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  • Questions Regarding County Probation Officers

    Recently I decided to change from an I.T. degree to Criminal Justice. I would like to be a Probation/Parole Officer, particularly a Probation Officer in Fulton County Georgia, but I have a few questions:

    -- Are County Probation Officers armed in Fulton County?

    -- What kind of additional training is involved?

    -- What about purchasing on my badge?

    -- Will I have arrest powers?

    Just a few questions I had while contemplating my future.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Chase L. View Post
    Recently I decided to change from an I.T. degree to Criminal Justice. I would like to be a Probation/Parole Officer, particularly a Probation Officer in Fulton County Georgia, but I have a few questions:

    -- Are County Probation Officers armed in Fulton County?

    -- What kind of additional training is involved?

    -- What about purchasing on my badge?

    -- Will I have arrest powers?

    Just a few questions I had while contemplating my future.
    What, exactly, are you referring to with this statement?? Hopefully it is not what I am thinking.......

    Comment


    • #3
      CJ degrees are pointless outside a very narrow scope.

      COunthg PO's are rarely armed, and are usually employeees of private companies.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by 11b101abn View Post
        CJ degrees are pointless outside a very narrow scope.

        COunthg PO's are rarely armed, and are usually employeees of private companies.
        ^ This. Most misdemeanor probation sentences are now handled through private probation companies like Sentinel. You would not even be law enforcement, no badge or gun (this is speaking from my area-Augusta, GA, so it MIGHT be different).
        State Probation Officers (again, here in Georgia) are armed and go through training in Forsyth (I believe its 4-5 weeks).

        Your arrest powers with either are limited to those under supervision.
        www.ShankAZombie.com

        Comment


        • #5
          Probation Officers in GA

          The previous poster is right, each county has their own arrangements to handle misdemeanor probation. Private agencies employ Probation Officers that are not law enforcement officers. The private probation officers do not have arrest powers. State (Felony) Probation officers are LEO's and go through POST certification at the Corrections Academy in Forsyth. The basic training course is about to be expanded to around 8 weeks. We typically only arrest probationers but have the authority to make other arrests in certain situations for example, to prevent a forcible felony. State PO's need a four year degree and often have experience in law enforcement, corrections, social work or private probation. I still do not know what is meant by purchasing on a badge. I probably don't want to know either. If you're interested in probation I suggest getting some experience in corrections or social work while working on your degree. Criminal Justice, Psychology, Social Work are all good degrees. If you are working on your degree you may consider a Surveillance Officer position. They are LEOs that work for Probation but mostly do field work. A bachelors degree isn't required but they are usually promoted from Corrections Officer positions. Good luck!

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Jimbo2010 View Post
            If you are working on your degree you may consider a Surveillance Officer position. They are LEOs that work for Probation but mostly do field work. A bachelors degree isn't required but they are usually promoted from Corrections Officer positions. Good luck!
            Being an SO is easily the greatest job I've ever had. People within the dept often ask me "When are you going to complete your degree and move 'up' to PO?". I have yet to figure out a reason to. I've got it all, minimal paperwork, tons of inter-agency work, I couldn't be happier. And yes, I was promoted from CO.

            Comment


            • #7
              I haven't seen a thread in the GA section bring 2 new posters... welcome to the forums, Jimbo and GDCSO.

              Stay safe and hope to see you around here more often.

              Comment


              • #8
                Most counties in Georgia no longer have County Probation Departments. In fact, the only one that I know of is Athens-Clarke County. If you are interested in probation work, please go with State Probation. I was a deputy sheriff for over 10 years and decided to make the change so I could have more time with my family. I wish I would have started with State Probation when I first got into LE. The starting pay is comparible to most departments in the state, its not great but its not bad. If you have prior military experience you will get a 7 to 10% raise walking in the door. As far as arrest powers go, you are considered a State Police Officer, your job title is Probation Officer but you are a sworn officer. Your powers of arrest are limited by policy, not by state law. State Probation is not considered a first responder department. This means that you will not be answering calls for service and taking other reports that you would soon get sick of taking. I have arrested plenty of people who are not on probation or parole. Our departmart wants local LE doing their job and we do our job. If you see a crime committed in your presence, by law, you can arrest them. The department wants you to contact local LE and turn the arrested person and any evidence over to them. Again, this is their job. If the local LE shows up and refuses to help out, you have every right by law to continue with the arrest and do what you have to do. Believe me, after doing this job for over 10 years, you will be tired of dealing with the same crap every single day. Now I have a job that allows me to make my own schedule and work when I want to work. I can work as hard as I want or as little as I want. I have a glock 23 issued to me and I still can participate in the POAB fund just like any city or county LE officer. Like GDCSO1 states, this is a great job and you can make the best of it. One word of advice, look long and hard at all the departments and find the one that is right for you. Don't be like most officers in this state who go from agency to ageny. You will soon get a reputation and no one will want to work with you. Either way, get as much training and education as can, it will pay off in the long run.

                Comment


                • #9
                  So, you've made plenty of arrests of individuals who arent under supervision of the state? Plenty?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Considered State Police Officers?! By who? Probation receives a POST probation officer certification, not a basic LE. The training is only 4 weeks or so, nowhere close to what you need for LE certification. I'm not trying to minimize what probation does, it is a necessary function of the state, but it is completely different from police work.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      What Deputydownsouth172 is speaking of is 42-5-35, Probation Staff as well as other positions within the Department of Corrections are given this authority and it states so on their credentials.

                      http://sacs.kennesaw.edu/sacs.kennes...l?code=42-5-35
                      Last edited by Macquaid; 05-02-2011, 07:29 AM.
                      Line is ready. Shooters ready. Attention!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Plenty, just to give you an example! A few months back, I was part of a crime supression task force in Atlanta/Fulton County. The Mayor of Atlanta asked for state assistance. State Probation, Parole, and GSP were all sent to Atlanta. We made over 400 arrest in a two week period. I myself made some of those arrest. I had to go to the Magistrates office and secure arrest warrants for the crimes that I witnessed or had PC to arrest for. I did not call APD or Fulton County over to arrest people for me. My ID Card says POLICE POWERS on the front and on the back it states that I am a officer of the State of Georgia. You and other people can call me a second class cop, it makes no difference to me. I have been a jailer, road deputy, warrant officer and investigator and I would not leave my job to go back to a city or county department.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          First off, I never suggested that probation officers are "second class cops". That's absurd. I was simply stating that the job functions are different. I worked as a parole officer for a couple of years and have a pretty good idea what goes on at probation. You may participate in task forces from time to time (which is really helpful to local le), but your everyday job is not like policing. Just like police work is not offender supervision.

                          There is one thing that I'm not clear on, state law allows the commissioner to confer "police powers" to officers, but you said that your policy limits who you can arrest. I know when I worked for parole, that was the case there. We were able under law to make arrests for any crime, but that all depended on the parole board conferring that power to us, which they did not unless we were working on a task force. Which meant that we could make an arrest for a crime that we witnessed, but not under the authority of our agency. Rather per OCGA 17-4-60. This is probably why probation wants you to call local LE (17-4-61).

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Not to get into the mix here, but as a probation officer, I agree with free agent. We are not police officers. We are essentially part social worker and part law enforcement; that is why probation/parole has a relative short LE training that is supplemented with something most police officers do not have-- Bachelor's and Master's degrees. What is the reason for this? Simple, we do different jobs. Most States, New York included, usually differentiate this by classifying probation/parole as peace officers-- granting them the authority to carry firearms and make arrests, but usually those arrest powers are limited to those they supervise. Yes, I know that technically you could make an arrest outside those you supervise, but this would be extremely atypical and not considered something that is done in a normal course of one's duties. I always say that if you want to become a cop, go ahead and become a cop. I actually started my career as a police officer and went over to probation. I think the thing that frustrates people most about probation is being able to balance the two roles of social worker/law enforcement officer. I have found it to be a really interesting career.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Florida Probation Officer

                              Does anyone know what the Florida Probation Officer academy is like? I believe its 4 months long. Do you have to live in a dorm? Is it para military: inspections etc? What is PT like, lots of running and cals? Is there a mile and half run?

                              Comment

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