end of the fiscal year. Department officials say they’ve hired six since July and say they plan to hire nine more, which would bring the total to 89 sworn officers and supervisors.

Below U.S. averages

ASU has about 1.1 sworn officers for every 1,000 students, below the national ratio of 1.5 for large, public schools, and below the University of Arizona’s 1.6.

A 2005 survey by the U.S. Department of Justice found larger public schools with more than 15,000 students had 1.5 sworn officers per 1,000 students.

Filling all the budgeted slots would bring ASU up to 1.3.

ASU’s five-member investigative unit has one less person than UA’s, which has 40,000 fewer students and fewer violent crimes.

When 42 police aides are factored in, ASU officials said, the per-student ratio of police to students is higher. The aides help patrol, respond to emergency calls such as minor traffic accidents and take reports on minor thefts. The mostly full-time aides are not required to go through the police academy, they don’t make arrests and they don’t carry guns.

The department plans to hire 20 more police aides this year.

But David Perry, president of the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators, said it’s not appropriate to include police aides in the per-student ratios because aides cannot perform all the functions of a sworn officer.

Campus law-enforcement experts say there is no universally accepted method of determining staffing and no “magic” number of officers per student, though enrollment is a key factor. More students means more calls for service, Perry said.

Campus police in some other areas of the country also are grappling with determining the appropriate number of staff.

Last year, Capt. Eric Chin of the Purdue University Police Department surveyed schools in the Big Ten Conference. He found the highest ratio at the private Northwestern University at 2.9 per 1,000 students. Ohio State was the lowest with 0.85 officers per 1,000.

Olsen said ASU uses a more complex calculation than enrollment to determine staffing, including crime trends and the department’s ability to cover the campuses. He said he wouldn’t necessarily characterize the department as being understaffed.

“If you were to go out and ask a particular department in the university, maybe the biology department or the folks who maintain the grounds, ‘Are you understaffed? Could you do more with more people?’ Well, sure, we could do more good things with more people. So that’s not necessarily surprising,” he said.

‘Malls’ for thieves

Whether the staffing shortages affect crime rates is inconclusive.

Crime statistics reported to the federal government under the Clery Act show a mixed picture of ASU’s Tempe campus. The Republic compared ASU with its 15 peer universities along with University of Arizona and Northern Arizona University from 2008 to 2012, the latest data available.

Rates of forcible sexual offenses and robbery have risen at ASU’s Tempe campus, while burglary and aggravated assault rates have fallen or remained the same. ASU’s rates of sexual offenses are lower than most of its peer schools. It has a higher rate of robbery and a much higher rate of aggravated assaults when compared with its peers.

The Republic filed public-records requests July 29 with ASU for police response times and clearance rates for crimes, but the department has not provided the information.

Tahmahkera, the ASU retired sergeant, calls ASU a “big shopping mall for thieves” because of the open nature. A student gets up to get a drink of water and leaves his laptop on a table. He returns to find it gone, including his paper due for class.

The Tempe campus reported 963 thefts and another 98 burglaries, the category that includes bike thefts, in 2012, the most recent year annual statistics are reported to the federal government.

Violent crimes are rare. The Tempe campus reported 16 sexual offenses in 2012. Ten robberies and 10 aggravated assaults occurred on campus that same year.

A larger police force is something the university has planned for several years, ASU’s Olsen said. But like a lot of other things, it didn’t get funded during the recession.

The university would like to have more officers at the downtown Phoenix campus as well as multiple officers on the West and Polytechnic campuses, he said.

Staff discord

Blogs and public comments show conflict within the campus police department.

An anonymous blog called “The Integrity Report” published complaints about working conditions and a supposed clique that runs the department. Then, the video of an ASU officer arresting an African-American professor in May went viral. Civil-rights groups were outraged. An FBI investigation is ongoing into whether the professor’s rights were violated.

ASU declined to make a representative of the Police Department available to speak on the record for this story. But public records show discord within the department.

Last year, then-Chief Pickens reinstated a police chief advisory board to improve communication. At the October meeting, the board heard written concerns from current and former employees. ASU redacted some of the complaints from the minutes,but The Republic obtained complete copies from other sources. Among the deleted comments:

“Outlying campuses often only have one officer on shift at a time.”

“Tempe campus goes down to only two officers on staff often.”

The minutes offer recommendations such as boosting pay and significantly increasing staffing. ASU officials say many changes have already been made. ASU hired a police recruiter earlier this year and raised pay for experienced officers. Retention pay was added to encourage officers to stay. A new police chief is expected to be named soon.

Olsen said the university is trying to do everything possible to foster a good environment, where high-quality people want to work.

Former employees, such as Tahmahkera, hope ASU can turn things around. The key will be recruiting and keeping good employees. Given the right resources, he said, ASU “could be the best police department to work for.”

How ASU’s ratio of sworn officers stacks up to enrollment:

ASU: 1.1 per 1,000 students.

UA: 1.6 per 1,000 students.

U.S. Department of Justice survey: 2.1 per 1,000 students at public colleges and 1.5 per 1,000 for public schools with enrollments of more than 15,000.

Eric Chin, Purdue University Police Department survey in December 2013 of Big Ten Conference schools: Highest ratio was Northwestern University at 2.9 per 1,000. Lowest was Ohio State at .85 per 1,000.

ASU’s ratio excludes 13,000 students who only take classes online and don’t come to campuses.

How we reported the story

The Arizona Republic filed public requests for staffing schedules, police patrols, budgets, meeting minutes and other information related to police staffing from the Arizona State University Police Department, beginning in May. The newspaper compared ASU staffing figures with national studies and data provided by other universities.

One of the documents The Republic received was a breakdown of staffing for the spring semester 2014, which shows how many sworn officers were scheduled to work each of the three patrol shifts and the department-required staffing for that shift. The Republic analyzed the staffing on each of the three patrol shifts and determined that in six out of every seven days, ASU police had at least one shift with a scheduled staff shortage.

 

Just a few more points to add to Anne’s exceptionally well-researched and well-written article:

  • Morgan Olsen makes excuses for ASUPD’s problems: Dismissing the obivious staffing shortage by claiming that every department at ASUPD could use more staffing is ludicrous. Unlike the two departments Olsen cited–biology and grounds–their staffing levels do not have any impact on the crime rate or safety of the campus. A university CAN function with an understaffed or non-existent biology or grounds department; it can NOT function with an understaffed or non-existent police department.
  • Olsen said “the university is trying to do everything possible to foster a good environment, where high-quality people want to work”: That would mean that the university’s Human Resources department would work with employees who have expressed their concerns with the work environment at ASUPD. Instead, ASU’s HR, Kevin Salcido, has disregarded any employee concerns regarding ASUPD that have been brought to his attention. Salcido has repeatedly refused to intervene in the department’s issues.
  • ASU claims the university has a higher police to student ratio than the numbers the Arizona Republic reported…because ASU included its unarmed, civilian police aides. Police aides are an effective tool, but they are merely support the role of sworn officers; police aides can not make arrests, and they can’t respond to serious calls for service.
  • ASU refused to fully release public documents to the Arizona Republic that prove employees expressed their concerns about staffing to then-Chief Pickens:Meeting minutes, notes, emails are all considered public records that ASU is obligated to fully release upon request (save for a few specific exemptions). Because ASU refused to fully comply with a public records request, they are legally liable for damages that may result from wrongfully denying a person access to public records (A.R.S. § 39-121.02(C))
  • People are paying attention to the situation at ASUPD: Between this article, The Integrity Report, and the viral news article about the arrest of Professor Ore, the university’s problems have become increasingly exposed in a way that hasn’t previously happened. No amount of PR or minimization of the issues can hide ASUPD’s problems now. The only true solution to saving the department is to remove problem employees, and restructure the department from the top down.

Edited to add: We covered the situation with the Chief’s Advisory Board in December 2013. To read the full contents of the meeting minutes, click here.

 

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33 thoughts on “The Arizona Republic investigates ASUPD’s staffing issues

  1. Karma says:

    Love how the department and the clique gets called out for the world to see…on the front page of the Sunday newspaper!

    Everything in the article is 100% true. How can Michael Crow and Morgan Olsen continuously LIE about the state of the department even after the AZ Republic backs up their statements with facts?

    The lies these guys spew keep getting more and more outrageous.

    • yurhuckleberry says:

      It’s very public, long overdue, but gratifying most of all. Thank god for the integrity report, it all started here! Keep up the good work of mopping the floor with their faces until they can see fit to start telling the truth and correcting problems at the PD for the safety of the community.

    • ASUPDsmokeNmirrors says:

      Morgan Olsen’s nose should be 20ft long from all the lying spats he’s made throughout this article.

  2. Embudo says:

    The comment below was written prior to the recent post: The Arizona Republic investigates ASU PD’s staffing issues, dated Sept. 21, 2014.

    If the ASU PD leadership refuses to change how it operates and the university’s leadership fails to properly fund and allot the ASU PD with the necessary number of sworn officers, the only other way, besides potential law suits, to affect positive change within the ASU PD and university, is to expose their pernicious methods of operation through the public media

    The Arizona Republic, Sunday, September 21, 2014, edition, highlights our anemic staffing numbers for patrol. The article is on the front page of the Republic and is a well-written piece depicting our many problems within the ASU PD by investigative reporter Anne Ryman and Rob O’Dell.

    The article spotlights, to the masses, how dangerous the ASU campuses are and our inability to provide the level of safety and security for our students, faculty, staff and visitors while on ASU’s four campuses.

    The university’s leadership is just as culpable for our lack of adequate patrol officers as current and former command staff members who willfully or negligently mismanaged ASU PD resources over the years, to include their most vital resources, their employees

    Nothing will change fundamentally within the ASU PD until virtually every member in the current command staff is removed from their positions and held accountable for our lack of patrol officers.

    The university’s leadership also has some accountability as it allowed the department to be mismanaged and poorly staffed under the former chief, John Pickens, for over 14-years!

    Hopefully, with the continual exposure, on the local and national level, the university’s leadership will be forced to make the much-needed changes within the ASU PD and the Arizona Board of Regents will make the much-needed changes within the university’s leadership.

  3. popo39machine says:

    Time for Crow and Morgan McGaff Olsen to rally the roaches because someone just turned on a spotlight showing the world the mess they have been covering up.

    They conduct themselves like underage punk kids caught with beer and cigarettes. No matter what is presented to these fucks they won’t acknowledge fault, lies, half-truths, inaccuracies, mistakes, or anything. No wrong doing whatsoever.

    Reality is proving to the whole world their negligence, corruption, and indifference to the suffering of others. Their egos, pride, and lies speak volumes about their shitty character. Morgan Olsen featured front and center as a prime example of an excuse juggling buffoon for the university administration and for the so-called leadership at our police department.

  4. yurhuckleberry says:

    A well written article about a failing department within a state entity rife with a culture of corruption. The head of the university, Michael Crow, is the one person ultimately responsible for the failings of the Arizona State University Police Department. Instead of facing the responsibility for it’s failure and doing something about the abysmal leadership he hides behind his ventriloquist dummy Morgan Olsen.

    Morgan Olsen’s repeated attempts to dance around the issues were struck down with facts making him look like a fool, Crow’s little hand puppet. Institutional corruption will continue to be exposed and every following lie and excuse will be documented at date, time, place, and context digging a hole right to his boss’s million dollar posh office at this public school.

    For every assault on a public street, robbery, overdose, narcotics trafficking, rape, that escapes the understaffed, under trained, and grossly mismanaged ASUPD the blame belongs to the suspect, but it also belongs to the ivory tower haughty administration who callously dismiss everything that doesn’t fit the narrative they created.

    • ASUPDsmokeNmirrors says:

      …a narrative they created and a narrative that increasingly only they believe. In fact I doubt even they believe it. They are desperately trying to bolster public relations when they simply need to flush all the contract commanders down the shitter and reboot the asupd command with outside talent. The half measure of a new figurehead inspires no real confidence in a university commitment to fix the PD.

    • Getitright says:

      Olsen looks like the fumbling excuse making fool in this piece. Facts VS Fools. Facts win every time.

  5. ASUPDsmokeNmirrors says:

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading this article. The university admin can’t be expected to do the right thing unless they are exposed and forced to do so. This article shows that no matter what the issue, these politicians like Morgan Olsen have an excuse.

    Unlike experienced smoozers in DC Olsen is out of his element. This isn’t the world of academia, it’s reality, but even then he had to support a thesis statement at one time. It must have been a senile review board because he looks weak, like a liar.

    Every exposure brings the university closer to having accountable, competent, police department leadership and making the campus safer and not the rapist paradise it’s turned into.

    • Getitright says:

      Clearly they need their hands forced and it must impact them otherwise they don’t care. It’s not their kids getting beaten, robbed, raped, or sold an unlimited amount of illegal drugs, so it’s all about profit margins and making a name for themselves. They have an ignore subordinates culture here.

    • Twocents says:

      You would think they would put a premium on public safety, but to this university’s current administration it’s some sort of necessary evil they begrudgingly fund and meddle with at will.

      They act as if this public university is their private playground and when things go wrong they can do everything but simply tell the truth. It catches up to the common criminals we deal with and it will catch up to these guys just the same. It’s a shameful example of leadership and they dishonor the trust given to them by the public.

  6. Getitright says:

    This reads like a chronicle of failure for our police department. It is unfortunate, but entirely based in factual information. Acting chief Thompson sent out an email response and it revealed quite a bit. The first thing I noticed was an analogy that went on and on. I got the message, but I was left wondering if we just have another John Pickens in charge.

    Thompson says the same exact fluffy BS things Pickens said, but with a little more prose. He has the same unimaginative cookie cutter responses and an inability to identify problem issues, problem people, or a will to make a difference. Thompson’s Pickens like approach is just another reminder that the new chief needs the clean house upstairs if they want any chance to move forward.

    I would like to offer a very hearty thank you to Anne Ryman and Rob O’Dell for looking into the mismanagement of the Arizona State University Police Department.

    These issues have been going on for years. Pickens kept saying, “it’s a work in progress”, so what’s Thompson’s saying going to be? “Please be patient, be nice, we care, but if you have complaints you are petty, a muck raker, and don’t matter, and we will ignore you.” That sounds like the voice of a man ready to move forward without achknowledging a single issue. Good luck with that, it didn’t work out well for the last guy.

    • Karma says:

      You’re right…its the exact same BS Pickens would tell us all, just said in a nicer tone (which attempts to convey that Thompson cares about us).

      Thompson and friends missed the point in regards to staffing; until they change the environment within the department and the people who continue to make ASUPD a miserable shit hole, the department will remain the same. Getting people in the door has never been a problem, but retaining them for longer than a year has been.

      None of the bodies coming through the door will last very long unless the people who are responsible for the departments problems are removed, its simple.

      HOW MANY of us have told Thompson, Pickens, Olsen, HR that the REASON the department is fucked up beyond all recognition is because of a handful of individuals? HOW MANY of us have told Thompson that the solution to solving the department is to shitcan all of Command staff? WHY is the university so willing to protect a few pieces of shit and also sacrifice the well being of the department?

      Thompson, we aren’t disgruntled “muckrakers”, we are your employees. You wanted to know how to fix the department, and you were told how to do it. You want to keep Pickens’ cronies in place…fine…but it will eventually cost you YOUR job.

      These issues aren’t going away and will only get worse until the rotten apples are purged.

    • BurningheapofFail says:

      If Thompson had the brains and balls to assess the department’s situation there would have been more than two firings in command and we would already be on the path of recovery.

      Instead Thompson’s Pomp over People campaign begins. If Thompson believes half of what he said in the email then he’s already as asleep at the wheel as Pickens was. The troops get the message of be nice to each other, treat people with respect, we’re a team, but the command you’re surrounded by couldn’t possibly care less until right now.

      Right now they are trying to reinvent their images because they are confronted with their jobs being on the line, all the years previous tell a much different story of abuse of power, of low moral character, and no respect for subordinates unless they were friends. Integrity zero.

  7. Farewell says:

    The university’s leadership has allowed this shit to go on for years. Instead of firing former chief, John Pickens, for his abject failures in running the university’s police department, the university’s leadership instead creates a position within the university to save face and allow Pickens to continue to aggrandize himself with taxpayer funded money.

    Dr. Morgan Olsen, is this how you reward abject failure? You create a position for your subordinate? Sir, Pickens ran the ASUPD into the ground. He also hand-selected a tight-knit clique that destroyed many people’s lives over the years, and now you richly reward him for his failure as a leader? I don’t get it?

    In addition, I found your comments in the Sunday Arizona Republic newspaper very troubling and extremely out of touch with reality, sir.

    • yurhuckleberry says:

      When Morgan Olsen opens his mouth on issues concerning ASUPD I keep hoping for good news. I want these guys to be on the right side of things for a change. Instead we get more lies, excuses, and nonsense. I won’t be holding my breath any longer. It’s time more of us start talking to the media in private about what’s happening here.

  8. ThySummons says:

    Can we get acting Chief Mike Thompson’s email that was sent to department personnel on 09/21/14, regarding staffing, posted on the blog?

    Many folks that don’t have access to the email, would like to see his comments regarding the department’s staffing issues and his comment regarding Sunday’s Arizona Republic newspaper article.

    • Twocents says:

      His long winded awkward analogy, his highschool football coach pep talk, all of it was written for his bosses to show them he’s doing something, that he has their backs. This is a big show. If he had any intention of reforming the department he wouldn’t feature so prominently on here. He woulded be hand and hand with Pickens’s corrupt command.

      With his reputation as a serial adulterer and women chasing at Mesa PD and now ASU PD he’s no poster boy for integrity and ethics when it comes to being worthy of wearing the uniform and being a police officer.

  9. ComeOnNow4real says:

    It’s great that the issues of the Arizona Police Department are coming out to the public because the problems have been going on for years, no attempt has been made to fix them, and the public has a right to know where millions are being squandered.

    I know all about the problems of our police department because I work there. What I find astounding is how Michael Crow defers to Morgan Olsen who waffles back and forth on every issue and every question.

    Olsen as the baptism under fire mouthpiece of the university tries to answer intelligent, serious, relevant fact based questions with juvenile excuses and first day in DC politician antics. The gulf is only going to widen by lies and excuses.

    We are tired of them and it’s about time these public officials start becoming accountable. Perhaps Arizona needs to enact some accountability legislation for it’s tax and spend university administration who never took an oath for public safety and now appear to subscribe to no moral code of ethics. Chief Thompson fits right in. He has the nerve to talk about, “…always remain worthy of wearing the uniform OR serving within the police department.”

    He says that as if you either are worthy of wearing the uniform OR serving in the police department. I guess you can’t have both. Maybe that’s why the blog, the Integrity Report exists Mike? At the end of the day you are another immoral command member brought in under the chief Pickens look the other way standard of ethics. You’re in bed with them all, you cover for them, and the department’s problems continue.

    • Quick call Tempe! says:

      The Arizona State University has it’s very own Wafflehouse. It’s located on the fourth floor of the Fulton Center building, northeast corner of University and College in Tempe.

      If anyone is there to answer questions ask them why they hired the Arizona Department of Public safety to put in long hours trying to figure out who is running this blog and who is posting on it?!?

      Ask them why they are attempting to suppress first amendment rights under the guise that the law was broken when a sergeants photo was posted online, when the sergeant’s vehicle was parked in violation of posted parking laws, photographed and posted.

      I wonder what admin fat cat at DPS authorized this even though the supposed crime they are trying to cite does not meet the statute at all. I’m sure the DPS commander or above who authorized the DPS stunt is receiving plenty of overtime money to sit and watch our football games.

  10. Quick call Tempe! says:

    OUTSTANDING!!! These public officials will lie to the public, they will lie to employees, but when they start lying to investigative reporters the game is up. Crow, Olsen, Salcido, former chief Pickens and now acting chief Thompson can’t hold the people who brought this on the department responsible and it’s increasingly becoming their problem.

  11. Twocents says:

    I read it online, but seeing it on the front page is a whole different ballgame. This is big. I looked for the paper Sunday, but it was sold out in several places. Thankyou for posting a picture of it.

    This brings hope that positive change is coming to the department. By positive change I don’t mean another Pickens, another Mike Thompson, or any of the people Pickens promoted that led to this department failing it’s mission. We need leaders and we haven’t had any for a long time. Good job guys!

  12. Seguridad perdido says:

    What does it tell the public when the Arizona State University police department goes down to two officers on duty on a regular basis? What does it say to them when “Outlying campuses often only have one officer on shift at a time.”?

    Furthermore the ASUPD command decides to redact these facts from freedom of information act (FOIA) requests. These issues are minimized by university officials as recent issues they are now addressing, but they have been going on for years!!!

    What else has been going on for years? We have a command/supervisory structure of a department ten times our size and corrupt as hell. Hope for change? Not quite. It takes more than more bodies coming through the door to change this. If Acting Chief Mike Thompson wasn’t part of the problem he would have acknowledged this fact.

    • yurhuckleberry says:

      You ask, “What does it tell the public when the Arizona State University police department goes down to two officers on duty on a regular basis?”

      I have an answer for that. They care about making money, getting paid. If they cared about the functionality of their police department it would have been fixed a long time ago. Our staffing has been at these numbers for years.

    • DoneSon says:

      The public who have kids here should take notice of the parents and kids who have suffered tragedy because we have no real patrol presence to be a crime deterrent. Instead we focus on property crimes to deter because we don’t have the teeth to go out and do what we need to.

  13. yurhuckleberry says:

    If the safety of 100,000+ students, staff, faculty, and general public isn’t important I don’t know what is. Michael Crow through Morgan Olsen, Michael Thompson, all are good excuse makers, but none seem capable of fixing the police department they collectively manage. Why is that?

    Is public safety not a priority? Paying Crow more money is a priority, looks like it’s time to increase tuition again. Safety for the kids will have to wait, the fat cats are still eating.

  14. DoneSon says:

    It looks like Julie Newberg got tired of sitting in the dunk tank, it’s Morgan Olsen’s turn. Crow must have pried him out from under his desk to meet the press. They smell a story past all the hanging tree air fresheners. There’s more where this came from.

  15. smokey261 says:

    The story was professionally researched and full of solid substantiated facts. Chief Thompson’s email response was a poor attempt to counter it because it was an emotional response. It was based on a call to rally behind a command who are disliked or despised by so many employees. You need to post Thompson’s response!

  16. […] investigating and contradicting all of the department’s logic with hard facts and documentation (see the September 21st, 2014 edition of The Arizona Republic for an example). Even worse, the university attempted to redact information released to The Arizona Republic under […]

  17. […] to press on with  its head in the sand, unable and unwilling to acknowledge any problems such as staffing, morale, and lack of adequate training (despite evidence to the […]

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