The U.S. Census Bureau reports that the Fresno County, in California’s Central Valley, has experienced a population increase of 16.4 percent between 2000 and 2010 and the 2011 figure of 942,904 is expected to continue to grow. More people means more crime., Both property and violent crimes have increased significantly in Fresno County, partly due to California’s program of early release for non-violent inmates. The Fresno County Probation Department currently oversees thousands of offenders.
Fresno County Probation Department in Action
On June 23, 2012, ABC news reported that neighborhoods throughout Fresno County were swept by dozens of probation officers looking for parolees who were ignoring the terms of their release. Chief Probation Officer Linda Penner remarked that “both the community and the offenders need to know we are going to do whatever it takes to keep the community safe.” The day-long action ended with 13 felony arrests of individuals considered dangerous and the recovery of numerous illegal weapons.
Requirements for Becoming a Probation Officer in Fresno County
Fresno County Probation Officers Must Meet the Following Requirements:
- Bachelor’s degree from an accredited four-year college/university with a major in criminology, psychology, social work, counseling or a related field OR a four-year college degree in any field PLUS one year experience in probation, parole or a related law enforcement job.
- Valid Class C driver’s license; may be required to obtain a Class B license.
- Must meet California Penal Code requirements for peace officer, including passing a physical fitness test, background investigation, and medical/psychological exams..
- Must be willing to carry and maintain a firearm.
- Must be able to work under pressure.
In addition, candidates interested in learning how to become deputy probation officers in Fresno County must have knowledge of:
- Interviewing and investigating techniques
- Relevant criminal justice laws
- Behavioral science principles
- Analysis of behavioral patterns
- Report writing
- Word processing/computer applications
How to Apply for a Job as Probation Officer in Fresno County
Applications are only accepted for open positions that are posted on the County of Fresno Personnel Website. Online applications are preferred and can be accessed by clicking on the appropriate job on the list of open positions. Paper applications are available at the personnel office, 2220 Tulare, 14th floor, Fresno.
The average annual salary of deputy probation officers in Fresno County is $53,000.
A Career as a Probation Officer in Fresno County
Deputy probation officer (POs) jobs in Fresno County involve doing work associated with the investigation, evaluation, sentencing and supervision of offenders released on probation in lieu of a prison sentence. The daily activities of a PO may include:
- Interviewing/evaluating offenders, victims and witnesses
- Making sentencing and restitution recommendations to the courts
- Developing strategies for offenders’ personal/social/occupational rehabilitation
- Monitoring probationer activities and associates
- Collaborating with local law enforcement and community-based organizations
- Representing the probation department in court proceedings
- Preparing reports and maintaining records
- Conducting searches and making arrests