DISMISSED Arizona State University Police Chief John L Pickens, 2 YEARS ON FAKE JOB @ 155,000 a year of your tax dollars!!! Demand a refund.

The watchdogs in the media are on the trail of the curious case of Mr. John Pickens, the defrocked Chief of the Arizona State University Police Department. They are on to the fact the Arizona State University administration is paying him a 155,000 a year, for two years now, to sit on his fat ass and literally do nothing. It is typical of the systemic waste and corruption waiting to be uncovered at the university. How many other witness protection programs like this are being ran out of the Fulton Center? 

We would like to congratulate Ray Stern from the New Times for staying on the case of this institutional state corruption and be aware, and believe us, there’s more where this is! 

Maybe Arizona governor Doug Ducey should be looking into this avenue of state corruption. Governor Ducey, why are Michael Crow and Morgan Olsen wasting 155,000 a year, for two years ongoing, to keep dismissed ASU Police Chief, John L. Pickens in the silent witness protection program? What corrupt information are they hoping to keep secret?

Many current and former ASUPD alumni know the history of John L. Pickens at ASUPD and the secrets he’s keeping quiet must be significant to employ him at $155,000 to do nothing while students get tuition/fee/inflation increases, while useful staff are reduced, and the Arizona State University Police Department continues to daily struggle to patch holes in shift schedules by routinely offering paid overtime. How many years can the department continue to operate like this?  

The new times exposed this issue initially here two years ago: http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/news/ex-police-chief-john-pickens-cushy-asu-job-provides-security-for-pickens-7688403

The new story is here: http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/news/lack-of-video-of-knife-wielding-hostage-taker-exposes-asus-security-camera-shortage-8903566

Lack of Video of Knife-Wielding Hostage Taker Exposes ASU’s Security-Camera Shortage

Lack of Video of Knife-Wielding Hostage Taker Exposes ASU's Security-Camera Shortage

More than two years after Arizona State University’s former police chief took the helm of a new program that promised to increase the use of video cameras on campus, it’s unclear how much expansion has occurred — if any.

The lack of video security around ASU’s Tempe campus was exposed on Wednesday, December 7, when a knife-wielding man held a faculty member in her third-floor office in the Language and Literature building before releasing her unharmed. The suspect remains at large. ASU police spokeswoman Katy Harris confirmed on Monday that no video evidence of the man was captured, either inside or outside of the building.

In the summer 2014, John Pickens stepped down unexpectedly from his post as ASU police chief a few weeks after the violent arrest of ASU English professor Ersula Ore by an ASU officer. But Pickens didn’t move far: ASU installed him in a new office, gave him the title of director of University Security Initiatives, and continued paying him his $155,000 annual salary. School records showed that his duties were supposed to include planning for the expansion of ASU’s video-camera system, assisting “appropriate staff” to ensure ASU is prepared for emergencies, and collaborating with staff to review design plans for surveillance cameras in the renovated Sun Devil Stadium.

But with a full year under Pickens’ belt, ASU can offer no list of his accomplishments, nor any timetable for achieving any of University Security Initiatives’ goals. What’s more, the program doesn’t seem to exist on paper aside from documents showing that Pickens was selected to lead it, and ASU has no record of any budget for the “initiatives.”


On Monday, in response to New Times‘ request for information about the status of the video-camera expansion, Pickens’ job, and University Security Initiatives, ASU released a statement indicating that there’s room for improvement:

“The safety of the Arizona State University community is something we take very seriously and we continually look for and employ new methods to improve,” reads the statement, provided to New Times by ASU spokesman Gerald Gonzalez. “Because we have 5 open campuses with 25 million square feet of space, we ask all members of the ASU community to immediately notify campus police if they witness suspicious activity or individuals.”

Gonzalez wants students to be aware of the university’s blue-light stations, which allow students who feel threatened to push a button and receive a police response 24 hours a day.

As last Wednesday’s incident demonstrated, the police response can be less than perfect.

A person matching the description of the knife-carrying man was seen an hour before the faculty member’s brief kidnapping, trying faculty office doors on the building’s fourth floor. A professor called police, who responded six minutes later but couldn’t find the man. It isn’t known whether he remained in the building or departed and then returned an hour later, just before 1:30 p.m.

The suspect is believed to be Hispanic or Native American, in his 20s, about 5-foot-9 with a medium build. He was wearing a black-and-white bandanna, a dark sweatshirt, and blue jeans. He had acne on his forehead and bloodshot eyes, ASU police said.

Until the promised camera expansion occurs, ASU encourages students and faculty to download the LiveSafe app that allows users to send ASU police real-time anonymous tips, including video.

Some faculty members and students criticized the decision by authorities not to broadcast a mobile-phone alert about the suspect. Students for Self-Defense at ASU, a group that seeks the repeal of the campus weapons ban, wrote on Facebook over the weekend that the incident “highlights the fact that ASU’s weapons prohibition policies don’t actually work the way they’re meant to.”

ASU policy bans guns and knives with blades longer than five inches but allows consumer-type self-defense sprays.



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18 thoughts on “DISMISSED Arizona State University Police Chief John L Pickens, 2 YEARS ON FAKE JOB @ 155,000 a year of your tax dollars!!! Demand a refund.

  1. Concerned Citizen says:

    We, as taxpayers, are fed up with the fraud, waste and abuse by university administrators.

    Thanks for keeping this subject and others on the front burner; the wheels of accountability and justice turn slowly.

    • WheresMy907 says:

      Maybe they will raise tuition again to cover more free rides. Make him a consultant at the Fulton center, easier to hide his useless there.

    • indeedYOUsay says:

      Does the state congress, governor, ABOR care about this waste? I’m liking this Ray Stern guy, he’s exposed the funny business.

    • BiscuitsRburning says:

      It’s not their money, they are accountable to nobody, why should they care?

  2. OneFlewOverTheCuckoo'sPD says:

    ASU administrators + ASUPD command = corrupt to the core!

  3. WheresMy907 says:

    So good ol’ boy John Pickens has NO RECORD OF HAVING ACCOMPLISHED ANY WORK, but is making $155,000 a year on the backs of taxpayers for 2 years at a cost of $310,000 + the cost of benefits, retirement, health insurance etc. This is absolutely shameful.

    • indeedYOUsay says:

      Sounds like a terrible waste of public monies on a guy who can barely operate a computer, but he’s leading a technology department of one with no plans, budget, or work accomplished in years.

    • JustTheFacts says:

      A huge waste of money. How many productive student workers can they hire at $8.50 an hour for $155,000 a year?

    • BiscuitsRburning says:

      …but no actual raises…good to know money is being well spent.

  4. DL500unit says:

    Pickens was such a egotistical self-righteous prick. He is the reason ASUPD still can’t staff a shift adequately even several years after his departure. He promoted like minded idiots to the command of the police department who are only skilled at driving people to other jobs.

  5. JustTheFacts says:

    Absentee Chief Pickens is the person the university would like to blame for Ore/Ferrin incident and the state of the department, but the rest of the command of the ASU police department were the ones responsible for everything then and now.

    Nothing has changed. They still can’t tell the truth, their bosses in the administration of ASU can’t tell the truth, so what is the public to believe about public safety at the university?

    You have people making $155,000 to sir around for years, on their butts, and do nothing.

    • BiscuitsRburning says:

      When people say nothing has changed under Thompson you understand the problem to be be bigger than Pickens.

  6. ShortimeASUofficer says:

    If former Chief John Pickens was anything like current Chief Mike Thompson and his stooges it’s no wonder people hate that guy. I had a real positive attitude when I first came here, but after seeing the politics, favortism, and reindeer games I’m done with this nonsense. If anyone is wondering why ASUPD has critical staffing year after year they are a fucking moron and will be promoted within the agency soon.

    • BiscuitsRburning says:

      It’s a big clue when a tiny univerity police department can’t manage to retain anyone for as long as anyone can remember, yet nothing is done about it because nobody sees that as a problem. It’s good to see people actually care about public safety.

  7. Embudo says:

    Governor Doug Ducey needs to intervene on behalf of the taxpayers and ASU community and mandate that an outside accounting agency do a top to bottom audit of ASU’s accounting principles. We are sure a ligitimate audit would reveal systemic corruption and misappropriation of public funds by top-level administrators, like Dr. Morgan R. Olsen. This in turn would indict many within the ASUPD command, including the former chief, John L. Pickens.

  8. Bluefalconsurvivor says:

    I hear from many people still there, nothing has changed, instead of lifting up the department from the Pickens pig pen, the command seems to have degraded the department even more.

    I am so glad I don’t work at that backstabbing shit hole any more. The command serves as an example of how low morality can go, but still stay out of jail or any accountability.

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