Probation and parole officers in Anchorage work each and every day to protect public safety and to give offenders a chance at rehabilitation. Probationers and parolees are sentenced to terms and conditions of community supervision that requires specific court-mandated stipulations are met. That is where Anchorage’s probation and parole officers come into play; they enforce the terms and conditions of probation and parole, reporting and arresting violators, but also providing offenders with the resources necessary to become productive members of society.
Anchorage is by far Alaska’s largest city, making up an urban area that accounts for more than 40 percent of the Last Frontier’s total population. Working as a probation and parole officer in Anchorage affords several advantages: officers are located in the artistic, cultural, and sporting center of the state, with a minimum starting salary of $38,639 per year.
Education and Experience Requirements for Anchorage Probation and Parole Officers
All candidates interested in learning how to become probation and parole officers across the State of Alaska need to meet at least one of the following three requirements:
- A bachelor’s degree from an accredited education institution in any field including psychology, social work, or criminal justice
- Four years of experience working in the fields of:
- Criminal/juvenile justice
- Social services
- Criminal investigations
- Law enforcement/public safety
- A combination of education and experience, with three semester or four quarter hours being equivalent to one month of experience
Beginning a new career as an Anchorage-based probation and parole officer starts with filling out an application. Applications are only accepted when specific positions are posted, so candidates must monitor Alaska’s jobs listings online, as well as other local sources.
Candidates can also fill out a jobs interest card to be notified when vacancies become available. When there are openings, candidates can apply online or print off an application and mail it to the Department of Administration’s Division of Personnel in Juneau.
The Basic Probation Officer Training Academy in Palmer
Those just beginning a career as an Anchorage probation and parole officer will attend the six-week Basic Probation Officer Academy located in Palmer. Hands-on training is emphasized throughout the training, which culminates in a scenario involving role-playing towards the end of training. Probation and parole officers in training will also be sprayed with oleoresin capsicum, more commonly known as pepper spray, to be familiarized with situations that may occur on the job. Training at the academy includes:
- Department policies and State Code
- Firearms and defensive tactics
- Community placements and referrals
- Searches, restraints, and arrest procedures
- Case management
- Civil law
There is also an additional week of firearms training and certification, and officers must re-qualify every six months with their firearms. Probation and parole officers are on a probationary status for one year from their date of hire, after which time they must complete 40 annual hours of continuing education and training for each succeeding year of employment.