March 2016 Round Table Report
Modoc County is busy sending its newest hire (as of November 2015) to CORE next month. In addition, our beloved Chief of 16 years, Elias Fernandez Jr., will be retiring this October 2016. Along with the many changes his retirement, and the hiring of a new Chief will bring, we are also busy with the changes in our Foster Care system with the Continuum of Care Reform (CCR) (AB403), as well as some other new things coming down such as Commercially Sexually Exploited Children (CSEC), and the re-establishment of our Juvenile Delinquency Prevention and Treatment Court Program. In addition, our community stakeholders are busy working together with us to establish further services in the jail for AB109, as well as looking into the possibility of establishing a Day Reporting Center (DRC) or something of that sort, that would fit the needs of our clients and work well in our rural community.
San Luis Obispo County:
The goal of our Chief for the beginning of 2016 was to bring down caseloads to under 50. Aside from a few officer's caseloads, we've been successful in achieving this goal.
Our management staff has had a few personnel changes and will have another one in the upcoming months due to the retirement of Mike Dutra. So, with that said, this has opened up opportunities for line staff to promote as well as bringing on new DPOs.
A new position has been created for our Juvenile Hall staff which will allow hall officers to promote to a supervisory role.
The department has created a new Evidence Base Practice Steering Committee in an effort to continue it's Evidence-Based practices and meet the State level expectations. The big goal is to reduce crime in our community by utilizing data that been obtained to see where efforts should be focused. By doing so, the committee will be re-evaluating current treatment providers, evaluating our current LSI program, and bringing together line staff and management to ensure that the goal is successfully met.
Since last we wrote, we settled our two year contract securing a raise for our members and continued medical benefits with no changes to the County’s contribution. We lost a JDF Superintendent, with his replacement joining us last week, and we have rolled out the arming of some of our Probation Officers.
We are currently working with the Department to develop an Officer involved shooting policy and it appears our Department is about fully staffed. Our detention facility does continue to struggle with finding ways to deal with the “solitary confinement” concerns while maintaining a satisfactory level of safety and security for our members. Things are changing there rapidly, and the new Superintendent certainly has a tough task ahead of him. He seems open to working with the Association, through this process, and for that we are both thankful and hopeful.
Other than that, things are running fairly smoothly.
Casework supervision now has Field Training Officer (FTO) pay. It is 2.5% for all hours worked as a FTO. The department is in the process of establishing a training unit and is seeking allocation from the County for a new Supervisor position. We have begun elections for the position of President, Secretary and Director. Those elected will sit in on the next labor negotiations. The department is phasing a new competitive promotion process which includes: portfolio review, panel interview and submission of a written work product.
We are still working on establishing a uniform for all line staff members. The design has been worked out quite some time ago but we are held up with policy. The agency is in the middle of a complete reorganization so there will be plenty of movement in the weeks to follow. TASER equipment has been approved for all line staff working in the community or on transportation details. We are waiting for related training for this equipment. Otherwise, things are moving along.