Translation? We are going to continue to ignore the REAL reasons why our department has lost legitimacy with its employees/the public and move forward with our “warm fuzzy” PR campaign.
The public wasn’t too happy with ASU’s “in your face” approach from the recent “Safe and Sober” campaign, why would this endeavor be any different?
Mike Thompson here again…I haven’t done anything about the agency, haven’t done anything for you, haven’t done anything about the problem people, but we need your help.
We lied to employees, the press, the public, and to the federal government. Our lies are catching up with us and making the Arizona State University Police Department/university administration look like the corrupt public officials we are.
We shit the bed and we need you to go out to the public high-fiving, forcing interaction, and spending all that spare time you don’t have to build relationships we can’t, relationships we damaged. You would have the time if we didn’t spend years playing games with your former backup and turning people off to staying.
Nevertheless think happy happy joy joy, get out and get busy running our public relations campaign when we can’t even staff our department and provide you with the tools you need to do your job. Sorry we took the rifles, they scare people!
Another desperate email sent late at night to ASUPD personnel. A last minute attempt to hold on to power.
Unfortunately, for interim Chief Thompson and a few others, waiting for the other shoe to drop is causing great angst.
Mike, Here are some questions:
Where were you all these years when the department was going to hell in a handbasket?
Where were you when Pickens, command staff members, and the clique were driving the department into the ground?
Where were you when Pickens, command staff members, and the clique were treating employees like they were disposable rubbish?
Where were you when the double standards were going on, and are still going on, with the clique?
It’s a little too late to feign that you care about the department and its employees, or even the ASU community.
Deep down inside you only care about yourself and your future, nothing else!
We are not buying into your disingenuous emails and your touchy-feely BS.
Thompson was too busy trying to chase tail within the department, or dodging controversial issues so he could weasel his way into an AC position.
He only pretends to give a shit now because it makes HIM look bad, and now HIS job is on the line.
You asked where was Mike Thompson all these years? He was with the rest of them kissing The Great All Powerful Pickens’s ass in the hope of getting a raise and promotion no matter who he had to step on or sell down the river to get there. You couldn’t promote beyond Sgt with Pickens unless you were willing to compromise your sworn oath of being a police officer.
When issues were happening Thompson turned the other cheek, he didn’t want to make any waves among the commander ranks because it has always been about making those with power and influence happy. He’s anothet corrupted yes man and nothing more. Those who had any integrity and were in command couldn’t wait to get the hell out of there because they surrounded by people like Speranza, Rourke, Schicalone, Orr, Hardina, Spradling, Clark.
At the end of the day you are talking about people who delighted in playing hurtful games with people’s lives and careers. You are talking about people who could not live by the saying, treat others the way you would want to be treated. Are these leadership qualities? At ASUPD they are, no successful department would tolerate it.
We have been frantically scrambling to fill basic patrol shifts for years because of top down mismanagement and gimmicky attempts to fix it.
How out of touch with reality do you have to be to think we have time to run around doing this shit? If you are chief, assistant chief, commanders, or sergeants (half the department) knock yourselves out, you have the time.
Stop wasting time blowing smoke up our asses with non-issues and fix this agency. Complaining “the blog” exists like whining bitches? Stop fueling it by doing your jobs for a change. In case you haven’t noticed the business as usual approach hasn’t been working.
Nobody ever wants to talk about the enormous elephant in the room, they are too busy with these diversion classes and ignoring issues that are displeasurable because they had a hand in them. It’s called taking responsibility.
This new cheap last ditch charade isn’t fooling anyone. Some people voiced their concerns, but everyone took notice and understand their concerns are the last priority as they always have been.
All the talk was about how command feels about the legitimacy of the police department, how the general public feels, how criminals feel, but nothing about members of the police department feel about issues of legitimacy.
The years under Pickens have left us with a command that regard their underlings as disposable and it shows by how many have come and gone. Pickens referred to them as bodies…said he owned employees. Sounds great doesn’t it? People have been sick and tired of it for years, now they’re mad.
I can see it now. “Good Evening. My name is Officer _______ and I’ll be your arresting officer tonight.” Does the University want cops or Customer Service specialists like Disneyland?
Put the initiative on the troops, put the blame on the troops, and do whatever it takes to appear spot free while being corrupt as ever and maintaining the collision course Pickens left us on.
The public, parents, kids, taxpayers deserve to have the police protection they are funding, but unfortunately they are getting a high priced administration with promises they cant keep due to problems they created. Nobody will admit fault and accept responsibility. The truth scares them.
As police officers we are supposed to be above reproach because we conduct ourselves ethnically, not because we have a title and power over others. The asupd command ignores this belief that the good cops live by.
Officers on the ground can’t change the public safety mismanagement at the university, only a new police management team can do that.
Most of us already do what Thompson advocates in the email, so I can only assume the “legitimacy” training came about from the university administration’s perception of Ferrin/Orr contact once the media storm hit after they found no wrongdoing.
Puppet master Thompson and the rest of our bogus command are trying to come up with something to show the administration they are worth keeping when they have proven they are not by how fractured and dysfunctional our department has been for years with them at the controls.
News Flash! They are far more disposable and easily replaced than all the good employees they pushed out or turned off and who fled this department.
Another diversionary load of public relations crap. Are we supposed to believe the Ore / Ferrin thing is what caused the lack of legitimacy for the department? Come on. The so-called leadership of this place has done more damage to our public image, to damage department morale, and create the public safety crisis we are in more than all other issues combined.
As they get their paperwork together to fire him, blame him, nobody else in the chain gets looked at? Can anyone say scapegoat?
I understand they blamed Pickens and Hardena, but the chain goes down. These two had no clue what patrol does or where pending issues were. Pickens couldn’t find the department without onboard navigation and unless you want to know about running shoes and men in tight pants Hardena was out of his element to.
How about the string of supervisors that looked the other way at this time? What was Sgt Mark Aston doing when this rookie officer needed direction? Sitting in the armory? Tinkering with shotguns, an AR? Shrugging everything off? It’s time to get real.
Well, since this is my first post here, give a moment to sum up my experience to this august body. I served with the USMC in a combat MOS, then I went on to serve as an cop (officer/detective) for an Arizona agency that serviced a metropolitan area for nearly 25 years. Now, I am a student at ASU and have been here for about a year. I’ve seen the good of ASU and I’ve seen the banality and ignorance of some of the administrators / professors.
I’ve dealt with ASU PD since my time as a student and I’ll say this. The cops and the PA’s that I’ve dealt with are hard working, decent people who give a darn about their jobs, their sacrosanct responsibilities, and the people that inhabit ASU.
You’ll note that I mention cops and PA’s. I don’t use the title of “police officer” because AZPOST and their cabal of inbred executives consider anyone with an active / reserve / inactive certificate to be a “police officer”. The short equation is that a cop is > than a “police officer”, because a cop has to earn the title of cop from the toughest critics – their colleagues on the shift and on the department and the selection process is stringent. Any slack jaw that can pass a B.I., a polygraph, and a psych can sit through ALEA and earn the title of “police officer” and then go on to supervision, management, executive, and CLEO.
My advice to the cops and the PA’s? Keep up the standards, support each other, give the agency nothing… NOTHING that they can use against you, and work hard – even when no one seems to notice. Trust me, the ASU community is watching and some of us have been in the same trenches and fought the same battles with the unethical, the unqualified careerists, the brass plated bullies, and the morons with MA, MS, and Ph.D. suffixes. We all know who makes a difference and who cares only for their next promotion, office, or their next university.
Dethroning the insidious can take years and the battle never ends. Stay united and fight for the ethical right, because the ASU Police Department does not belong to the chief, the commanders, the lieutenants, or the administrators; it belongs to you collectively because you do the hard work that serves all of us. It is your Department.
Wow. What an eloquently worded response, What’s in your ORI?
Most of us give a damn, we love our jobs, love serving others, and we have respect for our coworkers. These are the ones who have stepped forward to fight for a better future for ASUPD, whether explicitly through official documentation, or quietly behind the scenes.
This whole blog “movement” (or whatever you want to call it) has ALWAYS been about doing the right, ethical thing, even if it means speaking out against those who employ us. Law enforcement has NO place for those that discredit our department and our profession, period.
Thanks for the support and morale boost. It’s good to know that someone from the outside can see through our admin’s BS smokescreen.
You summed up the situation perfectly. The longer the university continues to employ people who fail the ethical test every chance they get to take it we will continue to fight them. You can’t run a police department with leadership who only look out for themselves and have unqualified distain for the people below them.
All of a sudden, because their asses are on the line, they are trying to put on a new image and it’s fake. They are uneasy being supportive because they spent years doing the opposite. We are sick of it.
Thank you so much for your insightful and blunt post, What’s in your ORI?.
Many have attempted over the years to resolve deep-rooted problems within the ASU PD through the chain of command, however, the many problems stem directly from employees in the chain of command.
Anyone that might attempt to go this route would be annihilated and eventually drummed out of the ASU PD. Bring up issues and they will “target” you until you are gone. This has been the way that many in the current leadership and supervisory positions have operated for years under the former chief, John Pickens.
Because of this, some employees had no choice but to go top-level ASU administrators seeking resolution of the countless problems that plague the ASU PD.
And when contacted, what did top-level ASU administrators do to assist ASU PD employees? Virtually nothing of substance. In fact, the university’s top HR person, Kevin Salcido, sent unprofessional and offensive emails to ASU PD employees and suggested that if they were not happy with the status quo to move on. Some of Salcido’s unprofessional and offensive emails sent to ASU PD employees can be viewed on the blog.
So what is the university’s and ASU PD’s solution for fixing the many internal problems that directly stem from problem supervisors and leadership employees? Mandate that all ASU PD employees attend “touchy-feely” university training sessions conducted by “experts” within the university.
Really? Hardly the solution for dealing with deep-rooted internal management issues and problem employees in leadership and supervisory positions.
What’s in your ORI?, thank you for your military and law enforcement service.
ASU administrators: Dr. Michael M. Crow, president of ASU; Dr. Morgan R. Olsen, Executive Vice President, Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer of ASU; and Kevin Salcido, Associate Vice President and Chief HR Officer in the Office of Human Resources at ASU.
ASU PD command staff: acting Chief Michael Thompson, acting Assistant Chief Michele Rourke, Commander William Orr, Commander Lou Scichilone, and Commander Chris Speranza.
If the university leadership had more people like you to listen to, people with real world police experience, then maybe they would see the unimpressive hoax we have for leadership at ASUPD. You can’t talk the talk if you don’t walk the walk. Your explanation is a blue print outlining the issues affecting this agency.
Outstanding!!! The poster “What’s in your ORI?” has a firm grasp on the situation we have been dealing with.
At every junction our witless command falls flat on it’s face because they spent so little time on patrol and went right into evaluating a job they barely knew how to do.
How about people skills? Based on their interactions with subordinates they inspire disrespect, which for them is exactly what they deserve for how they damaged this house of public safety and those that are devoted to serving it.
If an outsider police veteran can see what the situation is hopefully the new chief will as well. The safety of the ASU community depends on it.
Thanks for the comments.
Many of the problems you are collectively and individually facing are shared by those at Phoenix PD, MCSO, AZDPS, Prescott PD, Oro Valley PD, and other agencies Statewide. The orogeny of these problems comes from the “good ol’ boys/girls club” known as AZPOST. Keep in mind that the CLEOs of this State control your certifications with iron hands and the knowledge that they can severely punish people for the least infraction and ignore the most egregious “mandatory” career ending violations, short of felony convictions. for the sycophants that they curry like so many concert groupies.
If you have spouses, significant others, relatives, friends, neighbors, etc., have them write letters to the Governor, the Arizona Board of Regents, to Michael :”I never met an allowance that I didn’t like” Crow, and the media. Go to the East Valley Trib, go the the Arizona Republic, go to the New Times, go to the electronic media, and go to anyone who will listen.
Obviously, someone already had this idea and formed this website and one of you had the idea to “drop the dime” to me (off duty, out of uniform, and not on ASU property, of course!). Remind the State legislators that you are voters and you want action on the near criminal inequities that inhabit “Mahogany Row” at ASU PD.
I won’t belabor Pickens. When I first started at ASU, I looked at the PD website to gauge the caliber of the department and when I saw portraits of everyone that holds an executive or managerial position, I knew the CALEA drones inhabited the highest levels of the agency. I only hope he fails as miserably at his new venture as he did at the PD. A website should have a small photo of the CLEO and lots of photos of officers/detectives/PA’s/line level civilians at work.
Your pressure must be relentless and overwhelming. You must set the standards and always be the exemplars to the University admin and the student body. Cultivate local politicians in Tempe, in Phoenix, and wherever your beats lie. They can help you get influence in the halls of power. Meet with and work with community groups – I know many USG officers and SVO officers are police friendly and support your mission. The idea is to earn allies who can help you with your fight.
I won’t tell you everything here. Obviously, the opposition prints out our posts and analyzes them for authorship, content, and how to reverse your efforts against them.
All in all, it is going to take years to clean up the overflowing litterbox and the urine stains that Pickens and associates have left everywhere. You can force out the CLEO, yet all of his/her drones remain and we all know that people have a marked tendency to promote employees like themselves. It’s basic psychology…
It took my agency years to ferret out the incompetent chief, the agenda chief brought in to break our association, and the “mafia” chief; all before we got a decent one. It took me decades of working in the association to effect change – so be prepared for that.
I am now only a student, but I am not afraid to complement those who work hard and make certain that the bosses know it. Likewise, I will write Michael Crow when someone acts out in an unprofessional and outrageous manner. I’ve already done so for one professor and as an unhappy consumer of education, I WILL raise a stink when appropriate. I plan to meet the members of the Board of Regents and ask some very pointed and uncomfortable questions about Dr. Crow, his senior executives, and those who have stunk up ASU PD. I ask you to remind your immediate and extended circles to do the same, especially if they are proud Sun Devils!
Stay strong. You have friends in some unlikely places.
Thank you so very much!
Yes, thank you very much!
What’s in your ORI,
You are right on target. The longer the university holds onto damaged goods the more we have to expand the battle, the exposure, and hold them accountable. Dissent at the agency was in private for years and victimization went unchecked.
The only logical outlet was a place that protected identities and was public. The second more of us stop working for the agency, the more we will be able to publicly engage the problem and expose the villains who turned this institution of justice into a cesspool for their own devices and left the university a land of opportunity for criminals.
When we want to talk about the ASU Police department and a perceived lack of legitimacy we need to look no further than former chief Pickens. He ignored policy and procedures at will to promote favorites, to discipline employees, and run this department like a mob boss. He took on damaged goods without options knowing he own them, that they were his men. Look at what he left behind.
Our current acting chief M Thompson is known for his sexual scandal with another officer’s wife, breaking up his marriage, and indiscreetly chasing tail at ASU while married to the woman he had the scandal with and convinced to put a restraining order against her husband. His name = shit among Mesa officers who know the reputation.
The two appointed assistant chiefs are suspect. One is the former chief of police for Superior AZ, was also made city manager, then he gets fired for giving himself a pay raise. In the real world it’s called embezzlement and gets rewarded with jail, not another chance to dishonor the badge.
The other assistant chief, Michelle Rourke, repeatedly falsified documents that she prepared for Federal Clery reports on behalf of the university.
The commanders that were made under Pickens all have fatal management flaws and are void of any sense of honor or integrity. Examples of their duplicity, conniving, hostility towards subordinates, lying, and their seedy protectionist clique are the cancer of this agency.
The continued employment of people like this sucks the legitimacy right out of the department, the fact that they are in the top leadership positions is obscene by any law enforcement standard except the corrupt ones that all too often make the news.
The employment of these types of people by the university has undermined employee morale and longevity for years and will continue because these people can’t help themselves. You want to put the blame of no legitimacy on patrol?!? FUCK YOU. Take a look in the mirror.
You are spot-on, DL500unit.
Hello all ASUPD Command employees!
As many of you remember in our last “What have you done for ASUPD” online class hosted here on the blog and on a feature story within the Arizona Republic Newspaper you were challenged to fix the issues you caused within this department. From what we have seen you haven’t done jack shit except continuing to do only what you know how to do.
Here are some questions we would like for you to consider:
* Through your own action/inaction you are a documented liability to the police department, the university, and the state of Arizona. How long do you think you will have a job?
* You keep doing the same thing that has shown not to work and only to cause more problems. How long do you think you will have a job?
* There are highly qualified retired police officers with command experience all over the country, you are more expendable than you think. How long do you think you will have a job?
* As more exposure takes place about what you have done while being trusted with the running this government public safety enterprise how long do you think you will have a job?
* Your lack of trust with the employees within this department make you an outsider, nobody wants anything to do with you. Without the support of employees to get you out of the bind you created how long do you think you will have a job?
If I didn’t care about the people I have spent years serving, protecting, I would laugh at our command’s bumbling attempts to undo what they have done. It’s painful to watch. It’s sad the public pays a premium for them to fail and continually disappoint.
How do you say to a victim of a crime that we haven’t had adequate staffing and support for years, that if we had enough patrol to be a crime preventative instead of a overextended fucking joke of a call taking service? They look at us, not our command, when they ask “Where is a cop when you need them?”
Maybe we should hand them instructions on how to file a law suit along with their victim’s rights paperwork since money and appearance is all the university leadership and ABOR seem to care about.
If the new chief comes in and doesn’t fire them all they are only setting themselves up for failure. Maybe fire, terminate are harsh terms. How about giving them some nonsense title to go work at athletics, or that they are pursuing other opportunities?
Of course they will keep their jobs! The university holds non-tenure professors more accountable than the police department’s leadership for the responsibility of public safety.
Look at how long Pickens survived here, 14 years of saying, “It’s a work in progress.” It’s been a work in stillborn mediocrity while he played king watching idiots sell each other out to earn his favor. There’s more honor among thieves.
Mike Thompson, Your emails are nothing more than a ploy to ingratiate yourself with your boss, Dr. Morgan Olsen.
Retaining you and making you the permanent chief of police for the PD would not be in the best interest of the PD or ASU community.
As one poster succinctly stated, you are more concerned about yourself and your standing within the university.
Do the men and women of the ASUPD a favor, remove yourself from the chief selection process and move on with your life somewhere else.
That, my friend, would be a noble move that would garner a modicum of respect.
Trust in law enforcement is everything. Once you lose it you don’t get it back. This is supposed to be a tight knit community of peace keepers knowing that when, not if, peace fails we are warriors who risk everything for one another.
Let’s get something clear, that doesn’t exist at ASUPD and everyone knows it. We have people “bodies” wearing the uniform that are filling a number, making a quota, because we are attempting to fix a problem simply by hiring.
Nobody trusts interim chief Mike Thompson. His wives couldn’t even do that. It’s not a big department and the word is out. Nobody trusts our command in general, they don’t even trust each other.
Their misdeeds of stabbing employees and even their own friends in the back are common. They will simply do anything to shift blame onto others, so they can escape the responsibility of their leadership mistakes. I have no faith that Thompson is capable of doing the right thing now because he neglected to do so in the past. If he did leave that would be unprecedented.
It’s starting to look like the university likes staying the course with the head in the sand approach. They ignore the needs of their own department, ASUPD, and criticize, threaten, Tempe PD for the increased policing needs.
It’s going to take more media exposure, operational failures, and unfortunately individual families will pay a high price for the management failures of six figure fat cats who believe only in their own omnipotence. This isn’t over by a long shot.
Having read Thompson’s letter/email as posted above, I’ll offer my opinions and concerns, keeping in mind that I do not know him.
The good? Engagement with one’s beat or assignment is nothing more than good policing. Unless one is a “deadbeat in uniform”, one has to be actively seeking out information sources and mine them when appropriate. Too many officers are little more than “report writers” who count down their shift hours as if they were “hotel hours” at Tent City. There is one PA who I see constantly during my time on campus. He is sitting in front on class rooms talking to any one he can, walking through the library, over at the faculty offices, etc. He engages everyone, even if it is just for a moment. I understand that because the idea came out of Thompson’s mouth, ASU cops and PAs don’t like it. Here’s the moral dilemma for you – do you, as a cop/PA, disengage and hope that it makes the PD and Thompson look bad… or do you engage your “customers/clients/citizens/cases” with the idea that it helps you in your work, makes you look effective, and the PD look good (and by extension – Thompson and other brass draped slackers)?
The bad? If you do your jobs and make a professional effort, you might be co-opted. I’ve studied leadership and I’ve studied management, co-opting is a management technique that cunning managers use to get recalcitrant and doubting employees to “buy In” to the department goals and the machinations of management. Example, In Mexican national politics, the ruling political party (PRI) will not demonize their political opponents, but will sit down with them and offer them platitudes, incentives to “work” with them, and then to offer them jobs within the political party. This way, the PRI party can deal with professional opposition, radical student protestors, minority indigenous groups in the Yucatan, etc. This is why Mexico no longer has the political revolutions that they were once racked with. It is also the context of the Godfather movies… organized crime did little things for people and bought their loyalties over time. Soon, they could do anything and get anything because of “mutual favors” and it is much, much more difficult to say no to a “friend” than an enemy.
Don’t be surprised if anyone in current management or future management adopts similar techniques. It makes the boss look great to the public and the university, it undermines lesser managers with ambition, and tends to quiet the loudest protesters. At my former agency, we had a militant employee who was a high official in our labor group and was always railing against the department. One day, he was “suddenly promoted” and guess who became the biggest “company man”? He turned into a management stooge willing to do any dirty work that the boss wanted – including surveillances of employees during their work days and other invasive procedures.
Please note that I am not recommending that ASU cops/PAs form a permanent schism between labor and management. Refusing to talk and filling oneself full of hate is not healthy. Just be wary if someone offers you a position on a board/committee/focus group – CALEA is ripe with them and they may turn them against you.
It may seem that you are stuck at ASU PD forever. You are not. If you truly are not happy, your health is being affected, your family is falling apart, and nothing has fixed these things; it is time to leave. Yes, it is okay to quit. I fired my agency because I was sick and disgusted with a chief that ran the department as a Sicilian crime family. I walked out after turning in my gear and felt orders of magnitude better. Other agencies are hiring, other careers exist. The problem with LE is that it will use you… completely and without remorse. One day, you will be forced out and all without much of a send off. When that day happens and it will to all, you will be an outsider and treated as if you are an infectious disease vector. Arizona policing is not like NYC, Boston, Philly, or other agencies who care about their retired brothers and sisters. We are not like Phoenix Fire and supply vans to drive retirees to healthcare appointments or comfort our spouses when we die. LE here in this State doesn’t care. Get what you want out of your job, but realize that your agency views you as a commodity and tends to treat you that way.
That’s my tip for the day… Hope it helps at least one person here.
You’re correct, you don’t know Mike Thompson.
Thanks for your input and comments.
Thompson can put on a good show and there’s nothing he won’t do to hang on to an inflated salary.
I don’t have much of a problem with what is said in the email. Treating the public with dignity, respect, getting to know them and giving them a chance to know you are good things.
What I do have a problem with is that Thompson is again trying to put the problems of ASUPD on the backs of patrol and ignore the rat’s nest he’s sitting in.
The only thing maintaining the department’s legitimacy is the reality of having good people on patrol for years, just far too few of them.
Morgan Olsen, you are more of a fool that many here believe you to be.
Yes, indeed, he is. Real change within the PD will only come with an outside intervention.
Really…..Was anybody surprised? He was already in their pocket…
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