Tag Archives: active shooter

Another day, another ASUPD staffing concern!

Another decent ASUPD employee left the department today, which has been a routine occurrence in light of the ongoing staffing crisis transpiring at the department.

The Commander over the Tempe Campus, K. Williams left ASUPD today with only two days notice (presumably for greener pastures). Commander Williams was a seasoned 20 year veteran of the Los Angeles Police Department, and managed to survive ASUPD for only four years! This should speak volumes about the type of toxic work environment that exists throughout the department…even amongst members of Command staff!

Best of luck in your new ventures, Williams. We hope you go to a department that appreciates your experience and education.

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ASUPD nearly botches a missing student case!

 On 04-03-14, ASUPD botched yet another major call–this time a potentially missing international ASU student.

The student was last seen on the ASU Tempe campus, and this time it’s the job of ASUPD to search for and locate this student instead of the Tempe Police Department. The student’s apartment was filled with personal items someone typically wouldn’t leave behind if they were going somewhere–credit cards, money, purse, phone, and items that would have been of evidentiary value if a crime was involved. Due to this student’s status as an international student,  there were not many local contacts available to interview for further information. Additionally, the student’s Facebook and email was being used by someone admitting to be a third party and leaving cryptic messages about the status of the student without giving a location

The direct supervisor of detectives, ASUPD Sergeant Lewis was under the impression a crime had to already be committed to apply for a search warrant in this missing person case. Over the next five days this must have been believed to be true by the commander, assistant chief, and chief closely following this case and overseeing its lack of progress. All the ASUPD Commanders (who are hardly ever at their respective campuses) were running around the Tempe station in a panic, clueless about how to proceed.

What was ASUPD’s solution to finding this missing female student over the next five days? Have patrol Sergeant Macias and Detective Bryner knock on the door of the residence on three separate occasions with negative contact. A brief interview was done with the boyfriend (usually a person of interest in missing persons cases), but nothing was discovered. There was NO extensive search of the jails or hospitals, and no search warrants issued for her residence, phone, email…nothing! After five days with no leads, the case looked increasingly bleak. Instead of searching for more information, ASUPD stopped looking for more leads in this case.

As this investigation grinded to a halt, Chief Pickens (clueless has how to proceed), delegated the responsibility for handling the situation to his two assistant chiefs.  Assistant Chief Hardina reacted with a typical ASUPD response: let’s not enter it into NCIC…let’s give it to Tempe PD! His counterpart, Assistant Chief Thompson (with experience from a legitimate police agency) decided to enter it into NCIC and work the case like a responsible, capable, police department would. There was an internal debate raging on the third floor; should ASUPD continue to work this stagnant missing persons case, or should ASUPD hand it over to Tempe (where the student resided)? This was a last ditch attempt to avoid any more negative press about ASU.

When Tempe PD was notified of the missing person case (and how ASUPD failed to make any headway in the case), they immediately demanded a meeting with ASUPD’s Command Staff. Commander Michele Rourke was given the task of meeting Tempe PD to answer for ASUPD’s incompetence. However, at the last minute, a search of the local jails was done and the student was located; the meeting with Tempe PD was subsequently canceled.

This is further proof that ASUPD is incapable of handling a major incident on campus, due solely to incompetent leadership and an understaffed (and undertrained!) police department.

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Tempe named one of the most dangerous suburbs in America!

From the Phoenix New Times Blog:

Of the 10 most-dangerous suburbs in America, two of them are suburbs of Phoenix.

That’s according to the real estate website Movoto, which ranked Glendale as the seventh-most dangerous, and Tempe the eighth-most, based on FBI crime data.

The people who put the ranking together took into account murders, other violent crimes, property crimes, and total crimes, all per 100,000 people, to compare the suburbs to one another.

In Glendale, there were 6,410 property crimes per 100,000 people in 2012, the worst of any suburb. Total crime, at 6,901 per 100,000 was the sixth-highest. Glendale also ranked 18th for murders, and 18th for other violent crimes.

The odds of being a victim of a crime in Glendale in 2012 were 1 in 14.

Meanwhile, Tempe ranked 14th for property crimes and 12th for total crime.

The violent crimes are what put Tempe on the list: with seven murders per 100,000 people, the 11th-most, and 519 other violent crimes per 100,000 people, ranking 16th.

That put your odds of being a crime victim in Tempe 1 in 19 in 2012.

The six most-dangerous suburbs, beating out Glendale and Tempe, were East Point, Georgia; Camden, New Jersey; Miami Beach, Florida; Midwest City, Oklahoma; Miami Gardens, Florida; and Clarksville, Indiana.

We’re speculating the high property crime rate stems from ASU’s Tempe campus, which reported nearly 1,000 theft related crimes from it’s 2012 Clery Report. Violent crimes statistics on ASU’s Tempe Campus (forcible sex offenses, robbery, and burglary) also showed significant increases in 2012, as compared to the previous year.

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How The Integrity Report has changed ASUPD

We have received a few emails and comments from critics of The Integrity Report who like to categorize us as a  small group of “disgruntled ASUPD employees” whose issues aren’t important or legitimate. We also know ASUPD Command Staff and university officials have a similiar perception of the blog–complaints from one or two department members who don’t represent the majority opinion of the department.

The issues discussed here are very relevant to the majority of the department, and have been previously or are currently being discussed by members of ASUPD. Also, the reaction from ASUPD Command staff and university higher-ups have in regard to the blog supports the assertion that the issues discussed here ARE relevant, because many of them have elicited a knee-jerk response on behalf of ASU. Here’s our list of changes at ASUPD brought about as a direct/indirect result of the issues discussed at The Integrity Report:

The Indeed.com Pay Raises:During the Summer of 2013, an ASUPD employee posted a negative job review on the job searching site indeed.com. Soon after, a giant discussion began to brew on indeed’s employer forums area about how miserable people were working at ASUPD (the majority of the posts were subsequently removed by indeed.com, thanks to a call from a member from Command staff to the site’s administrators). Following in the footsteps of indeed.com for The Integrity Report was created for the purpose of continuing the open discussion about ASUPD’s problems.

After the slew of negative publicity about ASUPD continued (and was not able to be stopped), ASUPD decided to give its officers a “pay update” after 5+ years of pay freezes. The timing of the pay raise was very coincidental, especially considering that employees had broached the issues of a pay raise since 2009, only to be dismissed by Chief Pickens.

Resurrection of the Chief’s Advisory Board: The Chief’s Advisory Board is a tool where a select group of people chosen by the Chief go to voice their concerns over departmental issues , in hopes of some resolution. The Board has been around for years, but essentially went defunct in 2009. However, in September of 2013–directly following the indeed.com and blog scandals–the Chief’s Advisory Board sprang back to life. Pickens’ sent out a department wide email promising to use the board to resolve issues and move the department in a positive direction. Since the advisory board has come back, it has only met a handful of times, and none of the suggestions on improving the department have been implemented (other than getting rid of the mosquito problem in Tempe 103).

ASUPD’s involvement with HR: In an effort to straighten out ASUPD’s problems (and perhaps quash the flow of information to the blog), the head of ASU’s Human Resources, Kevin Salcido, began to look into the situation at the PD. Many felt (us included) that Salcido was genuinely interested in helping the PD; he listened to the concerns of at least 10 previous and current employees and stated that he would “look into”problems that were reoccurring. However, after plainly stating he was not formally investigating anyone in the PD, it became apparent Salcido was only interested in intel gathering from these “disgruntled employees”, mentioning the blog to several employees.

Employees can’t access their email on days off, post old schedules: One of our posts (where we released an old schedule to show how dangerously low staffing levels are) prompted an email to be sent to all PD employees from Kevin Salcido. This email first discussed all the things the department is doing to turn itself around (none of which have made a positive impact), and went on to state that posting an old schedule was a “security” concern and could result in termination. Shortly after this email, another email was sent to department employees forbidding them from accessing their email on their days off.

ASUPD tried several tactics to bolster staffing numbers: Following the slew of posts made about ASU’s low staffing numbers, as well as the discussion in the Chief’s Advisory Board, ASU posted a job opening for a PD recruiter position on indeed.com, as well as started an employee referral program., and created a recruiting video and brochure.

ASUPD kicked off it’s “2014 Apology Tour”: Chief Pickens held mandatory meetings at each of the satellite campuses in his first even “Apology Tour”. He felt the need to tell all of his supposed disgruntled employees personally how hard he was working to improve the department, and how much he cares about each of his employees in an effort to preserve his job. Prior to the blog, Pickens would rarely go to any of the satellite campuses, especially not for a positive reason.

 ASUPD starts taking training seriously: We have emphasized the important of training a lot here, especially in regards how poorly training your employees opens up your department for civil liability. After years of arbitrarily assigning officers/PAs to train new employees (without any formal training on how to properly do so), ASUPD has been actually sending their sworn and civilian employees to the appropriate training.

Recently, all of ASUPD’s supervisors also had some legal training from ASUPD’s legal advisers, Ginn and Edwards. The topic of discussion was none other than civil liability for supervisors! After year and years of improper training and supervision, it seems quite odd that ASUPD finally broached the issue now?

ASUPD’s “Start By Believing”: Again, the sudden emphasis on sexual violence victims comes on the heels of an article we posted on the safety of students on campus under Title IX, as well as an article about how ASUPD omitted or incorrectly reported the number of sex offenses reported under the Clery Act.

This blog and its issues have helped to set the stage for change, but it has happened because of all of ASUPD’s employees who refuse to get treated poorly, who refuse to work in a hostile environment, and who don’t accept the status quo! Thanks all for disseminating this blog and its issues to the entire AZ LE community (and also the rest of the world); it has shamed ASUPD into slowly changing their ways. However, there are still more hard issues worth discussing and battles worth waging in the near future, so stay tuned.

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Why ASUPD is incapable of handing an active shooter scenario

We have made several posts on The Integrity Report about why Arizona State University’s campuses are unsafe, and the issue of handling an active shooter on campus has been a reoccurring topic (click here to view our previous posts about active shooters).

To adequately prepare for a possible active shooter scenario, ASUPD’s approach must be three-pronged: ASUPD needs more officers to be able to respond/manage major situations, ASUPD needs to have a clear/common sense policy, and ASUPD needs to give its officers appropriate training.

Whether or not ASUPD will actually recruit and retain additional officers remains to be seen, but Command staff has known for years that its ability to deal with an active shooter is nonexistent. Several years ago, former Arizona Republic intern Matt Haldane interviewed then-Commander Jim Hardina about active shooters and guns on campus (view the video here). Hardina was unable to articulate what ASUPD’s policy in regards to dealing with an active shooter was!

Here are some excerpts from the interview:

(at :27)

In regards to ASUPD’s policy about active shooters:

Matt Haldane: And does ASU have a specific way of doing that? [referring to handling an active shooter]

Jim Hardina: Well, uh, the police department has a policy and the policy is…you…find the shooter…and…stop them from shooting. And you can’t really say you should do A, B, C, and D, because each situation’s dynamic, so, you know, each, uh…you’ll never have the same situation twice. So basically, the police’s role is to the stop the shooter from shooting, and the public’s role is to put themself (sic) in a position where they’re both safe. And again, you can’t have a specific policy because each situation is uh, different.

In regards to the active shooter training ASUPD’s officers receive:

(at 1:45)

MH: And…we spoke with a former Marine who was suggesting that ASU Police go through the same type of training that um, soliders do, in a combat situation where they’re able to quickly distinguish between a shooter and a bystander. What type of training do police officers receive?

JH: Um, I was in the Marine Corps also, and its a little bit different, what you don’t want is you don’t want police officers training with military tactics because you think soldiers…their job is to attack people and kill people…and that’s what they do. We don’t train police officers with that same kinda mindset clearing buildings, you know, looking to kill people. Um, what we train officers to do is exactly that, identify who’s a threat and who is not a threat, and um, act on the side of not shooting, as opposed to shooting. Police officer’s role is to take the least restrictive amounts to controlling somebody, which, the last resort would be actually killing them.

(So according to Hardina, in an active shooter situation, you shouldn’t be trying to kill the person (threat) who is actively maiming or killing innocent civilians. Interesting.)

Also, according to Hardina, 97% of all campus shootings involve a domestic violence dynamic (3:15); yet according to an FBI report addressing targeted violence at institutions of higher education, only 33.9% of incidents involving a weapon were domestic violence related (and firearms comprised only 54% of weapons used in targeted violence on campus).

So…what is ASUPD’s policy in regards to dealing with an active shooter?

First of all, the policy is titled “Rapid Response and Deployment” PSM 461-03, and it is not specifically limited to an active shooter; it also incorporates active terrorism. The initial officer on scene is responsible for notifying SWAT or hostage negotiators (neither of which ASU has). After a determination is made that tactical intervention is necessary, “available officers shall form a contact team and deployed as trained”. NONE of ASUPD’s officers receive training in forming tactical teams in a rapid response scenario.

Also, “the contact team should wear soft body armor and ballistic helmets and deploy service weapons, patrol rifles, and shotguns
with slug ammunition, if possible. The team should deploy according to departmental training“.

ASUPD’s officers are lucky if their body armor is replaced before it falls apart or expires; the “patrol riles” purchased by the department are currently in the custody of Chief Pickens and the rest of Command staff (who wouldn’t respond to a situation like this). Once again, no member of the department receives ANY departmental training that would adequately prepare them for this scenario.

This policy is not applicable to any member of the department, as NOONE has the proper training that falls in line with this policy (nor does ASUPD have the resources–SWAT, hostage negotiator, rifles–it cites its officers should use). The unofficial policy of dealing with a scenario like this? Call Tempe PD.

What type of training do ASUPD’s officer’s receive to deal with active shooters?

In addition to not receiving tactical ANY training to deal with an active shooter, the only post-academy training ASU’s officers receive is limited to free training ASU provides to all its students, faculty, and staff (check it out here). This video is geared toward  students/employees faced with an active shooter, and does NOT provide any sort of tactical training to a person working in a law enforcement capacity.

As we’ve previously mentioned, it is only a matter of time until ASUPD is forced to deal with an active shooter. The indifference/incompetence allowed to fester on the top level of the department will ultimately come at the expensive of an innocent civilian or a fellow officer.

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ASUPD’s current staffing…by the numbers!

Just how bad is ASUPD’s current staffing situation? Pretty bad.

Out of the 14 days of the schedule we posted, 7 of those days were below minimum staffing (with Saturday, 02/15/14 having only FOUR officers working. That’s only one officer PER campus!)

The green outlined boxes illustrate either days when officers are moved from their primary campus to cover another campus, or a shift filled by an overtime position.

The yellow outlined boxes illustrate days where staffing is below the minimum requirements.

It is also worth pointing out there are a significant amount of officers taking sick/comp/vacation time…perhaps due to burnout? How much longer will the Chief attempt to “fix” the staffing problem at the expensive of his employees?

All the meetings that have been transpiring on the third floor have yet to bring about any actual change to the current staffing problems. ASUPD is currently operating on a “best case scenario”; if something very serious were to happen, ASUPD wouldn’t be able to function.

Chief Pickens, you owe it to your officers and the community you “serve” to fix this problem; running your employees into the ground will only cause MORE of a staffing crisis as more people seek to leave ASUPD.


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MCSO conducts THIRD active shooter training this year!

Interesting (albeit short) article from abc15 regarding MCSO’s officers training for school shootings; this is the THIRD active-shooter type of training MCSO has done this year!! Compare this to nonexistent active shooter training that ASUPD gives its officers!!

GLENDALE, AZ – A lot of deputies were out with their guns drawn and firing today, but fortunately it was only a training exercise designed to keep school children safe.

Sheriff Joe Arpaio said he wants to make sure his deputies are ready in case a school shooting were to happen here in the Valley.

Saturday’s exercise was the third this year for the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office.

They can be scary to watch because they look and feel so real.

Deputies had their guns drawn and “victims” were lying on the ground with simulated bullet wounds as other children ran from the scene.

Today’s exercise took place at Heritage Elementary School in Glendale.

Students watching the simulation said it was a reality check.

“To think that this actually happens in schools, just think of the amount of people running for their lives,” said student Jack Acritelli.

Arpaio said that in recent years more resources have been placed into combatting school shootings.

Just last month there were 11 shootings on school campuses around the U.S.

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Big things are on the horizon!

We’re working on a few massive projects at the moment, so pardon the slow down in posts. We’re working on a piece about the Clery Act (and how ASUPD fails to meet the minimum standards prescribed under aforementioned act) in tandem with a student organization.

We’re also in the process of inundating the PD with several requests for information.

In other words, hang on to your seats, ladies and gentlemen… it should be an interesting ride!



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According to an FBI report, the number of active shooters has INCREASED.

From Campus Safety Magazine:

According to a study recently released by the FBI, from 2000 to 2012, the rate of active shooter incidents in the United States increased, particularly after 2008.

Between 2000 and 2008, approximately one event occurred every other month (five per year), but that rate increased to one per month between 2009 and 2012 (nearly 16 per year). The authors say the high rate continued in 2013 — there were 15 incidents last year.

The most common location of an active shooter incident between 2000 and 2012 was a business (40%), while schools were the second most common location (29%). Nearly one in five events (19%) occurred outdoors.

The median response time for law enforcement was 3 minutes, and the median response time for solo officers was 2 minutes. The median number of people shot per event was five, not including the shooter. All of the events identified by the authors involved single shooters (94% were male), and in 55% of the events, the shooter had a connection with the attack location.

View the charts from this report.

“It also is worth noting that in the five largest-casualty events (Northern Illinois University in DeKalb; Sandy Hook Elementary School; Fort Hood Army Base, Killeen, Texas; Virginia Polytechnic and State University in Blacksburg; and the Century 21 Theater) the police were on scene in about 3 minutes; yet, a substantial number of people still were shot and injured or killed,” the report claims.

Nearly half (49%) of the incidents ended before police arrived at the scene: 67% percent ended by the shooter dying by suicide or leaving the scene; 33% ended by the potential victims stopping the shooter themselves.

Of the 51% of incidents that were still going when law enforcement arrived, 40% of the attackers either died by suicide or surrendered to police.  In the other cases (60%), police officers used force to stop the attackers, most often with firearms.

Again, it is important to note that it is a matter of WHEN, not IF an active shooter scenario transpires at ASU. According to this report, schools are the second most frequent location for an active shooter!! Proper and regular training of officers would ensure an appropriate response, but instead ASUPD has given NO additional training for its officers about how to respond to an active shooter. This, coupled with dangerously low staffing numbers on campus make ASUPD vulnerable to lawsuits when an such an incident occurs, primarily because of the lack of training officers receive to handle these types of calls.

When will the Chief realize the importance of active shooter training and appropriate planning for a critical incident?

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How ASUPD narrowly escaped dealing with an armed/dangerous suspect!

On Monday Dec 16, 2013, there was a police pursuit and standoff involving an armed subject in the East valley; however, what the media failed to mention is this incident originated in student housing at the ASU Polytechnic Campus.

24 hours prior to being apprehended, the suspect threatened to shoot and kill his girlfriend, as well as himself. He also had the means to carry out those threats by claiming he owned several guns (he was later apprehended with a shotgun and a handgun in his vehicle). After the victim reported the threats, ASUPD Sgt Phil Osborne claimed they had no charges against the suspect (please see ARS 13-1202, Threatening and Intimidating, for more info). According to Sgt Osborne, because they had no charges against the suspect, ASUPD was unable to detain or arrest him when/if they had the chance.

 Eventually, the suspect was  located outside of the victim’s workplace, but took off when officers attempted to stop him.  ASUPD Polytechnic Commander, L. Scicilone was stepping over the ASUPD officer’s radio traffic (who was trying to stop the suspect)  in an attempt to cover policy, repeatedly (and excitedly) asking over and over, “ you are not in pursuit are you?!?”. ASUPD officers eventually lost the suspect. Gilbert and Mesa officers who were in pursuit of the vehicle (which got up to speeds of 100 mph!) eventually found the suspect. An ASUPD officer responding to the scene driving code three was told by Mesa and Gilbert PD to stay out of their scene. Ultimately the standoff came to a peaceful end and the suspect was taken into custody in Mesa after negotiating with officers.

This situation could have been resolved much sooner had Sgt Osborne reacted appropriately by identifying the fact a crime had occurred and attempted to get the subject into custody soon. What would have happened if the subject would have come back to the victim’s room a day later and killed her? Or fired rounds at police? It is by sheer luck ALONE that ASUPD did not have this situation turn much worse.

This story illustrates perfectly how ASUPD is ill equipped—both with personnel and equipment—to deal with a major incident on campus. The blame lies upon ASUPD command staff who refuse to prepare a contingency plan for a major incident, and provide their officers with adequate training to be able to respond to a barricaded subject or an active shooter. Constantly functioning with the blasé attitude that “it can’t happen here” will eventually get someone seriously harmed/killed and is purely negligent on behalf of command staff.

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