October 2012 Round Table Report
The Chief recently conducted a “brown bag” get together at the various job sites to discuss the current state of the Department. He discussed his plan for arming some of the Probation Peace Officers by the end of this fiscal year. He also talked about the importance of voting “Yes” on State Proposition 30, which will provide for a constitutional protection of AB 109 funding.
The Department is in the process of posting positions for DPO I, DPO II and PC’s IS I testing and hiring.
The PPOACCC continues to meet with Administration regarding a concise, streamlined and less archaic version of the proposed Policy Manual.
The PPOACCC is closely watching the Contra Costa County Employees’ Retirement Association Pension Reform interpretation and how it will impact current Members.
Recently, in an effort to deal with budget cuts in the Superior Court, a plan was designed to consolidate and centralize the impacted courts. As of this time, Administration does not know the full extent of what those cutbacks will mean to the Department
PPOACCC Members have taken an active role in getting the word out to vote “NO” on Proposition 32.
On October 6, 2012, the Fourth Annual PPOACCC Membership Appreciation picnic occurred at the Martinez Marina Park. This included great food, wonderful liquid refreshments, bouncy house, face painting and, most of all, good camaraderie
Dialogue with our Department administration remains open and positive. We are heading into negotiations with County Personnel regarding annual leave donations and health benefits for the coming year 2013. The County is proposing to delineate annual leave donations to mirror current FMLA language. The current proposal by the County for health benefits estimates a 4-5% increase for provider plans with Kaiser having the highest increases overall. In closing, Fresno is looking forward to hosting the next SCOPO meeting on December 7, 2012. Hope to see you all there.
Inyo County Probation Peace Officer Association has joined PORAC and many members requested to be changed over from PERS Choice to PORAC medical during open enrollment. Our members are still engaged in ongoing negotiations and have submitted an equity study to the Board and Personnel for review of possible salary adjustments. Officers in both Juvenile and Adult are ever busy keeping up with the work load and are all looking forward to a party being thrown by Administration to celebrate our centennial.
Our Department is going through a lot of transition. We have three new hires in the past three months, including a new Chief Probation Officer. We have our STRONG assessment for Adults and we will be implementing PACT for juveniles in the near future. Weather this fall has been great in the eastern sierra and we are enjoying it before winter strikes.
Still in contract negotiations. Our contract expired in June and we are currently working with the county on medical insurance issues. The union is putting most of its efforts into defeating Prop 32 by precinct walking, phone banking, personal workplace contacts, and general membership meetings. Also, the sad news of the death of one of our board members, Alex Galvan.
This year’s budget has been a major challenge across the board in the County. Many County departments experienced lay-offs and furloughs. The Sheriff’s Office and Probation Department were hit hard with financial cutbacks. However, thanks to the efforts of our Financial Officer and Chief Probation Officer, the Department did not lose any staff due to lay-offs and we have not been required to furlough. We were able to hire two new grant-funded officers who are currently in backgrounds. We lost a few vacant positions and soon to be vacant positions.
The Department’s employee association is still moving forward and jumping through various hoops to get established as a non-profit and join PORAC. The Department is also in the process of updating policy/procedure as well as continuing in the arming process for selected officers.
The second year funding for AB 109, Parole Realignment, was decided by the Community Corrections Partnership (CCP) this quarter. Although we received some additional funding we did not receive enough to provide the level of supervision necessary for this violent and high risk population as the lion’s share of the money went to incarceration again. It was upsetting that the Chief decided to spend what little extra money we did receive on another ACD for the Adult Field instead of actual officers for supervision on the streets. Probation Chief’s throughout the State jumped into this political game with both feet, despite having no political experience, and are literally drowning at the table as the Elected Law Enforcement Officials dominate the Committee to our demise. I truly hope that the Chief Probation Officers of California (CPOC) are working on a new strategy for the upcoming year as the current one leaves Probation dead in the water and our streets unsafe.
Since last year’s October 1st AB 109 implementation date, our Department has hired only 5 officers to fill positions created with AB 109 funds. In addition to year one AB 109 funds, year 2 funding created an additional 10 positions, and that’s not including positions vacated by retiring or promoted officers. That leaves us with over two dozen plus vacancies for probation officer positions to be filled, not counting clerical and several Detention positions. Not only is this resulting in a workload issue for officers, but it’s affecting morale and arguably officer safety. Blame for the inability to hire potential candidates quickly enough largely falls on the County’s Human Resources’ hiring process. Having previously been scolded for using the Rule of the List process for hiring, the County has required departments to utilize the Rule of the Rank process from here on out. Apparently, this came down as a mandate from the State Personnel Board. We’re still investigating the story.
Since my last update, our members ratified our newest MOU. The County focused on structural changes to medical and retirement. Currently, employees who are considered “Employee only” for the purpose of medical coverage pay nothing towards their premium cost share. We agreed to a formula for “Employee only” participants to begin paying an 80/20 split for County plan participants and a 90/10 split for Kaiser participants beginning in January of 2013. “Employee +1, or Employee + Family” participants will see no change. For retirement, we agreed to an increase in employees’ contribution rates towards their retirement COLA cost share; which would effectively double, adding an additional 4.395%. Additionally, new hires will see the following changes: a 2% at 50 retirement formula calculated on a three-year average. Current employees work under a 3% at 50 retirement formula calculated on a one-year average. With the passage of AB 340 – Pension Reform, we’re glad that we were able to reach a deal in time before the possibility of increased retirement contributions beginning next year. Our new MOU is a 2-year deal, expiring in June of 2014, which should put off any additional retirement changes until then.
The second biggest thing that we accomplished since my last report was the completion of our first annual survey of the Department by our membership. Using the same company that the VCPPOA used, Lavell Communications Inc., we were able to create and complete our survey within a short period of time. Once completed, we made a presentation to our chief in the hope of opening up a dialog on several issues; including: trust and communication between line-level staff and management, competency of management, workloads, and promotions. The survey resulted in something that was more than an airing of grievances, and ended up being a constructive critique of the Department and the direction we’re headed. In the week and a half since our presentation to the chief, we’ve seen a mixed response. Time will tell how the survey’s results will be fully interpreted by the chief and her administrative staff. We plan to conduct another survey in a year’s time, so that a comparison can take place.
SAN LUIS OBISPO
Old and new news for SLO County. All armed officers have been trained and assigned a taser, along with a change in our arming policy. Policy is also being worked out to allow DPO's to write certain crime reports on certain charges. We have also been working on incorporating polygraph procedures for the hiring process. Our Juvenile hall has been highly populated and with that issues from overpopulation for the Juvenile Services Officers to deal with. Everyone is very busy and we will soon be closing down our juvenile satellite office to return to the Juvenile Hall site where a double wide modular has been delivered to handle needed additional work areas.
Regarding our AB109 unit, our department has been approved for funding for an additional officer. All new releases are ordered to attend a meeting the first week of their release and enroll in services as ordered. The re-entry program is under construction with CAPSLO and private providers.
AB 109 is currently supervising 70+ PRCS. PRCS are again also being supervised in other caseloads. There continues to be a DPO II working with the Sheriff's CAP team. The CAPS team supervises post sentencing defendants that meet the criteria to be monitored on an ankle bracelet. Pretrial services continues to review case and refer defendants for release, which may include supervised release by Pretrial. Pretrial additionally provides post EMP for those individuals who were supervised by Pretrial prior to being sentenced. It is estimated Pretrial will have an additional Probation Aide. A DPO III is currently assigned to supervise 1170h defendants.
The department will continue to implement a new risk assessment tool for both juvenile & adult officers, National Council on Crime and Delinquency’s (NCCD) Juvenile Assessment and Intervention System (JAIS) and Corrections Assessment and Intervention System (CAIS) for adult offenders. With the help of the new risk assessment tool, it is estimated caseload size will decrease. The adult banked caseload will be supervised by a probation Aide and the intensive caseload will be capped at 35, high will be 45 and moderate would be 60.
The policy and procedures of the newly purchased badges continues to be worked on. Uniforms have not been ordered for intensive field officers. Safety equipment and search kits continues to be a concern for officer and we will continue to work on this. An Officer Safety training will be held on 10/17 & 10/24 for adult officers. Juvenile officers were trained early in the year using the same curriculum.
Greetings from Solano County.
Things continue on a positive note as our “New Chief” continues to implement change. Field safety appears to be a strong priority of his, which is a much needed and refreshing perspective. All Officers are being fitted for ballistic vests, and field officers are being assigned radios which will connect us with local dispatch. Much training will follow.
We have now recalled all interested Journey DPO’s who were previously laid off and a Senior DPO was just recalled to fill a previously vacated position. We continue to recruit Journey DPO’s, and are in the interviewing phase, to fill positions created with the implementation of PRCS. The Chief continues to review our caseloads, modifying some and creating others deemed to be of higher importance
Overall we are pleased with the progress and morale continues to rise.
Stay safe my friends.
We are seeing some good success in our Day Reporting Center and are graduating the first group of offenders, sixteen in all. Six of these are PRCS. Unfortunately we have had one PRCS offender return to prison for a serious and violent felony, with more pending. We are still working on arming more of our supervision officers and are anxiously waiting for the Governor’s signing of AB1968. Currently, all of our supervision officers are receiving collapsible batons and are working hard to be proactive in their field supervision.
While contract negotiations loom ominous over all of us this year, we are hiring and have recently picked up an additional officer and one tech. Several more officer positions will be opening at the beginning of the year along with a previously frozen senior officer position.
In August 2012, VCPPOA representatives, along with Jeffrey Monical of Lavell Communications, Inc., presented the results of the POA's 2nd Annual Management Leadership Evaluation to the Executive Staff of the Ventura County Probation Agency. Both sides, the Agency and VCPPOA, were disappointed to learn that the survey results had not improved from the year prior. The major internal issues identified that need improvement were; communication, trust and morale. VCPPOA continues to be hopeful that the Administration of the Probation Agency will address the results in a positive, healthy way for all involved within the Agency.
Since January 2012, our Agency has promoted several employees to the positions of Corrections Services Officer II (8 positions), Senior Deputy Probation Officer (7 positions) and Supervising Deputy Probation Officer (4 positions). The Agency is also continuing in its aggressive hiring practices, in order to keep up with the demands of AB109 & Public Safety Realignment.