Broward County has the second largest metropolitan population in Florida, with more than 1.7 million people, according to the 2010 United States Census. With the large population, also comes a large prison population. As of January 2010, the incarceration rate in Broward County was 4,423, which is also the second largest rate in Florida, behind only Miami-Dade County. In total, Broward County is home to 7.8-percent of the total prison population in the state of Florida. With the high incarceration rates in the county, there is also a high incidence of offenders on probation and parole in Broward County. As of June 2012, there were 14,744 offenders on probation or felony parole in the county, according to the Florida Department of Corrections.
Given the high number of supervised offenders in the county, there is also a large contingent of probation and parole officers employed in the area- also second only to Miami-Dade County. The main circuit office for probation and parole services in Broward County is located in Ft. Lauderdale. In total, there are eight separate probation offices located throughout the county: three located in Lauderdale Lakes, three located in Ft. Lauderdale, one located in Hollywood and another one in Lauderhill.
Minimum Qualifications and Requirements
Being eligible for probation and parole officer jobs in Broward County means meeting basic requirements and qualifications for the position before completing an application. Applicants are required to have at least a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university and must be at least 19 years of age.
Probation and parole officers in Broward County, Florida are employed as peace officers, which means they have permission to make arrests carry a firearm, however, they are only authorized to arrest offenders under their supervision. Carrying a firearm is not a mandatory part of probation and parole officer jobs in Florida, so it is left up to each individual officer to make that decision.
Training Academy and Certification
Before becoming a probation and parole officer in Broward County, recruits must complete a 16-week enrollment at the law enforcement training academy (the Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission supervises probation and parole officer training in Florida). When a recruit graduates from the training academy, they are given a Correctional Probation Officer certificate of compliance from the state and are then assigned a position at one of the eight Broward County probation and parole offices.
Probation and parole officer training in Broward County does not end at the academy, as officers are required to complete an additional 40 hours of training each year they are employed with the department.
Officers that opt to carry a firearm must receive additional training and re-qualify their firearm certification each year they serve with Broward County.