Tag Archives: ACLU

What ASU really achieved in 2013

We were pretty struck by the article on ASU’s homepage: What we achieved in 2013! Granted, some of the achievements regarding research were pretty stellar, but the majority of the article was peppered with “achievements” such as: being one of the “greenest” schools in the country, revamping the business school building, and having the Sun Devils in a bowl game.

Noticeably absent, of course, are topics such as Michael Crow receiving a pay raise while the rest of his employees receive a measly 3% pay raise (after a 5 year pay freeze!), or the decrease in proactive policing (due to staffing issues). Therefore, we’re creating a list of what ASU also achieved in 2013. This is, by no means, a conclusive list.


Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

ASUPD acquires new scheduling software to fix staffing problems; meanwhile, the PD continues to fall apart!

In light of all the negative issues that have been brought to Chief Pickens’ attention–poor morale, mismanagement–he has decided to ignore the input in order to focus his efforts on implementing a new staff software!!

From virtual-strategy.com:

ASU Police Department chooses ScheduleAnywhere employee scheduling software to improve scheduling efficiency.

Atlas Business Solutions, Inc. announced today that Arizona State University (ASU) is now using ScheduleAnywhere to improve and streamline its staff scheduling process. The campus police department chose ScheduleAnywhere as its officer scheduling software solution to improve the coordination and communication of shift schedules and improve operations. ScheduleAnywhere allows the ASU Police Department to continue its commitment to maintaining a safe and secure environment to live, work, study, and conduct research.

“We’re pleased to have the ASU Police Department join the growing number of law enforcement departments using ScheduleAnywhere,” said Jon Forknell, Vice President and General Manager of Atlas Business Solutions. “ASU is a flagship department that’s accredited by the Commission of Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies and we couldn’t be prouder of our selection.”

The ASU Police Department completed the transition from Microsoft Excel to ScheduleAnywhere about a month ago. With a staff of over 100 officers, the police department had a difficult time managing staff schedules and keeping track of availability. With ScheduleAnywhere staff scheduling software:

  • Updates to schedules are real-time and shared across the department.
  • Reporting and tracking vacations, time-off requests and availability is simple.
  • Existing staff can be better utilized.
  • Officers can access schedules online anywhere, anytime.

Another reason ASU chose to implement ScheduleAnywhere is because of its enterprise-wide visibility. Enterprise-wide visibility plays a vital role in larger organizations, where multiple people need real-time access to schedule information. In addition to regular staffing, ScheduleAnywhere is used to schedule security for all campus events, such as football games, parades, or ceremonies.

So apparently the department has had a difficult time managing schedule because they have SO many officers. REALLY!? I doubt there are even 100 sworn left in the department; when command staff is excluded, the number of people actually working the street is frighteningly low. How in the HELL will this “improve operations”? Chief, you don’t need a computer program to tell you what you already know…that the department is ridiculously understaffed, and no amount of computer wizardry will change that. Here’s a hint: START LISTENING TO WHAT YOUR EMPLOYEES ARE SAYING, INSTEAD OF SINKING MORE $$ INTO A COMPUTER PROGRAM YOU BELIEVE WILL SAVE YOUR DEPARTMENT!

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The legal liabilities of ASUPD’s FTO program

Many comments have been made regarding the status of ASUPD’s FTO program–how it has been used as a tool to weed people out of the department, how different FTOs have different standards for each respective trainee–but none have discussed how poorly running an FTO program can have significant legal ramifications for ASUPD, as well as ASU.

The following excerpts were cited from J. Parkinson’s “The Cost of Inadequate Training“:

Title 42, U.S. Code, Section 1983 Claims states that all allegations of civil rights violations against the police are brought in Federal Court (Daane, D.M. and J.E. Hendricks, 1991).Section 1983 provides a remedy for the violation of an individual’s federally protected rights.

In order to file a Section 1983 claim, the plaintiff must show that the defendant acted under the color of state law, their conduct deprived the plaintiff of their rights secured by the Constitution, the training the officer received (regarding the injury suffered by the plaintiff) was inadequate, the inadequate training led to the injury, and there was deliberate indifference on the part of the municipality.  The Court ruled in Monell (1978) that a municipality could be sued if the plaintiff could prove the defendant violated their rights because the municipality failed to adequately train the defendant.  The Court ruled that liability for failure to train has to follow the strict standard of deliberate indifference.  The requirements to prove deliberate indifference include:  plaintiff must prove the municipality knew the officer would have to deal with the situation, there was training available that would have made the outcome of the situation different, and the municipality chose to not provide the officer with such training (McNamara, 2006).

Supervisors are also able to be held liable for an officer’s actions under Section 1983.  There are three elements, the court identified in Shaw v. Stroud (4th Cir. 1994), that must be present.  They are:

(1) that a supervisor had actual or constructive knowledge that his subordinate was engaged in conduct that posed ‘a pervasive and unreasonable risk’ of constitutional injury to citizens like the plaintiff; (2) that the supervisor’s response to that knowledge was so inadequate as to show ‘deliberate indifference to or tacit authorization of the alleged offensive practices,’ and (3) that there was an ‘affirmative causal link’ between the supervisor’s inaction and the particular injury suffered by the plaintiff.”

            It is not good enough to say a police department is properly trained, there has to be clear documentation that includes when the training was held, which officers attended, who was the instructor, and what material was covered (Dahlinger, 2001).  Documentation must be organized in a clear, concise manner so if an officer becomes a defendant in a failure to train lawsuit, or any other type, the training records can be submitted as evidence of training. Basically, if it is not documented, then it didn’t happen.   McNamara (2006, p.3) stated:  “Taking this proactive step will help reduce department liability by showing an ongoing commitment to proper training.”

  • Therefore, ASU’s piecemeal FTO program could cause the department to be held legally liable under U.S.C 1983 if they can articulate the officer was NOT adequately trained. Considering the fact that the FTO program has previously allowed FTOs and an FTO Supervisor to train rookie officers when they THEMSELVES were not certified to be field training officers, we believe this to be grounds for a pretty significant civil lawsuit against the department.
  • Additionally, an FTO Sergeant (ie, the “Supervisor” of the FTO program) could also be held legally liable by allowing non-certified FTOs to train rookies, and failing to intervene when there were allegations of wrongdoings by an FTO (ie, “tacit authorization of the alleged offensive practices”), Therefore, a certain FTO Sergeant who allowed several of her FTOs to terrorize a slew of rookies could be held legally liable in civil court.
  • Finally, as stated in this article, training records can be submitted as evidence of training…so what happens when those training records are altered from their original state to “prove” that a rookier officer isn’t qualified to pass field training? Beyond the possibility of a civil suit on behalf of a potential victim and the rookie themselves, this is a blatantly criminal act which has occurred several times at ASUPD.

The most disturbing part about the legal liability incurred as a result of ASUPD’s FTO program? Several members of Command staff, including the Chief have known about the situation at hand. Granted, these people have been removed from the FTO program, but they have all received NO punishment, and their actions have created a legal liability for the department that may linger for a long time.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Chief’s Advisory Board Meeting Minutes

Recently, there’s been a lot of discussion about the Chief’s Advisory board; what issues are being addressed with the Chief, and what steps command staff has taken to pull back its department from the brink of disaster.

Attached are the Chief’s Advisory Board meeting minutes from 10/17/13. We’re posting this primarily so the public can see that ASUPD’s employees have made EVERY effort to address the department’s problems with the Chief directly, and even posed possible solutions to each problem individually. Pickens STILL has yet to take ANY action to wrangle the department’s problems (despite the fact this meeting was TWO MONTHS AGO), and he has now actually removed himself from his own advisory board!!

Nearly everything stated on the Chief’s behalf is a half-truth: the clicks DO run the department; you’re NOT being personally attacked by the blog, Chief (you are professionally though!); you have NOT fixed the requisition process; you do NOT have magical ideas that will benefit the department that are so secret none of us can know; and the idea that you’re unaware of the problem, Chief, and thus you can’t address the issues at hand.

EVERY issue discussed in the advisory board meeting has been also mentioned on The Integrity Report in one form or another, (with the primary difference being the person discussing the problems/solutions in the advisory board is much more articulate and concise than we are). We count ourselves among the masses of people that have attempted to make you aware of the problems in YOUR department, Chief, but you still deny there are massive problems in the PD.

Chief, in your own words: “the communication lines are open”…you actually have to pick up the phone, though.

Chief Advisory Board Minutes of Meeting

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Are ASUPD’s problems morphing into a Penn State-sized scandal?

Before anyone asks, we are NOT asserting that Arizona State University has some sort of child sex abuse scandal in the making–ie, Pennsylvania State. We are just illustrating parallels between Penn State’s administrative nightmare (following the public revelation that the university admin KNEW what was going on, but did nothing), and Arizona State University’s current admin situation. This is an extremely long, but informative read.

In 2011, a HUGE child sex abuse scandal implicating (former) Penn State University assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky broke, and with it, there were several allegations the university had knowledge of the criminal acts in question and failed to act appropriately. For the purposes of this blog, we will be focusing specifically on the inappropriate or non-action on the part of Penn State University’s administration, and how these common denominators parallel the administrative problems currently transpiring at Arizona State University.

In 1998, an 11 year old victim told his mother he showered with Sandusky. The mother contacted Penn State University Police, and a subsequent investigation begins. Detectives in the case also discovered another victim in the case who has the same story as the initial victim. The case was closed after District Attorney Ray Gricar decided the case warranted no criminal charges. The investigating Detective tells the grand jury in this case that the head of PSUPD, told him to close the inquiry.

Prior to the Grand Jury investigation of the first victims’ allegations, in 2007, the then-vice president for student affairs, Vicky Triponey, resigned. She stated she had “philosophical differences with other leadership in student affairs and at the university in general“. Several weeks later, The Wall Street Journal reported that football coach Joe Paterno wanted to discipline his football players himself, effectively having his players not be subject to the student code of conduct. Paterno also threatened (former) Penn State University president Grahm Spanier that he wanted Triponey gone, and would stop fundraising for the school unless she was fired.

In 1999, Sandusky retires from PSU, but is still allowed access to campus facilities, including the locker room.

In 2002, an assistant coach, Mike McQueary, reported seeing Sandusky sexually assaulting a young boy to Paterno; Paterno subsequently reported the information to PSU athletic director, Tim Curley. 10 days later, McQueary, Curley, and Gary Schultz (PSU Vice-President of Finance, which oversees the management of PSUPD) meet to discuss the allegations. No reports are made to law enforcement, and Curley and Schultz instruct Sandusky not to bring any children from his charity to PSU’s football building. This decision was approved by PSU President Spanier.

In 2008, a Grand Jury investigation is initiated. In 2010, McQueary testifies that he reported what he believed to be sexual activity between Sandusky and a young boy, and the reactions of the university administration to the situation. Curley and Schutlz denied they were informed of a sexual assault, but stated they understood the situation as “horseplay”.

In 2011, Schutlz and Curley were found to not be credible by the Grand Jury.  Pennsylvania State Attorney General Kelly released a statement, saying, “…Those officials, to whom it was reported, did not report the incident to law enforcement or any child protective agency, and their inaction likely allowed a child predator to  continue to victimize children for many more years….If we are to enforce the law and protect our citizens, and in this case our children, we cannot condone under the law the actions of those who make false statements to a grand jury, regardless of the positions they hold, particularly when they involve serious matters of great importance.”

(In 2011, Spanier resigned as PSU President and later was formally charged with perjury, obstruction of justice and endangering the welfare of children; Both Schultz and Curley were later charged with perjury, child endangerment, obstruction of justice and conspiracy ).

After this scandal broke, in 2011 PSU was investigated by The Department of Education to assess the university’s compliance with crime reported as required by the Clery Act. If federal investigators determine PSU wasn’t following protocols, PSU could face severe financial sanctions. Although the initial results of the investigation were released to PSU, the findings have not yet become available to the public.

A subsequent investigation by former FBI Director Louis Freesh stated there were several points PSU officials could have stopped Sandusky’s abusive actions, and instead, did nothing. Freesh stated, “There were more red flags here than you could count over a long period of time”.

Parallels between PSU’s scandal and ASU’s plight

While not as horrific nor as publicized at the scandals at Penn State University, Arizona State University seems to have engaged in a similiar pattern of behavior that could send it down the same perverted path carved by PSU.

Alan Clark, ASUPD’s former Assistant Chief has had MULTIPLE sexual harassment complaints lodged against him by members of ASUPD, including an investigation conducted by DPS on Clark’s behavior. Instead of taking action to prevent Clark from further engaging in sexually harassing behavior, ASUPD Chief Pickens holds on to the results of the investigation for a year, then allows Clark to retire from his AC position for another position in the university. Clark STILL has access to the police department, much like Sandusky was allowed to have access to the very locker rooms at PSU where he perpetrated his crimes.

Multiple allegations of sexual harassment, sexual discrimination, records tampering, as well as hostile work environment claims committed by members of ASUPD (among others) were brought to the attention of either ASUPD command staff, and/or Chief Pickens, both in a formal and informal situation. It is so pervasive that these issues were addressed directly to Pickens at his employee Advisory Board. Even directly stating these specific issues to Pickens himself have resulted in NO ACTION; these allegations of wrongdoing have yet to be formally investigated by the department as of this writing.

In the situation at PSU, upper-level administrators were informed of the acts perpetrated by Sandusky, who elected to do nothing about the situation, as not to draw negative attention to the university. Similarly, several ASUPD employees and administrators have informed ASU’s Vice President of Finance, Morgan Olsen of the gravity of the situation that exists at ASUPD. Olsen’s eventual response (months after being informed) we postulate has little to do with caring about the concerns of his employees, and everything to do with the pressure Michael Crow, ASU’s President, has put on him to minimize negative attention to the university.

ASU’s Head of Human Resources Kevin Salcido was dispatched to investigate the merits of claims made against ASUPD by members of the department; however, it appears that Salcido has engaged in an “investigation” primarily to give the impression to those outside of the university that ASU is “taking care of the problem”. In reality, a full blown investigation would entail actually interviewing those who claim to be victims of systemic mistreatment at the hands of ASUPD. What this “investigation” has amounted to at this point is Salcido discussing some “issues” with upper-ranking members of ASUPD who have either no idea of the gravity of the situation, or know only one tiny iota of the problems the department is facing. Therefore, the seriousness with which Salcido’s office is handling this investigation has yet to be seen. Michael Crow has also been kept abreast of the situation at ASUPD by his people, but the degree to which he is informed is unknown.

Just like PSU, ASU’s upper-level administrators have been informed of the situation that is currently transpiring within ASUPD. However, here is where the stories of both Penn State and Arizona State are at a crossroads: will ASU go down the same path as PSU by letting the situation deteriorate further, only to feign ignorance when facing possible criminal charges? Or will ASU learn from the mistakes PSU made and decide to rectify the systemic failures of its police department, while there is still time?

We don’t know the answer to this question. The breadth of these problems go beyond what is happening at the PD level and are manifesting themselves into university wide problems; therefore, a significant and genuine undertaking by ASU’s administration must transpire, or else the issues discussed here will require the intervention of the state and federal government.









Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

CPS avoided transparency, ignored reform for years

Here’s another article regarding the plight of another grossly mismanaged state agency, CPS. While reading this article, ask yourself…do the problems CPS is experiencing sound familiar?

From abc15.com:

PHOENIX – Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery says he wants answers and hopes the completion of a Department of Public Safety investigation will lead to permanent reform and change for Child Protective Services.

“I want to go all the way down to the bottom of the cesspool that has been the source of CPS failure and find out what is going on,” said Montgomery.

Montgomery is hoping an administrative investigation will get to the source of what he calls a failing system at CPS.

The focus needs to be what’s going on with CPS from an administrative, personnel, and policy standpoint. The organizational culture and the management structure at CPS needs to be looked at because that may be the source of the true fault of the child welfare system from the beginning,” said Montgomery.

He hopes focusing on a system wide change will make sure CPS is doing what it is intended to do.

“Set up a system were there really is protection of children first and not the protection of status quo, or the protection of failed system,” said Montgomery.

A system Montgomery says has managed to avoid transparency and ignore reform for years.

“How do you have a government agency, that despite legislation telling them how they do their job, continue doing what they’ve been doing all along and are impervious to efforts of reform?” asked Montgomery.

This sounds very similiar to the situation at ASUPD: waste taxpayer money, have droves of employees quit, have a department unable to engage in police work…but ignore any efforts to try and change the situation within the agency.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

According to the news media, Vista Del Sol ISN’T on ASU’S campus!


Initial reports of the ecstasy lab found at Vista Del Sol were reported as occurring on ASU’s Tempe campus, now it is nearly impossible to find a link to the original story on ANY of the major media outlets. On abc15.com (where we pulled the original link from), the news story isn’t on the site AT ALL. The links are still live, and you can still search them from google, but when you are navigating news stories on the site, it is nowhere to be found. (You can read about Tempe news from a week or more earlier, but this story is missing).

Other media outlets that have since updated the story, such as CBS 5, have referred to the dorm where the drug lab was found (Vista Del Sol) as an “apartment in Tempe” near “Apache and Rural Roads”. The title itself even refers to the drug lab as being “near ASU’s campus”. Last time we checked, Vista is a privately managed dorm LOCATED ON ASU’S TEMPE CAMPUS, NOT NEAR IT OR ACROSS THE STREET FROM IT. If that were the case, why does ASUPD respond to Vista calls, NOT Tempe PD?

ASU’s spokeperson Julie Newberg makes it seem like the university cares by stating that violations to the Student Code of Conduct could result in punishment up to/including expulsion from ASU. She also throws in a tidbit about how “the apartment complex is housing for juniors and senior at ASU”, as if to assuage any parents reading the article.

This is a pretty obvious and blatant attempt to minimize the damage done to ASU and also the PD. In reality, ASU has NO concept of the crime problem directly under their noses because they’re too concerned about minimizing bad press so the university won’t lose any revenue generating students due to a poor reputation. If the parent populous KNEW how unsafe their children were at ASU,  they wouldn’t be spending the big out of state money to send them here. Disgusting and sad.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

What causes woman-on-woman bullying in the workplace?

Came across this article from workplacebullying.org about woman-on-woman bullying in the workplace; we feel it is extremely relevant to our sisters in blue (past and present) who have suffered because of bullying from a female supervisor. It’s a long but good read.

Six explanations from us for why women bully other women at work.

Solidarity of the sisterhood is a myth and stereotype. It doesn’t mean it does not exist, it’s just that not all women are nurturant and supportive to one another. Neither is every man macho and hyper-aggressive. Stereotypes are generalizations about sex-role-typed behavior, common acts associated with only one gender and not the other. Many behaviors are gender-typed.

Workplace Bullying is not gender-typed. Workplace environment factors are better predictors than gender. For example, a culture that carries no accountability or negative consequences, regardless of how harmful the behavior exhibited paves the way for bullies. A place where kissing-up (ingratiation) is the norm is fertile territory, where bullying and favoritism (and its converse, ostracism) thrive.

When we discuss the WBI Healthy Workplace Bill, we speak of “status-blind” harassment. Bullying crosses the boundaries drawn by gender, race, ethnicity, age, and disability. Thus bullying is truly “gender-free.”

What attracts the media to woman-on-woman (WOW) bullying is the fact that women are targeted at a higher rate by female bullies (71%) than by male bullies (46%). Yes, women are crueler to women than they are to men, and that must be explained. But don’t forget that 60% of all bullies are men. 31% of all bullying is men-on-men, 29% is WOW. Why is there so little interest in the more frequent variety of same-gender bullying? Because it’s discounted as routine, expected, predictable. WOW sounds mysterious, counterintuitive, and, I think, somewhat prurient.

So here are some explanations for WOW bullying that rarely make it into TV segments on bullying, print stories and the gabfest which is the blogosphere. We offer this because some readers might get the impression that we are misogynists. We are not! 57% of all bullied targets are women, and the majority of callers seeking help from us are women. We are women’s advocates in the fight against workplace bullying.

The WBI  starter list of explanations

A. It’s the workplace, not the people in it. Employers create work environments where aggression is rewarded. women see this (as well if not better than men) and learn to abuse others to get ahead. It’s the way things are done around here.

In male-dominated organizations, where men hold all the executive positions, women tend to adopt male-sex-typed behavior to survive and succeed. Only in female-run organizations (or those run by males who adopt a female-sex-typed style that values quality of interpersonal relationships as much as power and status differences) can there be hope for a less aggressive, more dignified and respectful way to operate. See the Women and Bullying articles in our Research section for relevant studies about this particular angle.

B. A double standard about women is alive and well and practiced by both men and women. If women are “nice” they are too soft. If they are tough, they are “bitchy.” There are two social psychological explanations for this.

First, it is gender bias in the causal attribution process. Causal attribution is simply showing a preference for explaining things that happen. Old research found that if a person is described succeeding at a task, the explanation depends on whether the person described is male or female. Success for men is typically explained by a trait, inherent skill, intelligence, ability. With exactly the same information, when it’s a woman, success is the result of the task being so easy anyone could have done it or luck. And both men and women elect those different explanations.

Second, the first person to break any barrier and be the lone representative of a group (and therefore, be in the statistical minority) is called a “token.” Tokens are subjected to disproportionate pressure. Errors, however tiny, are magnified. Successes can also be blown out of proportion. In practice, token individuals often break from the pressure. Look at what Jackie Robinson had to endure when he broke the race barrier in the white baseball league. Same for the first woman CEO or the first woman to attain a high rank in any organization. Women are natural tokens in male-dominated domains, like business. Men are rarely the only male in any role, but when they are, they, too are tokens and heavily scrutinized.

C. Women targets are less likely to confront in response to being bullied. But targets, of both genders, rarely react with aggression. That’s what makes them targets. Bullies sense who will be an easier mark. Targets are sorted into those who take no action because of a higher moral calling. It could be their religion that tells them to turn the other cheek or to never lower oneself to the level of a tyrant. Other targets walk away in fear, stunned at the surprise attack. Getting away is the only reaction they have. Once away, they hope time will heal the wound or prevent it from happening again. Regardless of motive, targets do not defend themselves because either they are unable (it’s not their worldview and never acquired the skill of self-defense because it’s a fair world, no one will hurt you) or unwilling to do so. Targets are all “easy marks.” It’s not just women.

D. Most bullies are bosses (in the US, 72% of bullies are bosses). All bullies prefer to bully subordinates. It’s a permitted prerogative that makes being a boss attractive to many people. So, bullying flows downhill.

Women are bosses, too. But they are lower-ranking than men bosses (only 15% of executives are women, only 3% of CEOs). So they are more likely managing other women and not other men executives. They bully whoever they can. So, WOW may be nothing more than proximity at work. You bully those within reach.

E. Though I’m not a woman, I’ve had a great deal to do with them during my lifetime (and Ruth educates me constantly). (She says that) women are socialized to judge other girls while growing up. They pay attention to how others look and dress all the time. Self-identity can be almost entirely dependent on how others appear and how they are judged by others. Without comparisons to others, some would not know how to make decisions.

Two factors emerge. First, modeling one’s personal behavior on the actions of others gives a great deal of power to the other person. Clearly in WOW relationships where apparent friendship preceded bullying, the bully may have been respected by the future target. When she is betrayed, the target ruminates (for way too long) about the inexplicable turnaround, searching for a rational explanation. It doesn’t matter, it just happened because the bully wanted it to. Wanting to be like someone else gives away too much personal control over one’s own life and choices made.

Second, the skill of paying attention since childhood determines the adult woman’s perceptual field. Other women are salient in the social world. More information is gleaned from cultivating relationships with women. Abusive, exploitative relationships with one person dominating the other is simply a twisted, sick reliance upon getting information from another woman (to then be used against her). Targets fall into the trap easily.

F. Feminist writers claim that women grow up accustomed to having their personal boundaries invaded and thus learn to treat other women that same way. A girl’s opinions are treated as irrelevant by the father compared to her brother’s. A girl’s ambitions are tamped down, expectations made more “realistic,” dreams treated as impossible. This is denial of her very psychological integrity, a discounting of her humanity. If this is how she is raised, she grows accustomed to being treated rudely or denigrated as not deserving equal status with others. So, when bullied at work, the immediate reaction is rarely outrage and righteous indignation that a fool would dare lie so readily or be so unapologetically cruel. It is more likely a timid turing away, starting immediately to blame herself, buying into the lies (as if some “kernel of truth” is buried in all the manure), and spiraling into a psychologically compromised state.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

How ASUPD is attempting to violate your 1st, 4th Amendment rights.

ASUPD has been in a tizzy regarding the posts on The Integrity Report, to the extent the department has been actively trying to find the persons responsible for creating this site. Obtaining our IP address would require a search warrant to do so, and no judge in their right mind would sign one, simply because ASUPD “doesn’t like what is being said about the department”. Remember, although we are law enforcement officers, we still have protections under the 1st Amendment which include your freedom of speech. In this post, we’ll assess how ASUPD’s policies and practices are infringing on YOUR 1st Amendment rights as a US Citizen. It’s important to note that the department CAN control what you say while you are working in the capacity of a police officer, because the speech you are making is viewed as connected to your employment.

ASUPD has created some broad, catch all policies to curtail negative things being said about them, including:

Employees of the Department shall not criticize or ridicule the Department, its policies, or other officers or employees by speech, writing, or other expression, when such speech, writing, or other expression:

1. is defamatory, obscene, or unlawful;

2. tends to interfere with or to undermine the effectiveness of the Department to

provide public services;

3. tends to interfere with the maintenance of proper discipline;

4. tends to adversely affect the confidence of the public in the integrity of the

Department and/or its officers and employees;

5. Improperly damages or impairs the reputation and efficiency of the

Department; or

6. is made with reckless disregard for truth.

Let’s evaluate this policy, shall we? Nothing that has been said here on The Integrity Report is obscene, untrue, would interfere with ASU’s ability to provide public services, interfere with discipline, or recklessly disregards the truth. All of those parts of the policy are fall in line with parts of the 1st Amendment that are NOT considered to be “protected speech”.

However, the parts of the policy which seek to limit speech based on the negative impact it would have on the public’s confidence and integrity of the department, as well as the potential damage the speech would have on the department are OVERLY BROAD.

Citing Pickering v. Board of Education, 391 U.S. 563 (1968), The US Supreme Court held that an employee’s interest as a citizen in making public comment needs to be balanced against the employer’s competing interest “in promoting the efficiency of the public services it performs through its employees.” This “balancing test” will weigh in favor of the employee when the speech is made as a citizen on a matter of public concern. In 2006 the Federal Circuit court ruled in Garcetti that an employee is protected only if the speech is unconnected to employment (in addition to the balancing test established in Pickering). (Please see this article at PoliceOne for an expanded view of the aforementioned court cases).

Additionally, on Oct. 1, 2012, U.S. District Judge William W. Caldwell ruled in Beyer v. Duncannon Borough that a former police officer’s anonymous online speech was a form of protected citizen speech because he was speaking matters of formal concern.

This blogs exists as an informal mouthpiece for ASUPD’s employees to highlight areas we feel are of GREAT public concern; additionally, the anonymity of this blog separates it from any formal connection to ASUPD.

The ASUPD policy that seeks to infringe upon the 1st, and 4th Amendment rights of its employees is annotated under “Public Relations, General”. The policy states:

·         When reasonable suspicion exists that the police department is being discredited by an employee through electronic media, the employee may be required to allow access to personal accounts or hardware/equipment for inspection.

The “reasonable suspicion” standard was established in O’Connor v. Ortega, which held that governmental employees are afforded 4th Amendment protections during investigations by supervisors for administrative investigations. However, this case dealt with a person’s office being searched, NOT a more intrusive search of a person’s social media accounts.

If we as police officers seize a person’s password-protected computer as evidence and the suspect refuses to consent to a search, we must obtain a search warrant to view the contents of the computer. How is requiring its officers to turn over their PASSWORD PROTECTED personal accounts any different? Especially since everything written here has been written and accessed OFF-DUTY.

As police officers, we are bound by the constraints of the Constitution in order to effectively impart justice. Our position does impose limitations on what we can/cannot say while discharging our duties as a law enforcement officer. However, we are also all private citizens who ALSO have Constitutional rights and protections, with free speech being one of those. The policies made by ASUPD that attempt to thwart free speech can NOT usurp our protections under the Constitution.

Chief, you need to have a long talk with ASU’s Legal Counsel to assess the legality of some of your policies.  

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Toxic Leaders: When Organizations Go Bad

Thanks to one of our readers for sending us this article courtesy of LawOfficer.com. Read this and ask yourself…does this sound familiar?

In her book Toxic Leaders: When Organizations Go Bad, Marcia Whicker describes toxic leaders as “maladjusted, malcontent, and often malevolent, even malicious. They glory in turf protection, fighting, and controlling rather than uplifting followers.” A toxic police leader is maladjusted to the police context that values service to others over self; malcontented possibly because of a perceived slight experienced at some point in their career; often malevolent stemming from a pervasive disregard for the welfare of their subordinates; and surreptitiously malicious toward superiors who represent authority, while observably malicious toward peers and subordinates who are viewed as potential competitors. Toxic leaders specialize in demoralizing and humiliating subordinates in public.

We might well ask why world-class police organizations would put up with such behavior. One alibi stems from their ability to kiss up the chain of command while kicking down. Toxic police leaders always seem to have well-prepared presentations ready for their superiors and are ever ready to accept tasks without regard for the impact on their subordinates. Because they lead using fear, subordinates respond quickly to their direction. But they comply without commitment.

Toxic leaders are seen by many their subordinates and others in the police organization as arrogant, self-serving, inflexible and petty. Word among police officers spreads fast and they’ll go out of their way to avoid the toxic leader.

A chief-level officer in a large police agency once asked, “How do you know a leader in your organization is toxic?” We suggested that he observe how the patrol bid fills in. The last supervisors to get officers to voluntarily sign up for their sectors are often the ones being avoided by police officers because they display toxic tendencies. Patrol officers are not likely to voluntarily select the sector of a supervisor that displays these characteristics:

  1. An apparent lack of concern for the well being of subordinates.
  2. A personality or interpersonal technique that negatively affects organizational climate.
  3. A conviction by subordinates that the leader is motivated primarily by self-interest.

It is not one specific behavior that deems one toxic; it is the cumulative effect of de-motivational behavior on unit morale and climate over time that tells the tale.

When asked whether they have toxic leaders in their organizations police officers from many different police organizations and at varying levels respond with a resounding affirmative. After repeating that question in dozens of seminars we have anecdotal information that suggests toxic leaders are ubiquitous in police organizations.

It can be demoralizing when toxic leaders continue to get promoted to levels of increasing responsibility. In a recent coaching course for newly promoted police supervisors, a police sergeant stated, “We all know who the bad leaders are, but the police department sticks that person away in a bureau out of sight where the bad leader can spend all his time studying for the next promotion exam. The bad leader scores high on the promotion exam, gets promoted and is released back on the troops to exact revenge. Once they screw up again and/or destroy the careers of good, hard-working officers, they are placed back into a bureau to study for the next promotion exam.”

This newly promoted police supervisor’s statements must have resonated with the other 40 newly promoted police supervisors from varying police agencies in the room because everyone was shaking their heads in agreement and raising their hands for the chance to tell their toxic leader story.

Assignment changes and promotion provide the avenue that toxic police leaders use to go from one place to another within the police organization spreading their poison. Police officers who have to work with or for a toxic leader are relegated to waiting them out because it is only a matter of time before the toxic leader is removed, placed into another assignment or promoted.

This can have devastating effects on police officers and police organizational culture. Toxic leaders leave in their wake an environment devoid of purpose, motivation, and commitment. In short, toxic police leaders deny police organizations and individual police officers true leadership.

Some suggest that exposing toxic police leaders for what they are would go a long way to solving the problem. Unfortunately, tools like multi-rater leader assessments, climate assessments and employee surveys are not commonly used in police organizations. The argument stems from a questionable belief that these “business tools” do not work or translate well to police organizations.

A tool like a 360-degree feedback instrument would provide some insight into toxic police leadership, but according to Dr. Howard Prince, Brigadier General U. S. Army (Ret.) and Director of the LBJ School’s Center for Ethical Leadership, there is not a validated 360-degree feedback tool available specifically for law enforcement. Perhaps toxic leadership is so prevalent in police organizations because the organizational culture enables and sustains it.

In their book Toxic Workplace! Managing Toxic Personalities and Their Systems of Power, Mitchell Kusy and Elizabeth Hollaway suggest that toxic leaders can only thrive in toxic cultures. Promoting and moving toxic leaders around the organization might be an inappropriate organizational response that serves to enable them.

Another troubling explanation for the existence of toxic police leadership is the possibility that toxic behavior is tolerated, if not encouraged, by leaders at the top of police organizations. Police executives lose credibility when they claim to be advocates of healthy police cultures yet fail to take action against toxic police leaders. Leaders at the top of the organization often mistake short-term mission accomplishment for good leadership. It is possible to run even a good organization into the ground if attention is not paid to the long-term health and welfare of its members.

Leaders who serve at the executive level in police organizations may be the only ones that have the power and authority to counter toxic leadership. Subordinates are not generally in position to address the problem of toxic leaders because toxic leaders are characteristically unconcerned about them and immune to influence from below. Lynne F. McClure, author of Risky Business: Managing Violence in the Workplace, explains why toxicity goes without remedy: “The biggest single reason is because [the behavior is] tolerated.” McClure, an expert on managing high-risk behaviors, believes that if an organization has toxic managers, it is because the culture enables it—knowingly or unknowingly—through nothing more than apathy.

Police organizations can take steps to minimize the number of toxic leaders in their organizations by fostering a shared vision of what good leadership is and is not. Possible antidotes to toxic leadership include:

  • Put a label to the problem (toxic leadership) and talk about it openly.
  • Develop and select with an eye to leadership style, not simply technical skills and short-term effectiveness.
  • Hold supervisors responsible for the leadership style of their subordinates.
  • Implement climate assessments and 360-degree multi-faceted evaluations as developmental tools.
  • Have the hard discussions with subordinates who display toxic tendencies and promptly address behaviors that are not in keeping with the values of the organization.

This article summarizes ASUPD’s “leadership” style perfectly: ones who can’t hack it on the street are promoted (and allowed to run their subordinates into the ground), while the rest of command staff tolerates the toxic behavior.

Chief Pickens, whatever professionally credibility you previously had is now destroyed. You can’t claim you are a successful head of a police department when you have droves of employees quitting due to YOUR inaction and YOUR mismanagement. You have allowed the department to implode because you don’t care about the long-term health/well-being of your employees. But hey, McDonald’s is always hiring…right Chief?

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,