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:
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.