October 2014 Round Table Reports

CONTRA COSTA

Contra Costa County has been operating with a 20% deficit in the DPO classification for the past six months. The department has a very serious retention issue as well as having problems hiring. A non-competitive wage, 22% retirement contribution and no more lifetime medical has plagued our department with not being able to hire and losing quality deputies to other counties. For those who are interested in relocating to the Bay Area, We are currently hiring Deputy Probation Officer III's. The closing date for filing your online application is October 10th, 2014.

The department has reached the 1-year mark with the first armed unit of 15 Probation Officers and 3 Juvenile Hall Transportation Counselors. Our Chief recently identified additional Probation Officers who will be armed in the near future, which will include 2 Sex offender, 2 DUI granted positions, who will work closely with Highway Patrol and local Law enforcement, Additionally, 2 Juvenile supervision officers assigned to Antioch Police Department and Pittsburg Police Department and 2 Juvenile Hall Counselors.

It is anticipated the PPOACCC will be requesting a survey of the SCOPO counties to secure ideas on the types of equipment they use, both in the office and out in the field. The department’s choices are very limited and DPO’s would like to be able to wear more streamlined, less bulky holsters while in the office and at court. Currently, impacted DPO’s wear the same gear in the office as if they wear in the field doing searches. This includes a duty belt, Level Three holsters, two magazines, handcuffs and a large can of pepper spray, which are the norm while in the office.

Negotiations are just around the corner. It is anticipated the Association’s Bargaining Team will begin the negotiations process in January 2015. Main objective is to get a Competitive wage increase, lower our current 22% retirement contribution and negotiate a cap on medical increases.

The PPOACCCC Membership recently voted to have 20 first line supervisors join the association. This is contingent on that group decertifying from their current representative and the County Board of Supervisors approving the move.

FRESNO

Fresno County continues to higher entry level Deputy Probation Officer’s to fill vacancies.  Ten additional positions have been approved varying from entry level officer (DPO I) through a Deputy Probation Officer DPO IV.  We have one opening for a Probation Service Manager (PSM).   Department budge continues to stabilize.  Officers continue to participate in joint operations and over-time to keep up with supervisory duties in Adult Probation Units MAGEC, NET, and AB 109. 

Fresno County Board of Supervisors held their State of the County Address with FCDPOA representation being invited by the Office of the Chief.  The Fresno County Probation Department continues to work through growth and modifications of policies.  The department is looking at rotating out marked vehicles for unmarked units in the form SUV’s. 
As to the FCDPOA (Fresno County Deputy Probation Officer’s Association), we are currently in Health Benefit Negotiations with the County.  The membership will hold upcoming elections in November.

MONTEREY

Monterey County Probation Association has transitioned into E-voting; our first “survey” was a success.   

We continue working on making changes in the by-laws.

ORANGE

  • Pop at Institution down.
  • 20% vacancy rate will not fill openings.
  • SPO positions being filled leaving DPO vacancies.
  • Hiring laterals statewide recruitment
  • BPOC and JCORE forecasted for spring.
  • Having mass exodus of DPO's in March who will be retiring.
  • Mandatory TLO training

SAN DIEGO

The past year we have spent countless hours with the Board of Supervisors and their staff advising them on the difficult and dangerous job our officers perform each day. Either in the field supervising our high risk offenders, investigations with its high caseloads or in the institutions, now they understand what important role probation plays in the public safety group. With that in mind the BOS has offered us a contract extension for 3 more years. Year 1, 3% salary increase, 5% healthcare spending increase and a $750 signing bonus, Year 2, 3% salary increase, 5% healthcare spending increase and 1% retirement offset at cost neutral. Year 3, 2% salary increase and 5% healthcare spending increase. This extension starts in June 2015. Our members have ratified this extension and now we are waiting for approval from the BOS. We continue to meet with the BOS as this will enhance our relationship.

Finally our department has committed to updating and correcting our policies, use of force, motor vehicle, firearms and weapons and institutional policies. They are using Lexipol as a start.

SDCPOA Benefits had a benefits day at our central location on October 8th. They provided pizza and refreshments to all attending members, along with our different programs. Aflac, Metlaw Legal Plan, Kaiser (County Sponsored Plan), Anthem Health (County Sponsored Plan), Liberty Mutual Auto/Home insurance, Mauzy Air, Pet Insurance, Purchasing Power and Galls Uniforms. Bringing discounted services to our members.

SAN JOAQUIN

Our contract negotiations are at a standstill. We haven’t met with the County in nearly two months, and it had been a month before that since we had met with the County. Our differences persist over wages, and over respect. Respect for the role we play in the criminal justice system, especially in light of the changes we’ve faced over the last five to six years – taking on more of the state’s responsibilities both for Adult and Juvenile offender supervision. We currently don’t have a date to meet with the County, and it’s hard to tell when we’ll meet again. We are prepared to go without a contract until next year if necessary; only time will tell if we’ll be able to get a contract ratified before year’s end.

The Department-County and our Association finally were able to meet and agree on the revised Taser policies. Everything else is in place and we expect to start training officers sometime this fall. We still have several Labor Management and Meet & Confer issues to discuss, and hope to have them resolved before year’s end.
Over the last month or two, we’ve had several sensitive officer safety issues arise. As a result, our chief quickly made several positive changes to our current arming policy: allowing officers to be armed with their duty weapon while going to and from work, and officers (in armed and unarmed assignments) being allowed to transport and store their off-duty weapon at the office while on duty.

SAN LUIS OBISPO

San Luis Obispo County started the training for field officers on the Mobile Device Terminals. We have been using the devices in order to access our desktops through the devices in our vehicles.  This training will include access to CAD, (Law Enforcement Computer Aided Dispatch) that the Sheriff's Department and other local law enforcement agencies communicate through in the field.

Our department is expecting an increase in the Re-alignment Funds. We expect to receive 6.3 million dollars for the 2014-2015 year, which is a .2 increase. Like most counties our jail remains impacted and we are using every available resource available in order to minimize the overcrowding.
We are experiencing a significant amount of change in the Adult Division with retirements, promotions and reassignments.

The court has requested an officer from probation in order to assist with early dispositions of cases and OR/Bail determinations. Our department has decided to assign a DPO III to that position.
We will soon be issuing Ballistic Helmets and Forced Entry tools for the field officers.
The PRCS (Post Release Community Supervision) Unit had their PROM (Post Release Offender Meeting) videotaped and viewed to the Board of Supervisors.

SANTA CRUZ

All line staff recently completed an OC Spray training and that along with duty belts should be issued soon. The department has ordered additional safety equipment and evidence lockers. We continue to work on reducing our caseload sizes.

Officers continue to teach T4C classes in both the jail and in the community. The workday has been defined as 7am-6pm.  Officers, who do not make other arrangements, must complete their work day between those hours. Our department has ordered additional search kits.

We are currently accepting applications for our Adult Division Director position. We had over 200 people apply for Probation Aide positions in our county.

SOLANO

Whew…… Things are crazy in our neck of the woods

In the Juvenile Detention Facility we had a recent success when the membership voted to move forward with a 12 hour shift schedule pilot program. Unfortunately, we are now told Management “overlooked” an aspect of it when they approved it prior to its going to the membership and now it is on hold. Talk about creating credibility problems for the Association. Why can nothing be easy? Although we were told months ago, a committee had been formed to consider the use of Pepper Spray, in the facility, we have still seen nothing. The Department has installed approximately three times more cameras in the facility than was previously present, with a brand new capability for recording. This has created a great deal of confusion as the Department has not engaged in the Meet and Confer process as required. At this time, the sketch of a policy previously submitted to the Association is now “being revised” before being provided again to the Association for review. On a positive note, our Challenge Program is in full swing and is doing well. So much so that we have one ward in that program who is attending classes at Solano Community College. What an exciting time for our Department, this Ward, and I am sure his family.

On the Probation side, we continue to wait for arming to be implemented. They say the wheels turn slowly……... Patiently we wait. We continue to go through promotional interviews with one recent promotion to Manager, two pending promotions to Manager, and resulting promotions to Senior DPO and Supervising DPO. Once this is done, we anticipate a shuffle of staff which we are hoping doesn’t turn out to be as chaotic as we fear. Recruitments for entry level DPO’s continue. Our Vallejo office was damaged in the recent Napa earthquake, and those of us stationed there were found working spaces, where available, in the Fairfield office for a week while repairs were completed. That was an experience. Our Vallejo staff did a remarkable job rolling with it, and really came together as a team. Our Fairfield staff was very gracious in accommodating our intrusions as we took over every empty space in the Fairfield office.

All in all we were able to turn a bad situation into a great team building/ learning experience.

For now, we, as our Chief often states, continue to “ride the wave.” It is feeling like a tsunami, but ride it we shall.

Stay safe my friends

STANISLAUS

The Stanislaus County Deputy Probation Officer Association has been in labor negotiations since July.  We continue to address the impact of AB109 and the dramatic change in the clientele to which we provide services.  Restoration, equity and incentive pays remain our focus with safety equipment also a top item.  We are optimistic we will have a contract in place by years end.

VENTURA

The VCPPOA Board of Directors continues to implement job actions as a result of remaining at impasse. Fact finding is scheduled to begin on November 3rd. Deputy Probation Officer and Corrections Services Officer members continue to show tremendous support during this struggle to educate stakeholders of the impacts of AB109 and being the lowest-paid probation agency in southern California. Morale remains at an all-time low within the probation agency with little understanding or support from agency management or the county Board of Supervisors.

Members have participated in two recent job actions by marching at the Ventura County Government Center and the Juvenile Justice Center. During these marches, members have proudly shown their support by wearing their blue and gold “Don’t Cut Corners on Public Safety” shirts and carrying similarly worded placards. The addition of a mobile billboard driving around the county government center and related probation work sites has added a visual punch while delivering our message to the public and county stakeholders. The county refuses to acknowledge that things have changed since realignment and that by their calculations; line-staff are adequately paid.

Agency management continues to bypass the meet and confer process, most recently, by implementing an agency Taser policy without allowing the association to review the policy prior to its release. The association quickly filed a PERB complaint due to the county and agency’s unwillingness to meet and confer over the new policy. The Chief was required to order affected staff to relinquish their Tasers until the appropriate reviews were completed. Again, the agency stalled the process by refusing to meet in a timely manner. Fortunately, both sides were finally able to meet, make appropriate and necessary changes, and staff has had their Tasers reissued.