Tag Archives: active shooter

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 , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Our response to the Chief’s Advisory Board Meeting Minutes

We broke down the meeting minutes piece by piece to share our thoughts on the topic. We could have discussed this document in even greater depth, but we decided to make it (somewhat) concise.

1.       The Chief instructed his advisory board he wanted to keep the discussion “positive”.  How do you have a constructive discussion about the departments’ problems in a “positive” way? Where do you go if the information isn’t positive? The Integrity Report on the ASU Police Department blog? The advisory board was assembled to fix the negativity Chief’s inactions and inattention have fostered, so the underlying purpose of the board will inherently be negative, even if the discussion itself is “positive”.

2.       Make new employees feel welcome? Absolutely, always do. The people discussed in the blog, (the people Chief has protected for years), those are the people making new and old employees feel unwelcome and alienated. They have brought this organization to crisis mode, and that will continue to happen despite the number of fresh bodies you bring through the door for them to devour.

 3.       The community gives positive feedback on what we do here…that’s great. There is no correlation between a positive rating by the community and how happy/ appreciated your employees are.  It simply means we won’t compromise what we do for others, compromise our ethics and integrity simply because we get treated like garbage from our department.

 4.       In regards to your community feedback: we love our community, but they don’t know squat about policing and quite frankly, they would be appalled if they knew how ASUPD treated its employees. Of course any feedback the community would give wouldn’t address major issues like staffing and retention, namely because the public has no idea this is transpiring! If the community could see Chief’s track records from his former agencies, they wouldn’t view the department in the same positive light.

 5.       Chief has placed a lot of urgency in this meeting on greeting new employees, making the testing process more expedient, referrals, posting vacancies… everything but addressing the people who put him in the current staffing situation. Your commanders and some of your sergeants created this exodus of new employees’ year after year right under your indifferent, inattentive nose.  The only reason why Chief is “concerned” now is because it has become so obvious he can’t hide it from his superiors any longer.

 6.       For the Police Officer Recruiter position, it has yet to be filled. You are asking for higher criteria in this position than most of the ones at the police department, but with a fraction of the pay.  Nobody wants to be honest with the Chief unless it’s anonymous. Even still, Chief denies these issues exist because acknowledging them requires a measure of accountability

 7.       How is ASUPD in the 90% salary range of surrounding agencies in the East Valley?  Did you add over inflated command staff salaries to the average? The $160,000 the Chief makes, and the $70k the Sergeants make would skew the averages of salaries assessed for this statement. Let’s see the math on this.

 8.       Incentives are for FTO are good, but this isn’t the real reason you don’t have trainers. The past FTOs have seen what the predatory supervisors have done with the people they were training, and have refused to participate in the destruction of another rookie’s career.  Until you can get a solid FTO program established, and an FTO Supervisor that won’t take their own interpretation on it, the FTO program cannot function.

 9.       A security fee to supplement our budget?  Given the current ASU enrollment of approximately 76,000 students, that would total approximately 3.8 million dollars!! This is insane! The department’s total expenditures and his budget is information limited to the Chief and a few members of command staff. Does anyone but the chief know what’s in the budget or where the money is going? Does anyone know how much money is in the ASUPD budget so we can compare it to other university departments who publish what their budget is? Why the secrecy? This is a public university funded with public tax dollars!

 10.   The suggestion made by Cpl. Khalid on doing ride-alongs with an FTO is ridiculous. Focus your attention and efforts on retaining your CURRENT employees. Besides, having a prospective employee witness first-hand how ASUPD treats its employees will drive them away.  However, the suggestion to look at how other departments are doing things is a good valid suggestion that will be ignored like the rest of the good ideas suggested by the advisory board.

 11.   On the “gossiping” issue: people talk in private because they see what happens to people when they talk openly about issues. If things are jacked up and employee complaints have been continually ignored then people are going to talk about it. If you are not happy with people talking about it then do something to fix the problem they are talking about!  Unfortunately, a clique does run the department in the form of most of the commanders and a number of senior sergeants.

 12.   On the “Internal Affair Investigation Retention Program”:  Your one and a half year of data leaves out the years of pattern IA’s that prove the point everyone already knows. How about an audit from the time the chief started until now? Look at the IA post cited here on the blog. Quite a different picture than the one being painted at the advisory board.

 13.    If a person was subject to so many IA’s why would the chief want to keep them in the PD? Because the chief has always needed people on the ground to continue doing the job making him look good . If you put enough internal generated IA’s in officer’s files you can keep good people from leaving.  Other agencies hear the word “IA” and think about serious allegations of wrong doing; ASUPD’s “IAs” amount to silly nonsense that almost every other PD wouldn’t have the time or energy to investigate.

 14.    If the chief is complaining about not hearing about what’s going on, about the communication lines not reaching him, about people not speaking,  up he only has to look here on the blog and read. It won’t get any more open and honest than here. Sure there are some snarky comments on occasion, but the everything asserted here is valid information this. The next chief can use this information to make this place a real good place to work!

 15.   Since you’ve been made aware of these problems, address them chief! It’s  been two months and counting and the only thing done you’ve accomplished is speeding up requisitions for equipment and attempting to get more bodies in the door? You still haven’t address the REASON why people are leaving!

 16.    You have plenty of employees making six figures who should be offering you suggestions to fix the department, but instead you only get one with a plan: a civilian police aide making  $30,000 a year. He has taken the time, done the research, planning, and implementing solutions the rest of your overpaid command staff can’t be bothered to do, or doesn’t have the mental capacity to do.

 17.   Party Patrol and Tempe Bike positions are highly political, and ASUPD’s solution is to loan them a few officers while secretly relying on Tempe PD’s officers to solve ASUPD’s staffing shortage. Tempe PD should NOT be a crutch to solve ASUPD’s problems!! When shit hits the fan, we all know Tempe PD, Phoenix PD (Downtown), and Mesa/Gilbert PD (Poly) will be the ones saving ASUPD’s ass.

 18.   The only additional training ASUPD’s officers is by MS Powerpoint and Blackboard. We need the outside police training because we can’t do it ourselves, it obviously isn’t working. We need active shooter training too! WE GET NONE!!

 19.    There is no uniformity in employee evaluations. Sergeants send up evaluations and frequently get them marked down to lower numbers by people who have never worked with the employee. The criteria for higher ratings changes from one supervisor to the next.  How about having employees do evaluations of their supervisors to stay ahead of issues before they get out of control and affect more employees?

 20.   Promotions are not taken seriously when everyone at the department sees you pass over more qualified candidates’ process after process. The notes from the advisory board clearly state this problem:  “a six year ASU officer will be promoted over a 30 year officer from another agency”. There is no incentive to stay.

 21.   Morale doesn’t exist. The ASUPD Indeed.com reviews, this blog, the chief’s advisory board all make this alarmingly clear, but ASUPD command ignores it all calling it, “…a few disgruntled people.”

 22.   You want honest assessments? Ask past employees,  pay them to do an assessment so you can see the shocking reality of how awful ASUPD treats their employees. Otherwise, stand at attention and wait for the blog to report.

 23.   The report has just too few pages to get the ball moving down field. The thing is, it doesn’t matter how many pages are filled with solid answers to problems when the chief hears them and STILL does nothing.  If the chief and his command are unable to put things in motion while the department falls apart it is time to find fresh new employees that can. The troops will be sure to give them warm welcomes and make them feel at home because they would provide hope that ASUPD could be a better place to work at.

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

A Call to Arms

We’ve had a lot of folks contact us privately in regards to speaking out against ASUPD, even in an anonymous setting. We understand the apprehension in putting yourselves out there, even if it IS anonymously…but here is some food for thought:

Are you wondering if you should speak out, complain, or have you decided not to? As an officer you swore an oath before God to serve and protect the citizens of the State of Arizona, be them students, faculty, staff, the public, or your brothers/sisters in blue. How are you serving them by allowing the people responsible for their lack of safety a free pass by continuing in your silence despite what you know (what we ALL collectively discuss with our friends/coworkers)…namely things the public could never know about how dysfunctional the ASU Police department is?

If you are silent then you are part of the problem. You share the negligence, and you share in the responsibility if something bad happens through your inaction. You stood by, passing the buck, knowing of wrongs that led to a tragedy and did nothing. Do you want that on your conscience? By talking about these issues we are trying to change the department so that it can finally start fulfilling its mission instead of cutting all corners. You fight for truth and resolution or you quit and turn the cheek joining company with self-promoting deceivers; there’s no fence, none at all.

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 , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Active shooters on the rise; police must change their response strategies

Interesting read from CNN; discusses how active shooter situations are on the rise and police must be prepared to deal with these type of situations.

Philadelphia (CNN) — Attorney General Eric Holder said Monday that it has become clear new strategies are needed to deal with how police respond to “active shooter” situations — those in which someone with a gun is still on the scene and firing at victims.

 Shootings like last month’s at the Washington Navy Yard have tripled in recent years, Holder told the International Association of Chiefs of Police Conference, and there have been 12 already this year. And he said such shootings have become more deadly — a 150% increase in the number of people killed over the past four years.

 “Although research methods and results vary, it’s become clear that new strategies — and aggressive national response protocols — must be employed to stop shooters in their tracks,” Holder told the police chiefs.

 In the Navy Yard shooting, the police response time was considered extremely fast. D.C. Metro Police Chief Kathy Lanier said her officers were on the scene in seven minutes, which is about half the national average response time.

 But still, 12 people were killed.

 Experts say that despite a quick response time, the first officers on the scene often must wait until more highly trained special weapons and tactics teams arrive, and in the interim lives could be lost.

 Holder said that years of analysis reinforces the need for “an immediate, aggressive response to active shooters. In order to prevent additional casualties, it is often patrol officers — not necessarily SWAT teams — who serve as the tip of the spear in responding to these incidents.”

 Security consultant Chris Grollnek describes current tactics as, “Respond once your backup arrives, and use a contact-cover approach so you are not on a suicide mission.”

 Holder said that police don’t always have the luxury to take the time to get their best-trained, best-equipped officers to the scene.

 “To save lives, the first officers to arrive must sometimes be the ones to directly engage an active shooter,” Holder said. “That’s why all law enforcement officers must have the best equipment and most up-to-date training to confront these situations. We owe these officers nothing less.”

Grollnek focuses on training regular people how to protect themselves before police arrive at the scene. He says people who work in places where a shooting could happen could use some training, too.

 “Get up and move — do not become a victim, don’t be a stationary target,” he said. “React by escaping the target.”

 Holder said the Justice Department has partnered with groups like the IACP to train more than 50,000 front-line officers, more than 7,000 on-scene commanders and more than 3,000 local, state and federal agency heads on how to respond to active shooter situations. And it has joined with other federal agencies, local partners and outside experts to develop guidance for schools, churches, colleges, universities and private citizens on how to prepare for such incidents.

 Holder also said that the Justice Department has placed an increased emphasis on evaluating threats with the goal of disrupting potential shootings and other violent attacks. The FBI’s Behavioral Threat Assessment Center has successfully disrupted hundreds of potential shootings –including 150 this year –Holder said.

 While Holder pointed to partnerships with the IACG in active shooter response and prevention, there is disagreement on other issues: IACG President Craig Steckler, retired chief of police in Fremont, California, said in his introduction of Holder that the group’s membership “profoundly disagrees” with the Justice Department’s decision not to challenge laws legalizing marijuana in Colorado and Washington state and not taking a stand against legalizing marijuana in California, as that state’s Proposition 19 would do.

 “This decision by the U.S. Department of Justice, in our view, will open the floodgates for those who want to legalize marijuana throughout the country, those who have the resources to place initiatives and referendums on state ballots and those who’ve continued to profit from the sale of this unlawful drug,” Steckler said to applause.

Holder said the Department of Justice and law enforcement agencies need “marriage counseling” in dealing with some issues.

According to the Attorney General, line-level officers must have “the best equipment and most up-to-date training” to deal with an active shooter. ASUPD’s officers do NOT have the best equipment (we’re lucky if we have boots or a ballistic vest that isn’t falling apart!!), and the active shooter training received OUTSIDE of the academy is nonexistent. Bearing this in mind, can ASUPD honestly claim their officers and the university are prepared to deal with an active shooter?

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

Catholic college police officer kills student after struggle.

Still think an on-campus shooting could never happen at ASU? At University of the Incarnate Word, a Catholic college in Alamo Heights, TX, an officer shot and killed a student after a struggle following a traffic stop. According to CNN:

The incident began when Cpl. Christopher Carter, a police officer with the University of the Incarnate Word in Alamo Heights, saw Robert Cameron Redus near campus “driving erratically at a high rate of speed” Friday, a university statement said.

“Carter was obligated to pull the suspect over to ensure the public’s safety,” the statement said.

Redus pulled into an apartment complex, and Carter followed, mistakenly reporting the wrong street location to police dispatchers, which prompted his call to be routed from the Alamo Heights Police Department to its San Antonio counterparts, the statement said. This caused a delay of several minutes in response time.

“During the wait for assistance, the officer tried to restrain the suspect who repeatedly resisted,” the statement said. “During the struggle, the officer attempted to subdue the suspect with his baton. … The baton was taken by the suspect who used it to hit the officer.

“The officer drew his firearm and was able to knock the baton from the suspect who continued to resist arrest. Shots were fired.”

We checked out the crime statistics for the university to see what sort of issues their department deals with; for 2012, the university had a total of 16 alcohol arrests, 3 drug arrests, 1 weapons violation, and 2 burglaries. THAT’S IT. If an officer-involved shooting can transpire at a university with relatively NO crime, it can definitely happen at a university with a significant amount of crime (ASU). The question ASUPD should be asking isn’t IF it will happen, but WHEN. Additionally, ASU needs to actually plan for some sort of major event, whether it is a shooting, or an active shooter scenario instead of focusing on stolen bicycles.

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

Excessive use of force cases: who watches the watchmen?

We’re all acutely aware how our reaction to a situation as law enforcement officers may sometimes have significant negative costs associated with them, sometimes in the form of criminal or civil punishment. How many times have we all seen a scenario where an officer used an excessive amount of force and was later sued civilly or sentenced to prison? Unfortunately, pretty frequently. But for every time an officer is reprimanded/fired for using force excessively, how many times did he/she use force excessively prior to this? Is it a sudden break in a person’s psyche that caused them to slip, or was their decent into the darkness of malfeasance a slow, yet loud path? More importantly, how are we as law enforcement professionals reacting to and dealing with the situation at hand?

At the ASU Police Department, no one  at the command level seems to be asking the aforementioned questions (quite frankly, the only questions being asked on the 3rd floor are, “How do we make this blog go away!?”). We’re pretty impressed there seems to be accountability within the officer ranks, but what happens when your command fails you?

One Cpl. is a prime example of an excessive use of force handled poorly at the upper level. Recently, a Cpl. deployed his taser several times on a subject who was restrained and was not an active aggressor. The situation was documented properly, all the ducks were in a row…and then nothing happened (it’s important to note that we are criticizing ASUPD’s response to the situation, not the action itself). At the MINIMUM, why would a department not place the person in question on administrative leave merely to assess the merit of the situation, and to allow that person to mentally recover? No PD that wishes to minimize its legal liability would even dream of letting this person back on the road anytime soon. However, in the parallel universe that is ASUPD, no IA was conducted, and no higher entity reviewed the use of force in this situation.

There are several more use of force incidents that have occurred within the past six months–a rookie officer tasing a subject running away from him, for starters–we know have NOT been investigated by the upper tiers of the department, and definitely not by anyone OUTSIDE the department. There is NO civilian/sworn use of force review panel, NO IAs, and NO information being sent to AZ POST.

Congratulations in hitting a new low, ASUPD; there is no longer even a thin blue line separating line level officers (good guys) from common criminals (bad guys), because command staff has dissolved that line with their inactions and mismanagement.

Welcome to the final frontier of policing, folks.

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