Editorial: What do we stand for? Integrity, accountability, and competency at ASUPD.


Fresh off the heels of the Arizona Republic‘s investigation into ASUPD’s staffing levels, it was apparent that Chief Thompson was fretting over the negative media exposure. Thompson sent out several long winded and bizarrely worded emails to the entire department…at 2330 hours….on a Sunday evening:

Acting Chief Clown Thompson email

Here’s our response to Chief Thompson’s email:

Your highly emotional and generic email response to the solid facts presented by the Arizona Republic article is proof that you are not a leader; you more than likely wrote this to appease your bosses who are probably starting to figure out you’re not the man for the job. The troops know you’re just another reactionary Pickens-styled politician who is scared and doesn’t know what to do.

The lengthy analogy of washing your hands in comparison to the ASU Police department works…but not in a positive way for you. We’ve been standing under the scalding water for years getting burned, waiting for a competent leader to turn the department around. New officers can sense it too; most want to get in and leave the agency before they get burned. It doesn’t take them long to figure this out. (Look at the record of employee turnover, it proves this theory, yet it is one more fact you don’t want to acknowledge)

New officers have heard and seen many so examples of officers who have been burned by the department’s management for any number of reasons, with the main reason as not being a member of “the clique”. No matter how bad you screw up, no matter how bad you treat others, you have someone to support you. Yet, you refuse to address the clique’s existence or their inability to be held accountable for anything, instead throwing out a broad statement about how we need to treat everyone with “dignity and respect”. Most all of us treat each other with respect, but there are a handful of people who can’t seem to understand that concept, which in turn destroys the morale of the department.

If you weren’t addressing the department clique with your warm and fuzzy  statements, then this is your attempt to explain away what has taken place under both your and Pickens’ watch.  Your words are meaningless to us all without any sort of follow up action.

The current command staff pride themselves on a negative management style of inbred cronyism. This cronyism may work at a backwoods sheriff department in a town with a population of 10, but it doesn’t work in a large, ever-expanding city like Tempe. Values such as integrity, accountability, and competency in management are required in a department like ASUPD in order for officers to stay engaged here. How many of the dozens of officers hired under Pickens still remain at ASUPD? Maybe a handful?

Thompson, you are getting paid a lot of money to sit at a desk, have meetings, and do a lot of excuse making for the state of affairs at ASUPD. We had 14 years of that. For years we have been waiting for someone that gets results. For years we have been waiting for staffing,  adequate training, and more equipment; but more importantly, our leadership deficit has been the most critical issue of this department.

Thompson, you ended the email with, “each of us serve a noble purpose and I ask you to never forget that and always remain worthy of wearing the uniform or serving within the police department.” As our leader, we the troops are waiting for you to serve a noble purpose, and to remain worthy of wearing the uniform or serving within the police department.

So far we haven’t seen it.

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32 thoughts on “Editorial: What do we stand for? Integrity, accountability, and competency at ASUPD.

  1. DL500unit says:

    He has nothing to counter the AZ Republic story with, absolutely nothing. What’s sad is that there are three candidates for chief of police for ASUPD. One is Acting Chief Mike Thompson, but get this…the other is former ASUPD Assistant Chief Alan Clark and some unknown guy from New York.

    Neither Alan Clark or Mike Thompson are good choices, but Alan makes Mike look like a saint and Mike’s Masters degree is real, not some made-up bullshit.

    Alan is so bad for a leadership position you would have no problem getting a unanimous vote of no confidence from ASUPD staff that were here while he was with the department.

    The only clear choice is the candidate from New York or rebooting the process unless the university administration is happy about the current situation and doesn’t care about growing this agency.

    • Embudo says:

      If Clark is, indeed, one of the finalists for chief of police, then God save us all!

    • WheresMy907 says:

      You have got to be kidding me. Clark?!? The same guy that collected sexual harassment complaints like playing cards and was finally investigated by DPS for one. Crow must have lost his mind.

    • Getitright says:

      Does Alan even have a legitimate bachelor’s degree? If they want to destroy this agency he’s been Pickens’s tool and doing it for years. Ask what happened the the sexual harassment claims, the azdps investigation on Clark that chief Pickens buried, the skeletons keep coming out of the closet.

    • Farewell says:

      The university’s leadership really doesn’t want to move the ASUPD forward in a positive direction if Clark is one of the candidates being considered for chief of police.

      However, Clark would fit in perfectly with the company of Mike Crow, Morgan Olsen, and Kevin Salcido.

  2. Embudo says:

    If Clark is, indeed, one of the finalists for chief of police, then God save us all!

    • WheresMy907 says:

      Exactly, this place would fall apart even worse.

    • ComeOnNow4real says:

      It would be a shame to have got rid of two pieces of shit (Pickens and Hardena)only to have another one (Clark)come back up the sewer. I wouldn’t trust any of them with a charity car wash, forget a police department.

  3. WheresMy907 says:

    At least he said treat others with dignity and respect, recruit beyond getting people in the door. I keep asking myself, “Did they give Thompson power to make personnel changes with command staff or is he stuck with what he’s got?

    I understand he had to address the elephant in the room after the story broke. I understand that the university administration thinks of itself as pompous and easily offended celebrities and you have to coddle them every step of the way.

    The chief went to combat facts with nonsense and a pep talk and it doesn’t hold up. For some reason nobody in charge here can ever seem to tell the truth. Liars protect liars up there. Everywhere else that’s called a integrity violation.

  4. OneFlewOverTheCuckoo'sPD says:

    Let this poster cut to the chase: everyone currently in command staff, including interim command staff members, needs to be fired!

    The house cleaning also needs to end with Mike Crow, Morgan Olsen, and Keven Salcido vacating their positions for allowing this toxic, dysfunctional, and malevolent leadership to thrive over the years.

    Let’s stop the insanity, folks. These self-serving, egotistical jerks need to be thrown out on their asses by the taxpaying citizens of Arizona.

  5. Getitright says:

    What do you stand for? Fighting every way I can to restore honor to a police department who’s command decided it could do without it.

    Does ASUPD command stand for ethics, doing right by people? If they did this department wouldn’t be short of officers for year after year and burnt out with the ones we have. How many times will they keep denying the truth, making up excuses, or trying to conceal them from the public entirely.

    From what I’ve noticed they have spent plenty of time doing these underhanded things and spent no time doing honorable work and fixing the problems. This letter continues the trend.

    • ComeOnNow4real says:

      That’s right! I won’t stop until someone takes out the trash. Every place has workplace issues, problems, and that’s just life, but ASUPD has had more than it’s share of assholes in management.

      They are completely out of touch and indifferent to the people out doing the work. Thompson came in and fit right in with the old guard. The very rumor of Alan Clark returning made the whole department vomit. Everyone on here wants the department to throw out the trash, grow, mature, and move forward.

      Nobody wants it to remain the back woods good old boy gun club who give their friends the highest evaluations, far above the vast majority of other employees who can expect nothing above a 3 no matter what they do. After years of this double standard bullshit employees either leave or stop caring.

    • WheresMy907 says:

      A police department without integrity is hardly more than organized crime. Some of us have higher standards for what is and what is not acceptable, that’s why we’re here.

  6. ComeOnNow4real says:

    Thompson is way out of his league here and ill-equipped for the task. Folksy sound bites and unfulfilled expectations are no way to counter a well written researched story by investigative journalists who smell a genuine story without end.

    As it stands our police department is one lucky agency not to slip over into the abyss for it’s lack of staffing and critical incidents. One near miss after another lucky streak will come to an end and hopefully we will eventually be prepared for when it does.

    Our self-destructive leadership has been shit for years and the single biggest obstacle to progress, staffing, efficiency because they have cared for nothing other than themselves and their friends.

  7. Quick call Tempe! says:

    The Sunday article kicked the shit out of these fuckers because it presented the truth and as usual they can’t handle it. Here’s an original idea, do something. If you don’t like the truth do something about it.

    You’ve been here long enough to realize where the problems are, but have done nothing about them. It’s business as usual and the oops I ate too much command are probably looking for yet another pay raise as officers are walking out the door.

    • RUkiddingMe says:

      The university has paid out millions of public tax payer dollars in lawsuits with careful non-disclosure clauses to keep information from getting to the press and public.

      When the university winds up on the front page of one of the major newspapers in the nation with a team of veteran investigative journalists looking into the mismanagement of it’s police department it’s a wake up call.

  8. popo39machine says:

    What do I stand for? I stand for the people in charge knowing what the difference between talking the talk and walking the walk.

    When they can’t tell the difference or care to I stand for them leaving this agency. (Lou S, Billy O, Michelle R, Chris S…)

    I stand for fair evaluations, not the same people getting fives year after year for who they know and everyone else getting upset, disappointed and detached.

    I stand for staffing so there is no overtime whore on the way to my 906/999 falling asleep on the way there or calling in sick when I needed them to be there, so we aren’t burning people out who realize they can go do less work for more money someplace else.

    I stand for getting rid of the people in the agency who get paid not to work and stay on the books indefinitely as light duty (Pam Osborne) for one, these useless specialty details, etc.

    I stand for my command not soaking in our annual budget, giving themselves raises, keeping perks while taking ours away, and leaving us behind year after year because we are expendable.

    I stand for equipment that works, cars with working air conditioning, computers that work, printers that work, practice ammo before qualifications, not paying 1000 to park and go to work every year, approvals on training that I would get if I was someone’s friend, brother, cousin, whatever.

    I stand for John P and James H getting fired for sucking the life out of this agency for years and not having an ounce of talent for rebuilding it…nevermind that already happened.

    • LDS says:

      Glad you called the non-effectives out, like Pam Osborne, who contributes virtually nothing of substance to the PD.

      Pam merely syphons precious resources from the those that actually contribute to the PD’s mission.

    • WheresMy907 says:

      You are 100% correct sir.

    • RUkiddingMe says:

      I couldn’t of said it better myself!!!

  9. Seguridad perdido says:

    The only logical answer for Mike Thompson’s inaction on every department issue is that he turns in his balls to Morgan Olsen before he comes into work and picks them up on the way home. They don’t know what they’re doing.

    This brings to light a serious issue facing public safety at this university. The micro-management of the police department by people who know nothing about policing. Again the Arizona Republic comes through with thoughtful ,intelligent, factual information instead of mad ramblings in a hastily written email from a K. Salcido or the one featured here from M. Thompson.

    Read this: http://www.azcentral.com/story/opinion/editorial/2014/10/01/let-college-police-make-enforcement-decisions/16565265/

    • Embudo says:

      The ASU PD operates and functions, to a certain degree, based on the directions of non-law enforcement ASU executives.

    • WheresMy907 says:

      The author had it right, it’s pure logic. It makes no sense for a police chief to direct day to day university operations, so why does it make sense for some office administrator who knows nothing about police work directing the police department? It doesn’t.

      What administrators like Crow and Olsen don’t realize is the public safety problem here could be solved with a highly experienced outsider heading our police department, empowered, and supported by them, but not micro-managed.

      We need real leadership, we need to be free to fight crime, not get ensnared in politics, policy, and jumping to the whims of everyone who sends them an email about something because our staffing is a shadow of what it needs to be.

  10. policeaides the problem says:

    If you are talking about taking out the trash, all the police aides should go. Asking to be paid more for turning a key and watching netflix is crazy. They also gossip more than anyone because they have the time to sit around for 10 hours PAID and talk crap.

    • DL500unit says:

      I would wager there are as many officers watching Netflix as PA’s. You must not work here because the working PA’s field plenty of calls we will never have the staffing to handle. It’s not their fault some are told to sit at stationary details at downtown and in Tempe. It’s just like any other job, some work harder than others.

    • Embudo says:

      You are sorely underestimating what the majority of police aides do for the university and department.

      If the police aides disappeared tomorrow, your job just got more burdensome since you now have to pick up the additional police aide-related duties.

    • OneFlewOverTheCuckoo'sPD says:

      Get rid of the police aides, and you’ll be doing all the BS details they currently do.

      I’m sure the morale will trend upward, within the sworn ranks, with this brilliant move.

  11. Siemper Fidelis says:

    policeaides the problem, If you were to lose the police aides, what remaining few sworn officers we have would now have to do the minutiae day to day stuff like sitting at fixed posts and all the other asinine stuff that the ASU administration conjures up for the police aides to do.

    In addition to your reports, you would also now have to accomplish all the police aide-type reports, i.e., no suspect info, and all the other taskers that are thrust on the police aides by the ass-kissing command staff trying to appease ASU administrators.

    I would give it about a week and you would be crying about not having the “working bees” around to lock-up buildings, respond to fire alarms, and sit in an open or locked-up building.

    Better bring your Netflix, ’cause you’re going to be sitting in that open or locked-up building as a sworn officer aide!

  12. RUkiddingMe says:

    What do you stand for Mike Thompson? Nevermind, we have seen it. We have seen it for years under Pickens. Does Thompson think he’s the appropriate messenger for this question? Of course not. How many people did a spit-take when they read this?

    When I look at what has been allowed to happen unchecked at ASUPD over the years Pickens has been here it makes me sick. His track record before coming to ASU was corrupt, so why did they pick him for chief? He’s a man who can be easily controlled.

    Thompson quickly assimilated when he came on board and joined the Alan Clark “Would you fuck her?” club. Outstanding ethics for a married men. The idea these guys are running for chief is pathetic. Is that the best talent asu can attract? We need leadership, not people holding leadership titles and being too lazy, apathetic, or out of touch to do anything about the problems.

    Hire one of the chief candidates from New York and give them a mandate to bring in a whole new management team. Without that nothing will change. We will be here next year talking about the same problems and they will only expand along with the university and continued press coverage. This department needs respectable solid proven leadership to rally behind and move forward for a change. The two steps back approach hasn’t worked.

    • ImJohnDoe says:

      As long as Dr. Crow is running the university, there will never be the type of Police Leadership you are seeking. He will only put a Yes Man into t he Chief’s position. Any Chief who stands up to Dr. Crow, who stands up for his officers, and who sets the tone for good ol’ proactive police work will be removed immediately. I have to believe Thompson knew how to be a good cop at Mesa but now he has to abide by the University’s wishes or look for a new job. Unfortunately, Thompson loves the almighty dollar and the title more than he values his integrity and his officers.

  13. Embudo says:

    When we have failures of integrity, ethics, and character, there’s leadership involved somewhere along the line, and those leaders should be accountable.

  14. yolo says:

    Thompson gets a lot of heat on here, but he has done something particularly noteworthy. He has recruited some highly talented former Mesa cops to the agency. Right now we have former Mesa cops as chief and assistant chief and on patrol.

    If this trend continues maybe experienced and competent cops can replace the gang of clique jerkoffs we have throughout the rank structure in control of this department. Perhaps talent would be likely to stick around instead of leaving the building like it’s on fire.

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