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New assistant police chief Spradling ready to serve


August 08, 2006

As Jay Spradling peers at his collection of baseball memorabilia on display in his new office at ASU, he reflects on his diverse, 25-year career in law enforcement.

“During the last 25 years, the one thing that I have loved about my profession is that I never know what a given day holds for me,” he says.

Spradling enjoys being a police officer because, he says, every day and every assignment is completely different – especially in his new role as assistant chief of ASU Police.

In his new position, Spradling will oversee the department's operations, which includes all police officers and police aides at the four ASU campuses.

Spradling joined ASU in June after retiring from the Tempe Police Department. He started his career as a patrol officer, earned his keep as a juvenile detective for various Tempe schools, worked on a major fatality squad and handled administrative services.

He also served as a basic training sergeant, led undercover operations and the S.W.A.T. team, and helped initiate the first anti-gang unit for Tempe Police.

His combination of a wide-ranging law enforcement background and strong leadership skills are helping him face his daily opportunities and challenges. He says ASU's diversity and rapid growth makes this a “great time to come on board.”

Spradling, who has lived and worked in Tempe his entire life, was drawn to ASU partly because of his long-standing relationship with ASU Police Chief John Pickens.

“Jay is an experienced administrator who is well-respected within the law enforcement community,” Pickens says.

Spradling has a strong orientation toward customer service, and he says his first order of business is to identify opportunities that will strengthen the connection between the police department, the students, and the faculty and staff at ASU.

“ASU is clearly a city within a city,” says Spradling when asked what he enjoys most about his new job. “I've lived around ASU my entire life, but now I'm learning a whole new side of the university.”

Spradling says all officers should consistently strive to deliver services as though they were delivering them to their own family. He is an approachable person and wants the ASU community to know he has an open-door policy.

“I would love the opportunity to talk with people one-on-one to hear their concerns in the interest of public safety,” he says.

Spradling is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and a recipient of Tempe Police Department's Meritorious Service and Lifesaving Awards. When he's not working, he enjoys cooking, running, traveling and spending time with his wife and two children.

Spradling also is a huge Diamondbacks fan, and every summer he and his son travel around the country to watch baseball games.