Probation Officer Career in Coconino County, Arizona

Probation officers in Coconino County are an integral part of the local community. Flagstaff is the primary city and metropolitan area in the county, followed by the cities of Page, Sedona, and Williams. The department provides pre-trial supervision, pre-sentence investigations, and supervision for probationers. There are several probation programs that cater to the specific needs of groups of offenders, such as:

  • High-risk intensive supervision
  • Substance abuse risk
  • Mental health treatment

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Of the 2,143 probationers in the intensive probation supervision program statewide in 2012, 141 were in Coconino County.

Education for a Career in the Coconino County Probation System

Those interested in learning how to become a probation officer in Coconino County must meet the educational requirement of at least a bachelor’s degree. The degree can be in any subject area, but behavioral sciences including social work and criminal justice are most relevant and are looked upon favorably by the Arizona Supreme Court.

Candidates for probation officer jobs in Coconino County must also have some basic knowledge, skills, and abilities in certain areas. These include:

  • The practices and principles of treatment, probation services, and specific community services
  • The functioning of the criminal justice system and probation philosophy
  • Procedures for transportation, search, restraint, and arrest
  • Making decisions under supervision in line with pre-established procedures and policies
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills with a variety of people
  • Valid Arizona driver’s license by the time of hire

Required Training

Once officers are hired, they must become certified probation officers within their first year of employment. This is accomplished by graduating from a two-week training academy and the passage of a cumulative exam. The academy includes:

  • Instruction in legal policies, procedures, and State Code
  • 40 hours of training in defensive tactics, to be renewed a total of 8-12 hours annually
  • If choosing to be armed, the probation officer must attend a 40-hour Firearms Academy, and re-certify each year through a 20-hour course
  • Continuing education courses: These are for officers to satisfy a 16-hour annual requirement after their first year in their new career

Navigating the Application Process

The Coconino County Adult Probation Department advertises its employment vacancies in the Arizona Daily Sun as well as its jobs listing webpage. Prospective candidates should monitor these sources as applications are only accepted when there is a vacancy.

Candidates can begin the application process online by creating an account with the Coconino County human resources department. The County has put together some advice on how to complete a successful application, which is the ticket into the county’s hiring process:

  • Application packets undergo review for satisfaction of the minimum requirements
  • The top ten candidates are invited for a formal oral board interview
  • Successful candidates will complete an interview with the management team
  • Administration of a background check that will include the areas of:
    • Criminality
    • Credit history
    • Employer references
  • Drug and polygraph tests may also be required

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