Oh here we go again folks! We heard the Arizona State University Police Department is playing the “friend-zone money distribution scam appointments” OR “appoint our friends for higher pay game” again. The processes haven’t happened yet, but we decided to take a shot at predictions anyway. Give us your predictions and we will see what happens when the appointments come out disguised as earned and legitimate processes.
Who do you think will be the next Assistant Chief, two Lieutenants, or two Sergeants? That’s just what the TOP HEAVY Arizona State University Police Department needs, more and more supervisors and less officers. The management couldn’t possibly be more incompetent, even Chief John L Pickens had more sense than this and that’s really saying something.
Remember what happened with the Sergeant promotion process last time? Naive and inexperienced ASUPD ONLY officers were appointed over highly qualified and experienced officers who came with a wealth of experience from many different police agencies and reportedly 2-5 times the experience in the real world. Get ready for some more of the same!
We are not surprised one bit. We have been acutely aware of many issues of public concern within the Arizona State University Police Department. When the details of this lawsuit are fully known we will find ways to supply any information we are aware of to assist them in their case against these defendants and others not listed. This initial lawsuit appears to be a beginning.
I suspect more will come forward and break the code of silence, despite all the threats against them doing so. Nobody should be afraid of these liars, cowards, bullies, and immoral people.
I would recommend that anyone who has been a employee/victim of the Arizona State University Police Department management to come forward now and here’s how:
One of the Defendents in this new Lawsuit, Officer Mark Janda, was named before in a lawsuit involving shoddy report writing, doing absolutely no investigation in a brutal rape case: FYI: He should have been held respinsible in this case: Misfeasance is theinadequate or improperperformance of a lawfulact. Nonfeasance is theneglect of a duty or thefailure to perform a requiredtask. What ASUPD Internal Affair was done on this known “clique” member.
Are there any issues within the official filing that could concern the ACLU?
Here is the link for the Arizona chapter: http://www.acluaz.org/
Arizona State University Police Department Austed Chief John Pickens is still employed in a bogus job to pay for his silence. 150,ooo a year for being silent, reports to Morgan Olsen.
Arizona State University Police Department Officer Mark Janda has a history of liability with the department, a clique member willing to injure employees targeted by ASUPD command.
Arizona State University Police Department Sergeant Epps was hurting employees trying to leave, playing into the lack of integrity that has become the bedrock of management within ASUPD.
Arizona State University Human Resources Head Kevin Salcido was part of the silence dissent within policy, was aware of many issues, but did nothing about them.
Arizona State University falls under ABOR and has allowed illegal and toxic situations to remain at ASUPD for decades.
Arizona State University Police Department Sergeant Pamela Osborne, clique member, was known for damaging employees in the Police Officer Field Training Program. Her lack of integrity has no business in law enforcement.
Arizona State University VP Morgan Olsen was aware of issues within ASUPD and ignored them.
Arizona State University Police Department Commander Orr was a clique founder and defender and hurt other employees. His lack of integrity has no business in law enforcement.
Arizona State University Police Department Commander Louis Scichilone has been caught in so many lies it isn’t even funny. He’s a protected clique member. His lack of integrity has no business in law enforcement.
Arizona State University Police Department current Chief Michael Thompson is every bit as corrupt as former Chief John Pickens and is an embarrassment to the profession. He continued to protect the clique as it hurt other employees. His lack of integrity has no business in law enforcement.
Arizona State University Police Department former Assistant Chief James Hardina, clique member, quickly rose through the ranks on his willingness to act out against the employees who were targeted by ASUPD command. His lack of integrity has no business in law enforcement.
Arizona State University Police Department Hall of Command Shame, No Integrity
For some strange reason the command of the Arizona State University Police Department hasn’t been able to staff its campuses with police officers for many years and counting. For 5 years or more ASU Police command has been offering time and a half OVERTIME pay for any officers willing to work more than 40 hours in a desperate attempt to shore up the shortages.
Why with aggressive hiring attempts, heavy advertising, and its own in house promotion department can ASUPD not staff its own campuses? Why is this going on for 5+ years and counting. Even worse, ASU Police can’t staff its own overtime events and has to beg for help from police departments all over the state. Why is this? Because the command at the Arizona State University Police Department are absolute egotistical morons who lack the most important quality in law enforcement INTEGRITY.
ABSOLUTELY NO INTEGRITY WHATSOEVER IN LEADERSHIP
HOSTILITY TO SUBORDINATES: ASU Police Command makes no secret of its contempt for their own employees. Stories about what they are currently doing to employees, what they’ve done to employees just never die. The truth comes out and employees see the alarming lack of integrity within its leadership and their handpicked successors.
CORRUPT & EXCESSIVE INTERNAL AFFAIR INVESTIGATIONS: ASU Police Command has a well-known record of conducting themselves without any shred of integrity whatsoever. They make up Internal Affair Investigations without merit and target employees they don’t like while looking the other way for the ones they favor. This is the well-known retention program to cheaply keep employees from being able to move on with a career in law enforcement. ASU Police conducts more “I.A’s” per employee than any police department in Arizona.
CRONYISM WITH UNQUALIFIED PROMOTIONS: Promotions for ASU Police are already spoken for. ASUPD command has continually rewarded unqualified candidates for promotion over more qualified competition. It’s common for them to restrict who can test for positions, change the rules during the process, and redo a process if they don’t like who’s applying. We’ve discovered that ASU Command accepted invitations for barbecues/poker playing at the Fuchtman household shortly before appointing supervisor novice Katie Fuchtman to Sergeant over much more qualified candidates. Resumes are routinely ignored in promotion processes in favor of subjective oral boards where people can be handpicked.
NO RAISES FOR YEARS AT A TIME: As an ASU Police Officer you will watch the salary of your counterparts at other departments soar while yours remains stagnant for 5+ years, their overtime compared to your COMP time is a huge bump, plus all the bonuses for STEP increases, training bonuses, makes it a no brainer that you need to leave ASUPD to succeed.
CORRUPT EVALUATION PROCESSES: All ASU Police employees get evaluations. The “clique” allows one another to write their own evaluations and scores with 4 being low and most receiving 5 or higher. Most ASUPD employees receive the standard 3 as a rule. This allows command to flood the salaries of their friends with money that comes for any raise, but also makes them appear to be a better employee than others not favored, but who work harder and are more qualified for higher scores.
NO OPPORTUNITES & NO TRAINING: Just like promotions, specialty positions and training are already spoken for. Police officers from real police departments get opportunities for further training in all aspects of law enforcement without the political garbage of ASUPD. After 3 years a police officer at a real police department can expect an opening in any one of many specialty positions and opportunities for more training than you have time for. Remember that training makes you more marketable to other police departments. With ASUPD running short of officers 100% of the time for years that’s a real fear.
NO SUPPORT FOR THEIR OWN POLICE OFFICERS: Only the friends of ASUPD command, the clique, receive any support when their people within the department come under public scrutiny. Besides getting the support of command you will find these people are the ones receiving the largest amount of public complaints because they are empowered to be rude, violate civil rights, and collect public complaints without any recourse. All complaints will be found unfounded regardless of evidence. The people not favored by command habitually do not get public complaints, but are buried by internally generated complaints IA’s against them.
NO SAFETY WITH NO STAFFING: ASU Command won’t be out on calls with you and neither will their bosses, so they will never understand when you are grossly outnumbered on a call and you have little or no backup. If a protest or sport crowd is too aggressive and too large or any other priority event should happen it’s time to call Tempe, Mesa, Phoenix, Glendale, and beg for help if they’re not too busy. Great public safety plan.
TOXIC WORKPLACE STRESS: ASU Command systematically creates an environment so full of stress for its employees that morale has always been low unless you’re new. The longer you remain in the department the more you will understand all the above issues to be entirely true. You will spend 40 or more hours a week at a place you will increasingly dislike because of the gross mismanagement of the department by corrupt officials throughout the command structure whose only care is their own career.
NO REDRESS FOR GRIEVANCES: ASU Command identifies anyone who has a problem with their supervisor or anything their supervisor does as a problem. You become the problem for professionally attempting to address an issue. This effectively creates a US & THEM mentality that the command at ASUPD fully believes in without exception. It was that way under Chief John Pickens and his band of bobble-head idiots and it remains that way under the equally unimaginative, think inside the box, Chief Michael Thompson and the band of bobble-head idiots he inherited from Pickens. You become the problem for professionally attempting to address an issue. This effectively creates a US & THEM mentality that the command at ASUPD fully believes in without exception. It was that way under Chief John Pickens and his band of bobble-head idiots and it remains that way under the equally unimaginative, think inside the box, Chief Michael Thompson and the band of bobble-head idiots he inherited from Pickens.
The Arizona State University Police Badge Recycling Service Costs the taxpayers & students 100’s of 1000’s annually in lost officer hiring and training costs with liability around every corner.
Apparently the school newspaper is the only place Chief Thompson feels comfortable telling less than truthful statements about the causes of ASUPD’s many systemic everlasting problems. Professional investigative reporters would tear him a new one for the statements he made in this article.
It’s time to look at these statements for what they’re worth.
ASUPD Chief Thompson’s STATEMENT:Chief Michael Thompson stated, “It’s always tight, we’re efficient with our money, and we spend it wisely, but it all has to do with budgeting.”
ASUPD Integrity Report’s RESPONSE: “It’s always tight…” More lies from ASU Police Chief Mike Thompson. Thompson has treated the ASU Police Budget much like congress treats our tax dollars. Spend, spend, and spend because somebody else is paying for it. More ASU Police issues get media attention? Run over to the Fulton Center asking for more money. Money isn’t the issue, its mismanagement. We would like Chief Thompson to answer these questions.
How tight is itwhen you have funding to pay officers and dispatchers time and a half for over three years to cover shifts because the root problems of ASUPD have never been addressed?
How tight is itwhen you create 3 new management lines starting at $70,000 a piece while we are continuing to lose employees to other departments at an alarming rate? Whoops! $210,000 and more when they work department paid overtime. Are we at 20 Sergeants now? How many new civilian lines have you created? Add another $100,000. Congratulations on adding well over a quarter million to the payroll of the Arizona State University Police Department that have nothing to do with patrol.
How tight is itwhen you move a Sergeant to the “Events Overtime position” held by officers for decades and making them an “Events Overtime Supervisor” then create another job “Events Overtime Assistant” at a time when the university is looking to make huge 100 Million dollars cuts and raise tuition 11% overnight. You just tripled the cost of running that small facet of the department that has nothing to do with day to day patrol operations.
How tight is itwhen you have more supervisors on shifts than working, patrolling police officers the same way Pickens mismanaged the department?
How tight is itwhen you can afford to pay so many supervisors to sit in their offices for entire shifts playing on their computers or having shift long 12hr social events?
How tight is itreally when each campus has a commander, Tempe campus has two commanders, all five of them making six figures, and they spend the work week in Tempe doing what month after month, year after year? Doing your job?
How tight is itwhen you come under fire for having surplus assault rifles, get ordered by your boss to return them, and then under their nose you order 20K? worth of assault rifles, scopes, and silencers of the type only trained SWAT teams would use? Are you appeasing the firearms clique?
The truth is it’s not very tight at all. In fact it’s pretty loose. Chief Mike Thompson and his command are inefficient with the money allocated to them, and they spend it like fools not realizing they are making the same catastrophic mistakes of the Pickens era because they get pat on the backs for mismanagement failure by a university administration much more concerned with this blog than making sure they do their jobs. Brilliant.
ASUPD Chief Thompson’s STATEMENT: Thompson said while ASUPD may be understaffed, it has also been misrepresented by the media.
ASUPD Integrity Report’s RESPONSE: Really? This is why you’re talking to the kid’s newspaper and not the grown-ups who do it for a living earning national awards for their work? The fact based analysis of investigative reporters, citing every detail as they go in black and white is too much to handle? Tell us Chief Thompson, no dismissive generalizations, what exactly has been misrepresented and how? Put it on the table, put up or shut up. It sounds like your criticisms of the Integrity Report. The criticism is intentionally vague, based on emotion, and wholly lacks supporting truth.
ASUPD Chief Thompson’s STATEMENT: Common policy for college campus security typically involves having one security officer for every 1,000 students, Thompson said, and ASU has a large population of online students who are in no need of ASU police protection.
ASUPD Integrity Report’s RESPONSE: It’s also not just “common policy”, it’s a FEDERAL GUIDELINE set forth by the US Department of Justice. These guidelines are for numbers of Police Officers, not Police Aides, and ASUPD does not have a Security Officer title.
The ASUPD Chief’s Advisory Board showed the department to be short 50-80 officers. A national report found ASU’s ratio of sworn officers to students is about 25 percent below the national average for large, public schools. Should we believe ASUPD short timer Chief Thompson or a retired ASU Police Sergeant, 20 years on the job, stressed the low staffing and related safety concerns here:
Retired ASU Sgt. Marvin Tahmahkera compared the daily scheduling of patrol officers to a popular video game in which a player must manipulate random blocks into position before the pieces fall to the bottom.
“Every day it seemed like a game of Tetris. Someone would call in sick,” said Tahmahkera, who retired last year after 22 years with the department.
He recalls responding to a domestic-violence call by himself at ASU’s Polytechnic campus, a situation where law-enforcement best practices say having a backup officer is a necessary precaution. The staffing levels sometimes made it difficult to patrol dorms, look for underage drinkers and rattle doors at night to make sure they were locked.
“Many times I was the officer in charge, and I was just praying nothing would happen that night,” he said.
Chief Thompson’s STATEMENT:Common policy for college campus security typically involves having one security officer for every 1,000 students, Thompson said, and ASU has a large population of online students who are in no need of ASU police protection.
ASUPD Integrity Report’s RESPONSE:First, as Police Chief of the Arizona State Police Department Thompson should know the difference between police officers and security officers, so we’ll just assume this was a State Press mistake.
Secondly Mike Thompson is wrong again, ONE officer for every THOUSAND? WRONG. The typical number is at least TWO POLICE OFFICERS for every THOUSAND!
Look at official government and reputable sources for this information, not a politician trusted with public safety:
The Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), within the Office of Justice Programs (OJP), within the United States Department of Justice (DOJ)
Chief Thompson’s STATEMENT: Common policy for college campus security typically involves having one security officer for every 1,000 students, Thompson said, and ASU has a large population of online students who are in no need of ASU police protection.
ASUPD Integrity Report’s RESPONSE: Chief Thompsonsays ASU has a large population of online students and that throws off the requirements for staffing? At the time of this article those numbers read like this, ASU is the largest public university in the country with 82,000 students, including 13,000 online-only students. At the time of his statement to the State Press ASU is set to break the 100,000 student mark. How many are online students and how much has the department grown to meet this number? These 13,000 online students never come to ASU? We will do the math for Chief Thompson, 100,000-13,000 = 87,000 What about the 87,000 students Mike T? The truth on ASUPD Staffing can be found here: http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/tempe/2014/09/21/asu-police-staffing-lags-campus-growth/15999573/
Chief Thompson’s STATEMENT: “We hired 15 new police officers this year,” Thompson said. “We are looking at different salary strategies to see what would be the best way to retain some (of the current) employees.”
ASUPD Integrity Report’s RESPONSE: The key word of “salary strategies” is more aptly called “throwing a little bone” or “salary schemes”. So far all they came up with a salary scheme that nets an officer a few hundred dollars per year above their salary for sticking around. The starting ASUPD officer makes 48 and stays at 48 seemingly forever, while other agencies start in the low 50’s and go up yearly. Overtime for hours past 40? Nope. You get COMP time to take time off, but due to staffing you just accrue it. When Thompson says, “to retain some (of the current) employees.” He better move quick, anyone that can leave does, they see the future isn’t at ASUPD making peanuts, getting denied opportunities and promotions by a corrupt command who gives them to their political appointees.
Chief Thompson’s STATEMENT: These strategies will be key in maintaining the size of ASU’s police force because it lost employees in the past.
“I wouldn’t say it’s a horrible problem, but we do have some attrition,” he said. “We have some people transferring to different agencies, but not more than normal.”
Thompson said losing officers was not always due to issues of salary but often a result of their desire to seize different opportunities.
ASUPD Integrity Report’s RESPONSE: Listen to the above statement and ask yourself if it sounds like an honest answer or deceptive one? In one sentence Thompson says the salary strategies will be key in maintaining the size of the police force, but ends with saying losing officers was not always due to salary, but “desire to seize different opportunities”. Once again as with his predecessor Chief Thompson can’t acknowledge the leadership vacuum at ASUPD despite having far more supervisors than patrol units.
When Thompson says, “We have some people transferring to different agencies, but not more than normal.” Does he mean “…more than normal” for ASU Police OR more than normal for an average police department, the two are very different. Normal police departments don’t have scheduling panic freak-out sessions (emergency meetings) for consecutive years because they lose entire squads and need to replace them overnight. The turnover will continue as more ASUPD officers read the writing on the wall and realize they can never promote/make more money/or get a specialty position based on merit or experience.
The ASU Police Command tired long ago of putting their mugs out in front of media cameras and looking like fools, so they created yet another ASU Police Job Title, Public Information Officer, months ago and have been unsuccessful in filling it until now. This position changed to “Media Relations” with no police experience.
The fact of the matter is that ASU Police Chief Thompson, like his predecessor, lacks the essential skills of leadership and management experience that will grow the ASU Police Department and make it place where officers, civilians, starting their law enforcement careers feel important, valued, and not discarded.
The complete lack of integrity within the command levels of this agency
is a stink that few can abide. The latest objective truth of this are the promotion appointments,
passing over the most qualified candidates for political appointments.
Why would any hard working officer subject themselves to this when there are respectable agencies with reputable leadership to work with
and actual opportunities, not make believe ones?
The former chief surrounded himself with an army of supervisors, but that’s not how the work gets done and is a proven business model failure. Thompson is doing more of the same things that failed Pickens. His two-faced dishonesty will significantly undermine the trust employees are supposed to have for a police chief, for an organization meant to be held together with trust in one another. The cronyism is every bit as bad as it was under Pickens and the one thing the ASU Police Department doesn’t need are more issues undermining morale.
Understaffed and already on a tight budget, the ASU Police Department is bracing itself for state budget cuts to come in the next year.
The state Legislature cut university funding by $99 million for the 2016 fiscal year, and ASU is already working on strategies to work with the reduction in funds.
ASU Chief of Police Michael Thompson said the police department was told the funding reductions should not affect the money allocated to campus security, but he added that they are still waiting to see “how everything turns out” as far as the budget is concerned.
ASUPD is on a tight budget as it is, and the school has struggled with criticism in the past for being understaffed in its security department for a school of its size.
“It’s always tight,” Thompson said. “We’re efficient with our money, and we spend it wisely, but it all has to do with budgeting.”
Thompson said while ASUPD may be understaffed, it has also been misrepresented by the media.
Common policy for college campus security typically involves having one security officer for every 1,000 students, Thompson said, and ASU has a large population of online students who are in no need of ASU police protection.
ASU is working on expanding its police force, as well as making an effort to retain the officers already employed.
“We hired 15 new police officers this year,” Thompson said. “We are looking at different salary strategies to see what would be the best way to retain some (of the current) employees.”
These strategies will be key in maintaining the size of ASU’s police force because it lost employees in the past.
“I wouldn’t say it’s a horrible problem, but we do have some attrition,” he said. “We have some people transferring to different agencies, but not more than normal.”
Thompson said losing officers was not always due to issues of salary but often a result of their desire to seize different opportunities.
Police Aide Richard Bailey also said ASUPD has suffered with issues regarding the size of its police force.
“We’ve had a surge for a period of time where we had to fill slots because we just didn’t have enough manpower,” Bailey said. “We’ve been undermanned for years. We’ve increased our number of students in ASU tremendously, but they haven’t increased the police department to match it. That’s a problem. There will be days when we only have three officers to take care of this campus here in Tempe.”
Bailey said officers leave for different reasons, but a primary reason is that police departments in cities like Chandler, Tempe and Peoria are able to offer them better paying positions.
“Our officers don’t make as much money as any of the cities surrounding us,” Bailey said. “Because of the rollbacks in periods of financial setbacks, we had to let people go.”
Despite difficulties with funding, Bailey said he has complete faith in Thompson’s management.
“If he can get the funding to do what he wants to do, he could develop this police force, which handles all four campuses, into a force that we would be proud of,” Bailey said. “(He) is doing everything he can to correct the problems in the workforce. He’s a very smart man and he’s going to do a great job for ASUPD.”
Increasing the size of its staff is not the only method for preserving the safety of ASU’s students the police department has implemented.
Recently, ASU launched the Livesafe mobile app, which allows students to be in direct contact with the police force, as well as utilize tools like SafeWalk, which allows friends or family to monitor each other’s step-by-step progress when walking alone.
However, students like civil engineering senior Ashley Archambault are still concerned about the size of ASU’s police force and hopeful that it will continue to expand.
“If officers are being recruited to other places that are paying higher, we need to be allocating more money to that,” Archambault said. “It’s such a big campus. As a woman, I would feel safer knowing there was more personnel.”
the fact that when gauging police coverage in a given city, the number of police officers actually engaged in direct law enforcement activities, often referred to as patrol strength, is in many ways a more meaningful measure than the total number of officers on the payroll.
The public has a right to know how mismanagement within the Arizona State University Police Department affects the quality of public safety for the ASU community. The public pays close to 15 million dollars to fund a university police department that is grossly understaffed and top-heavy. How did this happen? One major contributor is poor departmental morale compounded by an unfair and unethical promotional process. After all, why would a rookie officer want to stay in a department where the only way to receive a pay raise is a promotion, and promotions are not based on merit or experience?
Many employees are frustrated by the promotional process (“Friend-zone appointments”) because it has the appearances of being nothing more than nepotism shrouded by illusions of “fairness” and “merit”. The qualifications of the candidates in the last three “processes” varied considerably. In each “process” there were novices and overqualified candidates; none of the overqualified candidates were selected with the exception of J.Morel as sergeant (he’s a retired cop from a real police department with triple the combined patrol experience of his fellow newly appointed sergeants). The other two ASUPD sergeant appointments–K. Fuchtman and D. Melton–have the LEAST amount of patrol experience of candidates in the sergeant process. Melton spent most of his career riding shotgun with another department (Tempe) on a special unit, barely working in his own department; Fuchtman spent most of her time at the department on FMLA, having babies, and being sick. She was appointed by her own husband to be both a field training officer (FTO), and a bicycle instructor. Prior to this promotional process, Fuchtman had taken a YEAR off. When she was actually on patrol, she had a high number of public complaints, as noted in a recent New Times article.
Not too terribly long ago, ASU tried to crucify former ASUPD Officer S. Ferrin by reversing several complaints against Ferrin that had been close and marked as “unfounded” (the department investigated the claims and determined them to be false). Several other employees who have also been given cushy positions within the department–among them M. Janda, and D. Gauhgan–have been involved in a high number of complaints and also civil suits against the university. According to the New Times, “Ferrin clearly was singled out for doing what other ASU cops have been allowed to get away with for years”. How can a promotional process be viewed as “fair” when the individuals receiving promotions have received the same amount of sustained complaints as those employees (Ferrin) the university tried to terminate?
Ironically enough the man who received the job, Patrick Foster, doesn’t have “campus” law enforcement experience. What he does have is experience at MESA PD like the current chief and assistant chief. What someone at the assistant chief level usually has is a master’s degree. Neither the former acting ASUPD Assistant Chief, Michelle Rourke or current ASUPD Assistant Chief Lou Digirolamo have masters degrees, in fact the only degree listed between them is one Associate’s degree from a community college. As far as we know neither one went to the FBI National Academy.Their qualifications are listed here. https://cfo.asu.edu/police
This outsider who was denied the opportunity to test, besides having a good lawsuit, now understands ASUPD processes have no consistency from one to the next. This guarantees an under-qualified command can manipulate the results. In some processes one person applied and was awarded it without issue, there are others where applicants are told several applicants aren’t enough and they will be holding another process. Other processes have three or more people more than eligible to apply and they pick nobody because they don’t want to “reward” people they don’t like.
Afterwards an appointment is made to someone who has no more experience than those who applied or even less than what was initially required. The lies from command are tailored to each situation and never add up because they can’t keep a straight story. Sounds like the criminals we arrest don’t it? For this reason you will never see ASUPD command in front of a news camera. The incompetence of past performances is memorable.
There are promotion processes where some experience is emphasized (college experience driving in circles responding to petty calls), while other experience is ignored (all non-college police experience at respectable agencies responding to emergency traffic). The real reason is the candidates need to be what Pickens called “owned” meaning they were nothing to other police agencies and ASU police was their only avenue to be in the business as a police officer.
These publicly funded processes aremeantto choose the best candidates for the position and aremeantto be fair and impartial in their selections. At ASUPD nothing could be further from the truth and that is disturbing.
When it comes to who’s running public safety only the most qualified candidates should be selected. Qualifications are not much of a consideration in this highly political and hostile workplace where groups of employees, up to a half dozen at once, quit around the same time.
Four of the officers featured in the recruiting brochure were out the door by the time it was printed! Coincidence?
ASU POLICE operates business as usual under Chief Thompson the way it did under Pickens. Crow clearly has no interest in getting his police department together. Both chiefs became angry when confronted with the issues and not only do they refuse to acknowledge or address problems, they actively managed to worsen them with inflexible out of touch leadership that rewards the same people who created the problems in the first place
Not only has the ASUPD command selected people for supervisor who have spent little time on the job as a patrol officer, they also selected some people who frequently garnered complaints from the public and were reported for doing so in themedia. Worse than this they once again passed over people with 10, 20, 30 years of outside police agency experience for those with some “college experience”; their clique friends. The present day commanders were promoted over their more qualified contemporaries years ago. Opinions are one thing, but the resumes don’t lie.
They open these “processes” to outside applicants, but anyone can get turned away regardless of qualifications. The recent ASUPD Assistant chief selection came from Mesa PD, what college policing experience did he have there? What association does he have with the other top two in ASUPD command since they all came from the same department?
After all that what was the reason given to exclude another applicant from testing? Most of the time no outside applicants get selected or even make it to the final round. The appointment of Mike Thompson to chief is a good example of this. The commander testing was the same way. The university puts no value on public safety competency because they want boot licking lapdogs that cower before the all mighty OZ. Professional police management might tell the university administration they’re doing it wrong, and not having that in place puts the public at risk more than ever as the university approaches the 100,000+ student mark.
The corrupt existing command immediately circled the wagons against Williams and he couldn’t wait to get out of the Arizona State University Police Department because of the stress command put him through. He was threatened, mocked, and shunned by his fellow command for what end? This sounds more like a bullying story about children on the playground, but it’s true, this is how adult aged men and women manage a police department at the Arizona State University Police Department.
ASUPD command have always been afraid of people more qualified than them, afraid of people they don’t already have under their control, afraid of outside people who think different, and are especially reluctant to tolerate people who adhere to the sort of ethical platform law enforcement as a whole prides itself on. Ask any former employee who is free to speak their mind about the ASUPD management and the responses are relatively the same. A damning response with plenty of supporting information and experience about the complete lack of integrity within the agency management.
This is another ASU public safety corruption story in the works. More light needs to be shed on the culture of corruption, lack of integrity, the non-existent vetting process, cronyism, and anti-American values that appear to be systemic to Arizona State University Police Department and “the New American University” administration who supports it.
In a side note we would like to offer our condolences to the employees at ASUPD who were officially and unofficially accused of being affiliated with the blog or even being the blog administrator. We have received a substantial amount of feedback on the subject, including people who no longer work there, and can tell you to date the number of the accused for this blog is well into the double digits. The investigation and exposure of ASU POLICE mismanagement and their lack of integrity will continue.
The public deserves better, they deserve results.
They don’t deserve lies, sloppy deceptions, institutional corruption,
and the gross mismanagement of their public safety tax dollars.
Every red cent at ASU becomes part of a tax dollar and apparently some people forgot that.
Here’s another reminder.
Here’s ASU Police Chief Michael Thompson in full spin mode and this will be addressed:
Courtesy of the investigative journalists of the Arizona Republic,
Rob O’Dell and Anne Ryman , The Republic | azcentral.com
On Aug. 3, 2011, Arizona State University wrote to Tempe that it had “serious concerns” about student behavior at the Vue, an off-campus housing complex whose owners were seeking to build another high-rise apartment for students.
Since the Vue opened in 2009, it had been the site of multiple alcohol-related arrests, noise complaints, a raucous pool fight and eggs tossed at police from a seventh-floor balcony.
Yet at the same time ASU sent the letter, the university was accepting thousands of dollars from the Vue so the complex could participate in the school’s Be A Good Neighbor Program.
Off-campus rental properties listed as Good Neighbors receive exclusive access twice a year at campus housing fairs, a spot on the university’s website and direct-mail advertising sent by ASU to students. The more the complexes pay, the more marketing benefits they receive.
ASU’s website promotes to parents and students that rental properties in the Good Neighbor Program are “committed to initiatives that promote safety, security, and sustainability.”
But in practice, the principal requirement to receive the Good Neighbor designation is to pay ASU.
The university receives about $200,000 annually from 12 to 15 apartment complexes that participate each year. Three complexes paid nearly $100,000 over the past five years to be listed as a Good Neighbor, and 10 others paid more than $30,000.
ASU, in a statement, said the off-campus complexes are private businesses, and the university has no authority over them. ASU points to a disclaimer at the bottom of the website page, saying the university doesn’t endorse the properties. The university also has not checked for safety conditions. The owners are responsible for ensuring a safe environment, ASU said.
“What we are doing is building partnerships with them so that we can work together to solve problems and hopefully influence how they operate,” the statement said.
But critics say the Good Neighbor label is misleading.
Of the 10 top apartment complexes with the highest number of loud-party calls to Tempe police in 2013 and 2014, eight were members of the Good Neighbor Program, according to an analysis by The Arizona Republic.
Additionally, The Republic found that of the 12 apartment complexes with the most police reports in the past two years, eight belonged to the Be A Good Neighbor Program, according to police statistics for more than 80 off-campus student housing sites in Tempe.
Those reports included high numbers of police calls over the past two years for sexual assault, burglary, bicycle theft and drugs and alcohol.
All four apartment complexes with more than one reported sexual assault were Good Neighbors. In addition, eight of the top 12 complexes for reported burglaries were Good Neighbors, 10 of the top 12 complexes for reported bike thefts were Good Neighbors, and 10 of the top 12 complexes for drug and alcohol reports were Good Neighbors during the past two years.
Video of a fight at the swimming pool at the Vue in 2010. The complex is under new ownership and has a different name.
High-profile incidents at properties listed by ASU as Be A Good Neighbor include:
– ASU freshman Naomi McClendon fell to her death in 2014 at 922 Place, formerly known as the Vue.
– ASU sophomore Brady Roland was severely beaten in an elevator in 2013 at the District on Apache.
– The Tempe Fire Department refused to let its first responders enter University House, previously known as the Hub, without a police escort for part of 2013 after beer cans were thrown at first responders from the high-rise.
– Former NFL player Darren Sharper recently pleaded guilty to one count of sexual assault and one count of attempted sexual assault after being accused of drugging and raping two women in 2013 at University House.
There is limited on-campus housing for anyone but freshman students. About 39,000 Tempe students live off campus.
ASU officials say the Good Neighbor Program was developed as a way to educate freshmen who were moving off campus the next year about choosing apartments. The marketing was added as a way to connect students and apartments.
“We don’t vet them,” said Kevin Cook, ASU’s associate vice president and Tempe dean of students.
“Depending on how much access you want to students, you pay a higher rate,” he said.
Cook said ASU assigns a full-time staff member to work with Good Neighbor Program properties on any issues that come up. Student-discipline problems are dealt with in “real time,” Cook said. Tempe and ASU officials have a conference call every Monday to discuss concerns that come up, he said.
ASU declined a Republic request to observe a meeting, citing federal student-privacy laws.
Both ASU and apartment owners noted that these are large complexes, which is why they have a high number of calls. But The Republic found that for some types of reports like motor vehicle thefts and aggravated assault, the larger complexes did not have the most police calls.
The university hasn’t removed a complex from the program, Cook said, because managers comply with ASU requests. For example, the owners of the high-rise University House addressed safety concerns from ASU and Tempe by closing access to all balconies this school year, ASU officials said.
The university has not threatened to remove any complex from the program, either.
“We don’t find threats to be effective means of resolving problems when we are trying to build and maintain relationships,” ASU said in a statement.
Some parents, students and Tempe residents told The Republic they find the Good Neighbor moniker ironic, considering the main requirement to be in the program is paying money to ASU.
“I’m not really sure how it’s a good neighbor,” Tempe City Councilman Kolby Granville said. “If you pay to get on the list and nobody has ever gotten off the list, it sounds like a paid advertisement.”
Raining beer cans
CANS THROWN FROM BALCONIES
University House, across the street from Sun Devil Stadium, had barely opened its doors in September 2013 when police responded after beer cans were thrown off balconies.
Police were called to the complex during the first home football game after it opened. The call asked for help with multiple unwanted guests. A Tempe police officer saw several beer cans hit the sidewalk near where more than 50 people stood, a police report said.
Another police officer wrote this about the interior:
“It should be noted that the entire building was full of garbage, every floor, every hallway, every stairwell, every elevator, the pool area, the common areas; all littered with beer cans, bottles, alcohol bottles, plastic cups, and food containers.
“The entire building was a party disaster and people were running up and down stairs drinking alcohol, passing through the halls, drinking alcohol and dumping drinks left and right at the presence of Police.”
The Tempe Fire Department refused to enter University House, and some other high-rises, for a couple of weeks in 2013 without a Tempe police escort because of the beer-can throwing.
At the time, then-Assistant Tempe Fire Chief John Valenzuela called the behavior “irresponsible and unlawful” and said someone could be killed.
A year later, in September 2014, police were called to the complex again after a half dozen beer and soda cans and a pair of scissors were thrown out of a 16th-floor window. One of the cans landed within 10 yards of a man on the sidewalk below, a police report said. Police broke up a party and made arrests.
ASU junior Ethan Fichtner, who lived at University House in the 2013-14 school year, said beer cans thrown from the high-rise were an ongoing problem, even though management threatened to evict anyone who threw anything. He recalls walking by on the sidewalk one evening when a beer can landed within 20 feet of him.
The 21-year-old said ASU’s Good Neighbor Program could mislead students because they might expect one experience and end up with another.
Because of the beer-can throwing, Tempe now strongly discourages balconies for high-rise student housing along busy streets, Councilman Granville said.
Despite the high-profile incidents at the University House, statistics from Tempe police analyzed by The Republic show the property had fewer reports of loud-party calls and police incidents than other large complexes such as the District and 922 Place.
University House Communities, the parent company, required The Republic to submit questions in writing.
University House, which has paid $55,000 since the 2012-13 school year to be listed in Be A Good Neighbor, believes ASU’s program is mutually beneficial for complexes and the university, she said.
ASU sophomore Heather Walpert likes University House. The 19-year-old has already re-signed a lease. She recommends the complex because it’s close to campus and the football stadium and because of its lively atmosphere.
“I wouldn’t live anywhere else,” she said.
COMPLEXES PAY $6,500 TO $35,000
None of ASU’s 15 peer schools across the country appear to conduct similar programs to the Be A Good Neighbor Program, The Republic analysis found. The 15 peer schools are public universities that ASU compares itself to.
The cost to join ASU’s program is from $6,500 to $35,000 a year. More than two-thirds of the current Good Neighbor complexes are owned by out-of-state companies.
Some new complexes join the program even before opening their doors.
The highest amount is limited to a single complex that gets premier advertising placement, including a cover ad on the ASU Housing Guide. The 15 complexes that are members this year also are allowed to participate in fall and spring housing fairs on campus.
Some of the packages allow the complexes to have twice-yearly visits from Sparky, the university’s mascot.
Over the past five years, the program has generated $890,000. Yearly revenue has nearly doubled in the past five years to $212,000 this year. That’s not a lot of money considering the university had revenue of $1.8 billion last year. But the program is a source of money that the school can rely on as state funding has been repeatedly cut.
Housing experts say most large, public universities only have referral programs where apartments are listed or linked from a university’s website.
Ohio State University, the nation’s second-largest public university behind ASU, has a referral service and is one of a few with a separate vetting program that inspects private housing.
Apartment units can get from one to five “buckeyes” for safety and security. Complexes were not charged this year, the school said, but will be charged a nominal fee in the future.
In addition, the school’s undergraduate student government publishes a survey of students who live in off-campus complexes. The annual survey rates each complex in more than 40 areas, including how quickly management responds to maintenance concerns and whether students would rent from the landlord again.
“It’s holding these landlords accountable,” said Dilnavaz Cama, department manager of Ohio State’s neighborhood services and collaboration.
The University of Arizona, which is not considered an ASU peer school by the Arizona Board of Regents, has a similar, fee-based program to ASU’s called Featured Lister. But the UA states as part of its “frequently asked questions” that being a featured lister “only means that the property has paid a fee in order to reach UA students.”
“We are very transparent,” said Jennifer Hiatt, the UA’s executive director of Residence Life. “We wanted to do that from the very onset.”
STUDENT FALLS TO HER DEATH
The Vue, now called 922 Place, has been listed as a Good Neighbor for the past five years, paying a total of more than $70,000 to ASU.
But when developers of the Vue proposed building a new complex in 2011, which later became University House, ASU sent a letter to Tempe about student behavior at the Vue.
Steven Nielsen, ASU’s assistant vice president for University Real Estate and Development, wrote:
“We do however; have serious concerns about this developer’s past management and control of their resident population based on the experience with their property on Apache Blvd. We would like to see significant controls put in place to address student behavior and conduct, including the orientation of community amenities inward rather than on balconies adjacent to a public street.”
The Vue and University House are now owned by different companies than the company discussed in the letter.
ASU said the letter demonstrates the university is trying to influence how off-campus housing is designed and operated from the early stages.
“How would students have gained from removing the Vue from the Good Neighbor program? The owners would have found other ways to advertise, and the university would lose part of its relationship with the owners, which is ASU’s only means of influence,” ASU’s statement said.
The highest-profile incident at 922 Place happened in 2014, when 18-year-old Naomi McClendon, who was visiting the complex, fell from a balcony on the 10th floor and died. Tests showed alcohol and drugs were a factor.
There have been other serious incidents there.
Tempe police investigated five sexual-assault reports at 922 Place in 2013, the highest number reported for the more than 80 complexes examined by The Republic. That was more than were reported to Tempe police at any other complex in two years.
Management and staff make nightly rounds to address noise and guest violations, he said, adding that calls to Tempe police have decreased by 44 percent since 2012. Data analyzed by The Republic also showed calls to police dropped significantly between 2013 and 2014.
“While we have made significant progress on this front, we always strive to continually improve our customers’ experience so they have the best opportunity for academic success,” he said in an e-mail.
Several ASU students interviewed by The Republic say the conditions at the complex have improved under the new management and they enjoy living there.
But ASU junior Tyler Somers left 922 Place in January before his lease expired. He was sleeping weekend nights on a friend’s sofa at another complex because of the party atmosphere and noise.
One day, the 20-year-old engineering major said he opened a bathroom door after a party and found feces smeared everywhere, including the mirror.
His father, Scott Somers, believes ASU should take a more active role in the facilities where students stay, even though they are off campus.
ASU should “have a say in the management of the facility to ensure it is conducive to learning,” he said.
Police calls to off-campus student housing complexes in Tempe
Click on the locations to see some of the police calls to student housing complexes in Tempe.
Maroon dots represent complexes in the Be A Good Neighbor Program. Gold dots represent complexes that are not. The numbers represent police calls, they do not indicate that someone was charged or convicted of a crime.
From Tempe to Tucson
SIMILAR ISSUES NEAR UOFA
The high-rises emerged as a way to keep more students from moving into residential neighborhoods in Tempe. Residents often complained about students’ non-stop partying and leaving trash on their lawns.
Many of the high-rises are right across the street from campus.
The same phenomenon is happening at the University of Arizona in Tucson.
Three high-rises there, the Hub, Next and Level, were built just off campus a few years ago as a way to counter what Tucson residents call “mini-dorms” that many residents contend are killing the quality of life in neighborhoods around the UA.
“I’m not sure we’ve solved the problem, we’ve just relocated it,” said Tucson City Councilman Steve Kozachik, who represents much of the area around campus.
The biggest challenge is that many of the high-rises in Tucson are owned by large nationwide companies that had not been responsive to incidents, Kozachik said.
In November, bottles and other objects were thrown off the upper-floor balconies of the high-rise complexes, which are next door to the Islamic Center.
Kozachik said the owners became engaged after the issue was publicized in the media and the complexes were informed about potential liability for the incidents in meetings with the Tucson city attorney.
He wants to see existing balconies enclosed and balconies on new buildings face the interior of the complex instead of the street.
“Kids were getting loaded and throwing whiskey bottles and other stuff at the Islamic Center,” Kozachik said. “I don’t want to wait for someone to get killed.”
Scott Stager, vice president of property operations at the company that owns the Hub, said its property had only one instance of a non-resident throwing objects off balconies, adding that the property works well with the UA and Tucson. Stager said he disagreed that the complex has not been responsive to concerns from the city and the university.
The three complexes are situated next to each other and cameras were installed that cover all the balconies of the three buildings. The complexes now work together to identify the perpetrators any time there are reports of objects being thrown off buildings, Kozachik said. The owners of Next and Level declined to comment.
Most police calls
STUDENT BEATEN AT THE DISTRICT
The District on Apache in Tempe had been open for only a few weeks in September 2013 when it made the news.
No. 3: The District, 977 E. Apache Blvd. | 113 calls. Good Neighbor member. (Photo: Photo: Patrick Breen/The Republic)
ASU student Brady Roland wandered into an apartment, thinking it was his unit and refused to leave, witnesses told police.
Video cameras showed him being led into an elevator, where police say he was assaulted. His face was broken in eight places.
The 900-bed complex, one of the largest student housing apartments in Tempe, had the most police reports of any of the more than 80 complexes examined by The Republic. It also had the second-highest number of sexual-assault reports with four reported over two years.
The District had the highest reported number of simple assaults, and its 47 reports of criminal damage over two years was double the next-highest complex.
Memphis-based EdR, which owns the District, took over ownership in September 2014, said Susan Jennings, vice president of corporate communication for EdR.
“Typically it can take a year to bring a community up to our standards,” Jennings said. “We have a deliberate plan.”
Management of the District met with Tempe police in October, she said, and again a few weeks ago to talk about the number of police calls at the District.
ASU student pushed into elevator and assaulted
She said police were receptive to management’s plans. The District has made changes to limit access to the pool, stop those under 21 from drinking at the pool, and require students to come to the lobby after hours to admit guests.
Jennings said there were two weeks this school year when the District had no calls to police, which she described as a “definite step forward.”
The District has paid $44,000 to be part of the Good Neighbor Program for the past three years.
ASU junior Krishna Dasari lives at the District and feels that it’s safe. But in March, she was searching for another place.
“I didn’t like … people being drunk at midnight, breaking walls and throwing up in the hall,” Dasari said.
CALLS FOR MORE STRINGENT REQUIREMENTS
Apartment complexes that are part of the Good Neighbor Program this year set up booths over two days in March along a busy sidewalk on ASU’s Tempe campus.
Iggy Azalea’s song “Fancy” blasted through loudspeakers. Students wandered among the booths. They thumbed through color brochures of the apartment complexes that featured amenities such as free tanning (the Domain), flat-screen TVs (University House) and an outdoor large-screen TV (West Sixth).
Arizona State University held a housing fair last month for its Be A Good Neighbor Program members, which pitched their residences to potential tenants with a variety of swag. (Photo: John Samora/ The Republic)
Swag filled the tables, many of the goodies related to drinking: bottle openers, plastic cups, sunglasses and can koozies to insulate aluminum cans.
Attractive young men and women promoted the District by handing out black tank tops.
The front of the shirts read, “Get Lucky.” The back said, “Live at the District.”
Tina George-Reyes of Tempe browsed the booths. She was looking for an apartment for her daughter, a senior considering graduate school.
She hadn’t heard of the Good Neighbor Program. But she said a university should vet complexes if they are going to put out such a list.
“If the school backs it, it just seems more legitimate,” George-Reyes said.
Freshman Kristel Sanchez of Mesa also said she had never heard of the Good Neighbor Program.
When told the main requirement to get into the program was paying a fee, Sanchez said, “That doesn’t seem right to me.”
Phil Amorosi lives a few blocks from Apache Boulevard and is chairman of a local neighborhood association. He believes a true Good Neighbor program needs more stringent requirements. He would like to see a certain ratio of staff to students.
ASU chose to put in a limited number of dorms, he said, leaving the responsibility of policing the students to the city.
“If you are going to push them onto the city, they are still your students,” he said. “They should make sure they are good neighbors.”
LOOK UP A COMPLEX
Tempe Police calls to ASU off-campus student housing complexes
Search the database for Tempe Police crime reports at more than 80 student housing complexes in Tempe, obtained through a public records request. The numbers, unless marked otherwise, represent data from 2013 and 2014. The numbers included are Tempe police report calls; they do not mean some was charged or convicted of a crime. Please contact email@example.com if you want a complex added to this list.
The program was created as a convenience to students, gathering off-campus housing information for them in one place. It also serves as a tool by which the university can build partnerships with off-campus housing communities.
We have been pleased with the marked improvement in the operations of off-campus housing communities, improvements due in part to ASU’s efforts in close collaboration with the Tempe Police.
Off-campus housing communities are private businesses. ASU has no authority over them. What we are doing is building partnerships with them so that we can work together to solve problems and hopefully influence how they operate.
It is incorrect to suggest that ASU can mandate or pressure these private businesses into doing what we want.
It is incorrect to suggest that the university is providing some form of endorsement, when we do just the opposite, stating very clearly – online, in print and verbally – that ASU does not endorse any off-campus housing unit.
Does The Arizona Republic consider it an endorsement every time it partners with a corporation or other organization?
How we did the story
LEARN MORE ABOUT THIS PROJECT
Reporters Rob O’Dell and Anne Ryman decided to look into off-campus housing at ASU after working on a story about ASU police in fall 2014. The reporters filed public-records requests in December for Tempe police records of crime reports and loud-party calls reported at more than 80 student apartment complexes in Tempe. The list of complexes was compiled from the ASU Off-Campus Housing Guide.
The Republic created a database based on police calls to allow readers to look up crime reports at the more than 80 complexes.
Public-records requests were filed with ASU for documents related to the Be A Good Neighbor Program for revenue generated by the program, participating complexes, agreements between the complexes and ASU and other details.
The reporters interviewed dozens of people for the story, including students, parents, ASU officials and Tempe residents. Photographer Patrick Breen spent time photographing the complexes. He previously photographed a police call to one of the complexes while on another assignment.
Thank you all for your continued correspondence. Remember, this site does not save IP addresses, so your 1st amendment rights are protected.
Unofficial, but honest current assessment of the Arizona State University Police Department state of readiness 03-11-2015
With the incompetent and corrupt Chief John L Pickens and his sidekick James Hardina gone some people had a slight hope things would improve at the Arizona State University Police Department. We asked, “How could anyone run this police department any worse?” While we weren’t expecting much from the same morally bankrupt command Pickens left behind; Lou Scichilone, Michelle Rourke, William Orr, and Chris Speranza. We thought with the top two problem people replaced something would change. It looks like Chief Mike Thompson and Assistant Chief Lou Digirolamo have fallen in line with Pickens’s old command and its business as usual for the old crew.
With current reports coming out of the department even our low expectations for change were not met. The proof is in the fact that no matter how many new faces come and go from ASUPD; most employees have the same old complaints about the poor leadership and the lack of integrity ever-present within the agency. A police department relies on trust from the public to operate effectively, that trust comes from operating with ethics and maintaining a baseline for integrity. That comes from not tolerating what falls below that baseline and holding command to the same standard you hold every employee to. Integrity is meant to be the backbone of a law enforcement agency and the Arizona State University Police Department is spineless.
During our hiatus over disgust for the Officer Ferrin outcome we looked at emails received regarding individual people, current and former employees, being accused of either running “the blog” or posting on it, and some very interesting details on what everyone is calling “the witch hunt” with AZDPS getting roped into participating in it. (As usual your identities and email is confidential unless you state otherwise.) Other email topics included the usual mismanagement of the department, officers planning to leave, bullying by familiar suspects, unethical selection processes for promotions, and encouragement to continue the fight to restore honor to a police department that, “fell far from grace”.
Clearly Chief Thompson’s vision for the department appears to be nothing more than staying the course with former Chief Pickens’s practice of running the place like it’s command’s whore house/ant farm and that’s unfortunate for the public safety concerns the ASU community. They are paying the bill and getting robbed. The robbery continues to fund a dog and pony show and the porkers that have a stake in it.
Department mission? It’s to maintain the smoke and mirrors convincing the public there’s nothing to worry about while brass-plated fat cats make off with the lion’s share of their public safety dollars to maintain the failed management model of an upside down pyramid. Still the public talks to the news asking, “I don’t feel safe at night.” and wondering where are the patrol units? As this continues the department is looking to promote a new group of sergeants at $70k+ who will come from more officers being taken off patrol. One has been on sick leave for over a year and apparently is one of the front runners in the process. How productive are they going to be? Others aren’t even past their year of probation as employees. The trend to be evaluators in order to stop working and stop being evaluated, while dramatically increasing your take home pay continues. That’s the only way to get a step increase at ASUPD, something every other department offers sworn and civilian staff.
What do we mean by the statement of ASUPD being a whore house/ant farm, dog and pony show? A police department only functions effectively when all its separate units work as a team. When you promote a culture of extreme self-serving, where everyone is out for themselves, you destroy the potential for people to work together toward a united goal. In the case of a police department that united goal is public safety. When you award people for things other people have earned and everyone knows about it you kill incentive. (Luke Khalid getting consecutive 5’s when most get 3’s despite being “investigated” for the sexual harassment of another employee and being removed from being a trainer for being hostile to employees in training.)
When you run promotional processes and change the rules to them as you go along because you don’t want the applicants who applied to get the position that’s wrong and lacks integrity. When you award positions and favors to people you want because you simply don’t like a person more deserving of them that’s wrong and again lacks integrity. These immoral practices kill incentive, morale, and any sense of team. The ability of the department to do its job suffers. Anyone who has talent and can leave does so as soon as they are able.
This trend continues as it did under Pickens. New and old employees see the favoritism, the same old corruption continuing, they realize what they’re up against if they stay and have every incentive to continue the trend of leaving. When new ASUPD employees come on board they are presented with a choice. The choice is to ingratiate yourself with the unethical power brokers and career chameleons or object to their unethical behavior and set yourself up as a target for them to practice their craft. There’s more decorum and respect among chimpanzees during mating season, among inmates in a prison, and there’s absolutely no incentive for any of it to change from Morgan Olsen, Chief Thompson’s boss or President Michael Crow his boss.
Therefore there’s absolutely every incentive for us to continue this narrative. The narrative has expanded and will continue to expand until it is fixed. The local news outlets are uncovering lie after lie from ASUPD command and the ASU administration every time they look into an issue. Therefore there’s absolutely every incentive for them to continue this narrative. These are fundamental principles of logic we expected the flunkies running ASUPD to miss with only half the command holding college degrees. It’s somewhat troubling the administration of ASU seems baffled with how to proceed on this issue of logic relying instead on brute intimidation, threats, and muscle to silence their opposition when it would have been relatively effortless and fool proof for them to address and correct the problems. Deciding between an ounce of prevention and a pound of cure is usually a simple choice.
One exposed lie quickly follows another as one more news story breaks about the Arizona State University Police department’s lack of readiness. On the night of another violent sexual assault ASUPD was understaffed as usual. We are still short the 153 sworn we are supposed to have for all shifts and all campuses. Even if we had enough staffing for patrol, nights in Tempe would still be conducting continuous traffic stops on Tempe city streets far from the student populations on campus. They unwittingly set the stage and create the opportunity for crime on a unpatrolled campus with nobody watching the hen house.
This is what happens when your patrol and supervisors have no worthwhile experience, set their own random missions and goals, and could care less what happens on campus unless they’re called to it. This is what happens when your leadership doesn’t recognize harmful trends and ignores the problems they are aware of year after year.
We certainly have more than enough when it comes to supervisor staffing. Five commanders for four campuses, never at those campuses, who are always in Tempe on days with none on nights, 17 sergeants and counting, virtually the same upper command structure of an entire city police department outnumbering the officers on patrol at any given time.
How is this rational when we are struggling to keep boots on the ground to patrol the university? It’s not, but it’s the same dumb “insulate oneself through over-mangement” strategy Pickens did at his former university before getting the boot there.
Do you think staffing will get better soon? Doubtful. It hasn’t improved under the 14 years of former chief John Pickens so-called leadership and has shown little progress under Thompson who seems to be doing the same thing expecting different results. The definition of insanity is the business management model here.
As officers lateral out, part of another ignored yearly trend, these numbers will predictably dip dangerously low again. Why does this happen? Maybe a professional group of people sworn to tell the truth don’t care to work for an organization that continues to deny the truth year after year?Maybe the Kevin Salcido types with their “they won’t be missed” attitudes were one too many and people that risk their lives need some respect and recognition for what they do. The reasons are as legion as the former employees of ASUPD.
ABC15 published this article, our notations are highlighted and underlined.
Does Arizona State University have enough police officers when it comes to the number of students on campus?
The complex houses students from the School of Sustainability Residential Community and the School of Letters and Sciences Residential College.
According to ASU, the University’s police department was understaffed that night.
ASU Records released these numbers:
“ASU Police had 4 police officers (minimum required number of officers is 7) and 2 police sergeants (minimum required number of sergeants is 1) working patrol. Two officers called in sick.”
The information was the number of police officers and sergeants working that night for all of ASU’s campuses, including Tempe and downtown Phoenix. (On the night of the assault ASU had 4 officers for 4 campuses, does that sound safe to you?) No police officer wants to call another agency for backup because they routinely don’t have any, that practice is dangerous and prone to liability.)
This data came months after ABC15 submitted a request for of the information from the University.
It also shows discrepancies with what the University originally told ABC15 when we first reported on the story.
On September 25, 2014,an ASU Spokesperson said “I can tell you now that the police department was at normal staffing levels on the night in question.”
However, that information isn’t true, according to new information released this week.
A spokesman for the University declined our request for an interview, but released a statement.
“Student safety is a top priority at ASU. Since June of last year, the number of sworn ASU police officers has increased from 74 to 89. The ASU Police Department determines the minimum staffing levels of all campuses. Our police force also uses technological tools to provide the securest environment and most expedited response possible, including direct link to our dispatch center through police call boxes located throughout campus and a smart phone application to report criminal activity. We also have agreements in place with neighboring police departments to provide extra support if needed.”
ASU’s Senior Director for Media Relations Mark Johnson said an officer responded to the alleged assault within six minutes of being dispatched.
The article ends.
We are still short the 153 sworn we are supposed to have for all shifts and all campuses.
There are recognized standards for ratios of students to police officers, but the current ASU administration ignores the standard to the detriment of student safety.
How ASU’s ratio of sworn officers stacks up to enrollment:
ASU: 1.1 per 1,000 students.
UA: 1.6 per 1,000 students.
U.S. Department of Justice survey: 2.1 per 1,000 students at public colleges and 1.5 per 1,000 for public schools with enrollments of more than 15,000.
Eric Chin, Purdue University Police Department survey in December 2013 of Big Ten Conference schools: Highest ratio was Northwestern University at 2.9 per 1,000. Lowest was Ohio State at .85 per 1,000.
ASU’s ratio excludes 13,000 students who only take classes online and don’t come to campuses.
As for the lack of staffing on ASU’s four campuses, you might recall in January 2014, we posted a link to a Department of Justice study that analyzed staffing at university/college campuses. In the post, we illustrated how grossly understaffed ASUPD in comparison to the student populous. ABC15 recently revisited this issue, and also asked ASU officials to comment on the low staffing numbers for the PD. In lieu of agreeing to an on-camera interview, the university released a vague “statement”, and interim Assistant Chief Michele Rourke released the staffing numbers to ABC15.
What “Assistant Chief” Rourke failed to mention, however, is how ASUPD doesn’t really have 78 “patrol officers” because the majority of the people in the aforementioned number are assigned to duties OTHER THAN patrol!
The 78 officers that work patrol incorporates: 7 officers in training who are NOT able to work as solo units; 3 chiefs, 5 commanders, 17 sergeants, a K9 handler, 3 detectives, a special events officer, and a crime prevention officer…NONE of which engage in regular, routine patrol duties as one of the primary functions of their jobs! The vast majority of these positions are either supervisory in nature or incorporate desk work for the majority of the work day, so they aren’t “on patrol”.
When you subtract the new officers, administrators, supervisors, and people assigned to other duties, you’re left with about 40 officers to patrol 4 campuses twenty four hours a day, seven days a week. That number also doesn’t account for officers who may be out on sick leave, vacation, training, comp time, etc.
Michelle Rourke, a spokeswoman for ASU gave the following data for patrol officers at ASU:
July 2014 – total sworn: 78 (We are still short the 153 sworn we are supposed to have for all shifts and all campuses.)
January 2014 – total sworn: 74
July 2013 – total sworn: 66
July 2012 –total sworn: 65
The US Department of Justice has published statistics which analyze a myriad of variables that are applicable to university/college police departments.
This include demographics of sworn officer to student ratio for a several population sizes of universities/colleges. According to page 3 of the report:
Campuses using sworn officers employed on average 2.3 full-time officers per 1,000 students. Private campuses averaged 3 sworn officers per 1,000 students compared to 2.1 sworn officers per 1,000 students on public campuses.
ASU currently has approximately 73,000 students enrolled on all four of its campuses. If ASU followed the national average of employing 2.1 sworn officers per 1,000 students, the department should employ 153 sworn employees. To put this number into perspective, ASUPD currently has 72 sworn employees (which includes the Chief, Assistant Chiefs, and several Commanders, none of which work patrol. This number also incorporates employees who are in the academy/being hired who should NOT be counted in the “sworn employee” total).*This information was published January of last year and has changed slightly since then.
Is ASU Police Department understaffed: New information released to ABC15 on reported sexual assault.
Just when the Crow administration and the command over at the ASU Police department thought they had an unbeatable ace in the hole, whoops! We at the Integrity Report and our contributors would like to thank Reverend Jarrett Maupin for taking a serious look at the Officer Ferrin and Professor Ore incident and coming to a conclusion based on all the facts in this case. The command of ASUPD has assured their bosses at the Fulton Center that they would be able to terminate Officer Ferrin on what they have managed to populate his personnel file with. A file of old concluded business does not hide their true intent to terminate this officer. The command of ASUPD, based on the record of truth, can’t be trusted to run a police department any different than the preceding chief John L. Pickens. The employees familiar with JP wouldn’t trust him run a lemonade stand based on his ethical stance which is more home in Chicago IL or New Orleans LA than Tempe AZ. The fight continues and will continue until change is realized, until the ASUPD starts to run as a police department based on the standards of AZPOST, and until it is ran by respectable sworn law enforcement officers who earn respect from their peers.While we love the university and the people we serve, we are extremely displeased with how the university leadership of the Crow Administration have conducted themselves with this case. This case is one small part of a bigger picture involving years of poor leadership and mismanagement at the Arizona State University Police Department. Our indictment of the university leadership is a direct consequence of their refusal to take any affirmative action in fixing the issues at the Arizona State University Police Department. Positive change will have a dramatic change for employees, but it will also have a profound and positive change for those we serve and the quality of service they receive.
The Rev. Jarrett Maupin, other activists sat down for a ‘lemonade summit’
with ASU Officer Stewart Ferrin.
The same civil-rights activists who threatened two weeks ago to march on Arizona State University if a White campus police officer was reinstated after arresting a Black professor, switched course Tuesday and mended their differences at a “lemonade summit.”
Now they want Officer Stewart Ferrin reinstated.
The Rev. Jarrett Maupin of Phoenix and a half-dozen community activists met with Ferrin, who is facing termination after his controversial arrest last year of an ASU assistant English professor.
Maupin also had a private dinner this week with Ferrin and his attorney, Mel McDonald, where the activist said he got to know the 25-year-old officer.
“It would be very sad to put (the family) in any economic harm’s way,” Maupin said. “So we will be calling (today) for the university to place him back on active status.”
Maupin invited African-American women to meet and talk with Ferrin at the meeting at Lo-Lo’s Chicken & Waffles, a landmark Phoenix restaurant.
The activist dubbed the meeting a “lemonade summit” — a nod to when President Barack Obama sat down for a beer summit in 2009 with a Harvard professor and a police sergeant whose controversial arrest of the professor became a national story. Obama initially responded to the arrest by saying police behaved “stupidly.” The president later sought to clear the air by inviting the men for a beer.
This time, the participants shared lemonade because Ferrin doesn’t drink alcohol.
Renee Huff, a Phoenix community advocate who attended, said the officer and the professor he arrested, Ersula Ore, should be able to return to their lives.
“People make mistakes,” she said. “By God, we need to be able to forgive people.”
Ore’s attorney, Danny Ortega Jr., declined to comment about the meeting. Maupin said he did not invite Ore to the summit. ASU officials also declined to comment.
The officer has been on leave since July after he arrested Ore. Ore filed a $2 million legal claim last year against Ferrin and ASU, accusing the officer of excessive force, false arrest and violation of her federal rights to due process.
Ferrin received notice in early January that ASU intends to terminate him, and he has appealed the decision. It’s not clear how soon ASU Police Chief Michael Thompson will make a decision.
Ferrin and his attorney have declined to say what reasons ASU is giving for seeking to fire him. ASU has declined to release the officer’s personnel file. The school cited a state law that prohibits employers from releasing investigative files for law-enforcement officers facing discipline until appeals are concluded.
Ferrin and his attorney could release the information but have declined. Ferrin said he believes the information will be released at some point. But for now, they say they want to maintain the integrity of the process. Ferrin added he has nothing to hide and “there’s nothing embarrassing” in the information.
Ferrin expected a decision about his job last week, but ASU extended his leave, pending a decision by the chief. The next day, Ferrin’s wife gave birth to the couple’s second child.
The May 20 arrest drew national attention after a video of the arrest went viral. Civil-rights activists claimed Ore was targeted for her race.
A dashboard-camera video of the arrest shows Ferrin repeatedly telling Ore to put her hands behind her back. When she refuses, he tells her he will “slam” her on the police car, according to the video. Footage shows the officer tackling her to the ground. A police report says she kicked the officer in the shin.
The police report says the 33-year-old Ore argued with Ferrin after he stopped her for walking in the middle of the street and told her to get on the sidewalk. She refused repeated requests to show identification, the report says.
She told police later she felt like the officer “bullied her” and belabored his point that she shouldn’t be walking in the street. Ore was arrested on charges of aggravated assault on an officer, criminal damage, refusal to provide a truthful name and obstructing a public thoroughfare. She pleaded guilty to one count of resisting arrest and received probation; the other charges were dropped.
McDonald, Ferrin’s attorney, said Maupin initiated this week’s meeting. “Last Friday, I get a call at my office and they said, ‘It’s Reverend Maupin on the phone.’ I said, ‘Someone’s playing a joke,'” McDonald said. “I took the phone and it was Reverend Maupin. … I was very touched by some of the things he had to say.”
Maupin two weeks ago called for Ferrin’s firing. He threatened to march on the campus of the university “and the office of ASU President Michael Crow” if ASU didn’t follow through and fire Ferrin. Maupin said he changed his mind after meeting the officer. “I got to know him as an individual. He was in a very tense and tough situation. I don’t wish that situation on anybody.”
Ferrin said he was grateful to meet with Maupin and tell his side of the story.
We would like to take a moment to discuss the myth of ASUPD impartiality in this case. Nobody can deny the Officer Ferrin VS. Professor Ore situation is a high profile case where the Arizona State University Police Department features up front and center. Can Chief Mike Thompson explain who is the man, singled out by the arrows, that appears in both of these photos? Is it appropriate for the two top administrators ASUPD chief Mike Thompson and ASUPD assistant Chief Lou Digirolamo (front row left and center) to be socializing with a member of Professor Ore’s defense team/advocacy group before a decision was supposedly made on this case?
We found it particularly interesting is the fact that ASU is practicing the over active redacting game on its FOIA requests for a third recorded time showing not only will it federal law and ethical standards for government transparency, it has no impartiality with the information of these two employees, “When I made a public records request for the personnel files for Ferrin and Ore, I was provided with Ferrin’s 47-page file. Ore’s information was a redacted one-pager that gave me her name and not much more. Why give me everything on one employee and not give me everything on the other employee?”
Reposted here with some key points highlighted:
Arizona State University police officer Stewart Ferrin was supposed to be fired this week. The ASU police chief has placed him back on indefinite administrative leave pending further review.
Ferrin arrested ASU professor Dr. Ersula Ore in May 2014 for traffic and criminal charges, including assaulting a police officer. Ore admitted to kicking Ferrin. Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery brought formal criminal charges against her, and she pleaded guilty to the resisting arrest and was sentenced to nine months supervised probation.
Ferrin’s actions were examined at the time of the incident by the university and ASU police officials and deemed appropriate.
Soon after her arrest Ore and her backers played the “race” and “victim” cards. That took the spotlight off of her crimes and breaking a serious university rule regarding assaulting a fellow employee. Ferrin is white; Ore is black.
Assaulting a fellow employee is a serious offense that can result in termination. Employers can’t have a person with a history of violent and assaultive behavior against a fellow employee without taking on considerable legal liability.
In a matter of weeks Ferrin went from being a cop on the night shift in Tempe’s notorious and dangerous “Loud Party Corridor” to being the white cop who attacked a black professor. The obvious implication was Ferrin is a racist.
Ferrin was suspended. Soon after Ferrin was benched, the university provost, one of ASU’s chief executives, sent an email to ASU employees praising Ore and aiming guilt at Ferrin.
The university administration ordered yet another investigation into Ferrin’s conduct. This time it was conducted by a private investigator chosen by the university administration instead of asking for an outside and independent investigation by another police or prosecutorial agency. The Arizona Department of Public Safety’s Special Investigations Unit normally investigates internal police investigations with a high profile, but ASU chose not to go that route.
Police officers are bound by state statute to conduct an independent, complete and impartial investigation or subject themselves to prosecution and revocation of their peace officer certification; private investigators aren’t. Even with Ore’s guilty plea to criminal conduct, she’s kept her job teaching our kids.
When I made a public records request for the personnel files for Ferrin and Ore, I was provided with Ferrin’s 47-page file. Ore’s information was a redacted one-pager that gave me her name and not much more. Why give me everything on one employee and not give me everything on the other employee?
Ferrin’s file revealed he consistently met standards, satisfactorily completed his probation period and was rewarded for his service.
When faced with a possible felony conviction, Ore made a plea agreement. Ferrin has refused resign under pressure and maintains his innocence.
If ASU eventually decides to fire Ferrin it will leave a permanent scar and a lingering stench on the reputation of Arizona State University and its police department.
• Retired Mesa master police officer Bill Richardson lives in the East Valley and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Integrity Report on the Arizona State University Police Department would like to remind the staff of ASUPD, particularly the command, about the oath we all swore as certified police officers in the state of Arizona.
I solemnly swear that I will support the constitution of the United States and the constitution of the state of Arizona, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same, and defend them against all enemies, foreign and domestic, and that I will faithfully and impartially discharge the duties of a peace officer to the best of my ability, so help me God.
While We Breathe, Let Justice Be Done Dum Spiramus Fiat Justitia