ASU: ASUPD joins Police2Peace Project to help change law enforcement narrative

The ASU Police Department is committing to changing the narrative around law enforcement, and embracing its origins and training as peace officers through the Police2Peace Project.

In order to become a sworn member of law enforcement in Arizona, candidates must be certified by the “Arizona Peace Officer Standards and Training” (AZPOST) Board.

“It’s important to note it isn’t ‘Police Officer Standards’ we are held accountable to, but the ‘Peace Officer Standards’ taught by AZPOST since its inception,” ASU Police Chief Michael Thompson said. “The difference between the two is important, and too often overlooked in our field. We’re hoping to change this and get back to our roots.”

As of May 3, 2022, the ASU Police Department has joined thousands of departments across the country in reimagining how it approaches the duties of a police officer, putting an emphasis on community engagement and collaboration.

“Our job, especially in a community-focused department like ours, is to be a force of de-escalation and peace,” Chief Thompson said. “For this reason, we are taking the moniker of ‘Peace Officer’ to heart, and will begin transitioning our internal structure to reflect this.”

As part of the Police2Peace Project, the ASU Police Department is making the following Peace Officer’s Promise:

“We, the Arizona State University Police Department, promise that while doing our best to control crime, we will do everything in our power to do no harm to the communities we serve and protect.”

The promise made above is ASUPD’s commitment that every action taken is done with the intent of protecting the public and keeping the peace without doing further harm.

“Although this commitment is nothing new for the officers at ASUPD, it’s important to publicly state and outwardly express a sentiment already heavily emphasized within the department,” Chief Thompson said.

As policing changes across the world, ASUPD is committed to changing with it.

“We must all work with our community to examine the established framework of what it means to be a ‘Peace Officer’ as we highlight and explore the ways we approach the art and science of policing,” Chief Thompson said.