During Thursday's meeting of the Wayne County Commissioners, Probation and Parole Supervision Week was proclaimed in the county.
Members of the Wayne County Adult Probation Department were present at the meeting. The department is made up of 12 staff members, eight of which are also officers.
Director and Chief Adult Probation Officer Jim Chapman talked about what the department does.
The probation and parole officers are required to meet guidelines and job description put forth by the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole (PBPP) and complete professional enhancement training so they “may enforce the orders of the Court of Common Pleas with professionalism and zeal.”
Chapman said the department utilizes their knowledge of the law, individual personality traits and community dynamics to provide to the community with “a sense of safety in that those offenders who are being supervised are being done so with the best of the officers' abilities and with the collective resources of the department,” according to the department's mission statement.
The Wayne County Adult Probation Department is an “investigative and supervisory arm of the Court of Common Pleas.”
The officers supervise offenders within the community, file investigations as required and make arrests and detain violators when necessary.
Chapman stated Governor Corbett has declared July 14-19 Probation and Parole Supervision Week. The commissioners proclaimed the week in Wayne County as well.
The proclamation says probation officers are sworn in as peace officers who work in the community, seeing parolees at home, at work and on the streets. They are on call 24/7 to respond to emergencies and urgent problems.
“Probation officers provide both supervision and counseling to offenders and operate to uphold the law and safeguard the public from criminal activity during an offender's transition from incarceration to the community,” it said.
It also says probation officers are an essential part of the justice system who work tirelessly to make neighborhoods safer and more vibrant places to live and raise families as well as working to give offenders a second chance at being productive members of society.
“We thank you for what you do,” said Commissioner Brian Smith. “It's a serious job with a lot of responsibility. I hope the public understands and appreciates the job you do and what it takes to help offenders make a safe transition back to the community.”
Commissioner Jonathan Fritz said he's proud to have the department as part of the team in Wayne County.
“We thank you for what you do on a day to day basis,” he said.
“It's a challenge that you have dealing with that particular population,” said Commissioner Wendall Kay. “It's not an easy population to deal with. I'm always impressed with how you individually assess each person and treat them with respect, when though the way they might not deserve it by the way they conducted themselves.
The following employment opportunities were approved:
• Ryan Swift was promoted from part time corrections officer to full time corrections officer, effective July 27.
The salary was set at $15.42 an hour.
• Samantha Cummings was promoted from caseworker I to caseworker II for the Behavioral and Developmental Programs and Early Intervention Department, effective July 21.
The salary was set at $31,457.02 for 37.5 hours a week.