Unofficial, but honest current assessment of the Arizona State University Police Department state of readiness 03-11-2015
With the incompetent and corrupt Chief John L Pickens and his sidekick James Hardina gone some people had a slight hope things would improve at the Arizona State University Police Department. We asked, “How could anyone run this police department any worse?” While we weren’t expecting much from the same morally bankrupt command Pickens left behind; Lou Scichilone, Michelle Rourke, William Orr, and Chris Speranza. We thought with the top two problem people replaced something would change. It looks like Chief Mike Thompson and Assistant Chief Lou Digirolamo have fallen in line with Pickens’s old command and its business as usual for the old crew.
With current reports coming out of the department even our low expectations for change were not met. The proof is in the fact that no matter how many new faces come and go from ASUPD; most employees have the same old complaints about the poor leadership and the lack of integrity ever-present within the agency. A police department relies on trust from the public to operate effectively, that trust comes from operating with ethics and maintaining a baseline for integrity. That comes from not tolerating what falls below that baseline and holding command to the same standard you hold every employee to. Integrity is meant to be the backbone of a law enforcement agency and the Arizona State University Police Department is spineless.
During our hiatus over disgust for the Officer Ferrin outcome we looked at emails received regarding individual people, current and former employees, being accused of either running “the blog” or posting on it, and some very interesting details on what everyone is calling “the witch hunt” with AZDPS getting roped into participating in it. (As usual your identities and email is confidential unless you state otherwise.) Other email topics included the usual mismanagement of the department, officers planning to leave, bullying by familiar suspects, unethical selection processes for promotions, and encouragement to continue the fight to restore honor to a police department that, “fell far from grace”.
Clearly Chief Thompson’s vision for the department appears to be nothing more than staying the course with former Chief Pickens’s practice of running the place like it’s command’s whore house/ant farm and that’s unfortunate for the public safety concerns the ASU community. They are paying the bill and getting robbed. The robbery continues to fund a dog and pony show and the porkers that have a stake in it.
Department mission? It’s to maintain the smoke and mirrors convincing the public there’s nothing to worry about while brass-plated fat cats make off with the lion’s share of their public safety dollars to maintain the failed management model of an upside down pyramid. Still the public talks to the news asking, “I don’t feel safe at night.” and wondering where are the patrol units? As this continues the department is looking to promote a new group of sergeants at $70k+ who will come from more officers being taken off patrol. One has been on sick leave for over a year and apparently is one of the front runners in the process. How productive are they going to be? Others aren’t even past their year of probation as employees. The trend to be evaluators in order to stop working and stop being evaluated, while dramatically increasing your take home pay continues. That’s the only way to get a step increase at ASUPD, something every other department offers sworn and civilian staff.
What do we mean by the statement of ASUPD being a whore house/ant farm, dog and pony show? A police department only functions effectively when all its separate units work as a team. When you promote a culture of extreme self-serving, where everyone is out for themselves, you destroy the potential for people to work together toward a united goal. In the case of a police department that united goal is public safety. When you award people for things other people have earned and everyone knows about it you kill incentive. (Luke Khalid getting consecutive 5’s when most get 3’s despite being “investigated” for the sexual harassment of another employee and being removed from being a trainer for being hostile to employees in training.)
When you run promotional processes and change the rules to them as you go along because you don’t want the applicants who applied to get the position that’s wrong and lacks integrity. When you award positions and favors to people you want because you simply don’t like a person more deserving of them that’s wrong and again lacks integrity. These immoral practices kill incentive, morale, and any sense of team. The ability of the department to do its job suffers. Anyone who has talent and can leave does so as soon as they are able.
This trend continues as it did under Pickens. New and old employees see the favoritism, the same old corruption continuing, they realize what they’re up against if they stay and have every incentive to continue the trend of leaving. When new ASUPD employees come on board they are presented with a choice. The choice is to ingratiate yourself with the unethical power brokers and career chameleons or object to their unethical behavior and set yourself up as a target for them to practice their craft. There’s more decorum and respect among chimpanzees during mating season, among inmates in a prison, and there’s absolutely no incentive for any of it to change from Morgan Olsen, Chief Thompson’s boss or President Michael Crow his boss.
Therefore there’s absolutely every incentive for us to continue this narrative. The narrative has expanded and will continue to expand until it is fixed. The local news outlets are uncovering lie after lie from ASUPD command and the ASU administration every time they look into an issue. Therefore there’s absolutely every incentive for them to continue this narrative. These are fundamental principles of logic we expected the flunkies running ASUPD to miss with only half the command holding college degrees. It’s somewhat troubling the administration of ASU seems baffled with how to proceed on this issue of logic relying instead on brute intimidation, threats, and muscle to silence their opposition when it would have been relatively effortless and fool proof for them to address and correct the problems. Deciding between an ounce of prevention and a pound of cure is usually a simple choice.