December 2012 Round Table Report

CONTRA COSTA

The Contra Costa County Employees Retirement Association Board of Retirement voted on October 30, 2012, to change its policy regarding Terminal Pay to comply with the new state law (Assembly Bill 197). Under this change, effective January 1, 2013, Terminal Pay will not be included in an employee’s final compensation for retirement.

The Court’s will decide whether this change is constitutional. PPOACCC and other Labor Unions, Organizations and Associations will be going to court to challenge the change in the law. With the assistance of the Association’s representing law firm, Goyette & Associates, the PPOACCC asked the court to issue an injunction staying enforcement of the new law so that Members won’t have to decide before December 31, 2012, whether they will lose Terminal Pay if they do not retire before December 31, 2012. Stay tuned…

The Department celebrated the Holiday Season with a series of employee luncheons at various job sites. Probation employees got into the spirit of the holidays by participating/contributing toward the “Food Bank Challenge” with a number of events, including raffles, silent auctions and bake sales, to help those who are in greatest need.

The PPOACCC Executive Board recently attended local Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla’s annual holiday breakfast.

The PPOACCC and the Department are meeting regarding the new proposed Policy Manual compiled by Lexipol, as well as discussing the pending arming for various Probation Peace Officers.

Congratulations to the knowledgeable, dedicated and long-time Probation Officer Shirley Osborne and the resourceful and always effervescent veteran Probation Officer Petreyna Boykins on their pending retirements by the close of 2012. Good Luck to both of you in your “new life”.

FRESNO

Things in Fresno seem to remain on the upswing in regards to the continued hiring process of Deputy Probation Officers. Additionally, the County Board of Supervisors recently authorized to lift a promotional freeze which had been in place since 2010. The Board of Supervisors authorized promotions to be granted by individual Departments County wide based on individual Department fiscal budgetary means to sustain the salary increases related to promotions. As we head towards the coming New Year, we are preparing for labor negotiations with County Personnel and are remaining watchful of the potential impact evidence based
practices and assessment tools we have on Officer workloads in both adult and juvenile divisions. In closing, we wish everyone a safe and happy Holiday Season and a Happy New Year!

INYO

ICCPOA is still in negotiations with the county and things are moving at a snail’s pace. It was anticipated that medical benefits would be capped, however there is talk that Obama Care may have some impact on that decision. An equity study was submitted by the negotiations committee in hopes of cleaning up the career ladder which has remained unorganized for some time and officers are interested in becoming uniformed in some respect. Deputy’s recently completed RCB Baton training and have been issued the device for field use. Additionally the department will receive more EPICS training and DSL in the next few months. ICPPOA will be participating in Shop With A Cop this year, a program designed to provide holiday gifts to local needy children. Likewise the department is looking at sponsoring a child as well. Hope all is merry and bright. Be safe out there.

LASSEN

Currently operating under the direction of a temporary Acting Chief. Pending selection and hire of 2 Supervising Deputy Probation Officer’s, 1 DPO I/II, and a Probation Assistant. Efforts underway to develop and implement a comprehensive policy manual, if anyone is willing to share please forward your policy and procedure manual to hthompson@co.lassen.ca.us. Any help will be greatly appreciated.

MADERA

Madera County is looking forward to the new year! We are busy hiring for several positions in the Probation department and detention facility. The year of 2012 brought many people promotions- congratulations! MPPOA is also currently holding reelections for several positions on the board- our new President Richard Caldie has been a welcomed new face and asset to our organization- Happy Holidays to all!

MODOC

Modoc County has began utilizing the PACT assessment program over the last few weeks. Still getting used to it and experimenting with it's case plan. The juvenile officer has also been working with the Juvenile Delinquency Prevention and Treatment Court Program (JDPTCP) and revamping and using a new approach

MONO

We currently have our two new employee's attending the Core training in Sacramento, so it is busy for those covering their responsibilities. Winter has started and the snow is on the ground. Mammoth Mountain has received over a hundred inches of snowfall so far. Our administrative assistant is retiring at the end of the year adding even more new faces to our office

ORANGE

Still in negotiations, no movement at this time. Measure V did not pass in the City of Costa Mesa which was a huge victory. There will be no charter imposed.

PLUMAS

We have a new PO who will be sharing the department’s high-risk caseload with another officer. The department will be filling an opening for DPO I/II soon and there may also be an opening for supervisor soon. This year’s budget is a tight one, but the department was able to keep most of our staff, avoid furloughs and hire a new PO using grant money. Next year may be a different story. The department is still in the process of joining PORAC and developing policy regarding use of force and on-duty firearm carry.

SAN BERNARDINO

The big news with San Bernardino County Probation is the AB 109 program. We continue to hire officers for this program. We just graduated another CORE class today and that brings our numbers up to almost 400. We continue to try to finalize our contract with the county. We reached a tentative agreement but then the county added language and terms that were not agreed to. Hopefully, we will be able to resolve the final language, and sign our contract at long last. It has been about 5 years since way did have a contract.

SAN DIEGO

Probably the same scenarios as the rest of the State, AB109 is too much too soon. We can’t hire or train our officers fast enough, we are conducting contacts in the office and not in the field, case loads are through the roof and we are canalizing most of our other units. Case loads for these units obviously are out of control and no relief in sight. Also for our department and most other departments I feel probation as a whole needs to make a cultural change to be more law enforcement first. When you hire on to be a police officer you know that you will be armed and are committed to these responsibilities. Some officers are not prepared mentally and make the choice to be armed only as a way to promote. You should know what probation requires before being hired.

Mandatory overtime is going on its fourth straight year in our institutions, but we are hiring numerous correctional officers as our current ones get promoted to DPO. Our new dress code policies have gone out, with some major changes. The most sensitive issue would have to be the tattoo and ear ring policies. Most of the changes have been for the best.

We are getting ready to bargain for our new contract, starting in January. We have conducted a survey with our members and received vital information on what their concerns are. Obviously wages are the top priority, but with the new pension reform we shall see how it plays out.

One new item for our association is the Officer Down Charitable Program. This gives us the means to assist officers and their families in time of need.

SAN JOAQUIN

Hiring is still at a relative standstill, with our Department having only hired 8 officers since October 2011 though we currently have over 20 probation officer vacancies; not to mention over 60 vacancies department-wide. As you can imagine, covering vacant caseloads while dealing with added responsibilities is burning out our officers. While everyone is adjusting to the new normal post-AB109, we are left wondering where all of the money in the form of salary savings is going.

We’re working with our attorneys to file something, an injunction possibly, involving the application of AB 340/197 for our new hires after January 1st, 2013. Our local ’37 Act retirement office is interpreting current legislation to take effect for our incoming members’ retirement COLA Cost Share rates. And, since we’re under contract through June of 2014, it is our belief that those rates should not be readjusted until after the current contract expires. Apparently, non-CalPERS retirement offices have communicated the same message with each other; which appears to match the position of CSAC. We’re waiting to see how this unfolds.

Of late, our biggest issues have been tied to officer safety. We did reach agreement on the need for pocket packs, and since our discussions began, we were able to get pocket packs issued for officers’ vehicles in the case of emergency – trauma. Since the spring, we’ve spoken to the Department about ASPs for armed officers and Sharps containers to dispose of needles in the office. Neither has been resolved; which has resulted in letters being issued to the Department addressing their negligence on these issues, including the possibility of an OSHA complaint over the Sharps containers. Lastly, we are deeply concerned about the safety of officers and staff working at our Adult office building in downtown Stockton. Our Association and the Department have gone back and forth over the last two plus years about the need for a security guard, screening station and other safety measures for the building. In that time, there has been at least one handgun brought into the building, another alleged to have taken place, an assault, and dozens of other officer safety issues that were brought to the Department’s attention. Little has been done to address the situation, though on November 30th, 2012 we delivered a letter to the Department noticing them of their inattention to the matter at hand and informing them of possible legal action if our members’ safety is compromised while working in the building. We also noticed the County’s CAO over the same matter. Time will tell how soon they respond to our concerns with legitimate safeguards made for our members.

SAN LUIS OBISPO

We are all very pleased with the passage of AB 30, we have about 180 PRCS cases at any one time. We now have two full time field training officers. The implementation of the tasers has been going well and our policy has been completed. We have one DPO vacancy that we will be filling soon.

SOLANO

Greetings from Solano County….

Things remain relatively quiet here in Solano County. Although we must admit quiet doesn’t necessarily mean a lack of change. With our new Chief, has come a new philosophy. Consultants have been brought in to evaluate the function and performance of both our Detention facility and our Probation Department. Officer safety, at least at Probation, has continued to be a primary focus. Unfortunately the “safety” wheels aren’t moving nearly as quickly at the Detention Facility. We continue to wait for safety equipment, which was promised, to arrive there. Among the things being considered, is arming…… This is huge for our County.

The relationship between the Association and Management continues to be good, and fortunately we have had few grievances and disciplinary matters to deal with. Open communication appears to be the key.

We are still working under “Imposed Terms and Conditions” and are waiting on opening up negotiations for the outcome of our PERB hearing which is scheduled for the end of the month.

The PRCS unit continues to grow and we are currently waiting for Board approval to move forward with our Day Reporting Center for that population. We received grant funding for a special DUI caseload and between this and PRCS there is a lot of staff movement currently happening within our Department. We continue to interview for new DPO’s to fill those positions allocated for through PRCS funding and a couple of new staff are scheduled to start.

Other than this, we continue to plug along. We hope all is well in the surrounding Counties.

Stay safe my friends.

TUOLUMNE

All adult and juvenile supervision officers have received baton training. We however, still only have two DPOs are armed with handguns.

Our department continues to hire: One new DPO started this month, a tech and an aide will start in December. Two of our veteran DPOs in the court writing unit will be retiring at the end of December. We will miss their skills and knowledge.

The PRCS rehabilitative program continues to work with high-risk offenders with some success. We have noticed some recent increases of offenders relapsing back to drug and alcohol use. Two PRCS offenders have committed serious offenses. One is back in prison and the second is in custody in LA County pending the outcome of his case.

YOLO

We currently have no open recruitments. However, the County will be recruiting for the post of Chief Probation Officer in the near future.

We are in the second year of a three year labor contract. To date, we've not experienced any layoffs due to budget cuts.

The Byrne grant that funds our Pre-trial supervised release unit is ending, which may result in shifting some positions from that unit to others within the Department. At this time, we have not been advised of any potential layoffs as a result of the expiration of the Byrne grant. However, the Pre-trial unit will continue to operate through AB109 funding.