Orlando, Florida has six separate community corrections offices located throughout its greater metro area. As the county seat of Orange County, the probation and parole officers here supervise 11,253 offenders on community supervision and sometimes even work with some of the 4,000 inmates incarcerated in jails and prisons in Orange and Osceola Counties.
The six community corrections offices are part of the Northern Probation Region of the State of Florida Department of Corrections. Five of the offices are located in Orlando and one office is located in Kissimmee, which supervises probation and parole operations throughout Osceola County.
Probation and parole officers throughout Florida are categorized as peace officers, which means they are authorized to make arrests and carry firearms if they choose to do so. Probation and parole officers can only arrest offenders under their supervision if they have violated the terms of their community supervision.
Education and Experience Requirements
There are minimum requirements an applicant must meet in order to qualify for a probation and parole officer job in Orlando. Some of the requirements for those interested in learning how to become probation and parole officers in Orlando are as follows:
- Must be at least 19 years of age
- Must have a bachelor’s degree
- Must be a United States citizen
- Must have a valid driver’s license
- Must have no felonies or serious misdemeanors on criminal records
- Must be of good moral character
- Must be in good physical condition
Applicants with a bachelor’s degree or work/ volunteer experience in social work, psychology, counseling, criminal justice, law enforcement, military or sociology often recieve special consideration during the recruitment process.
Applying and Taking the Civil Service Exam
When figuring out how to become a probation or parole officer in Orlando, an applicant must prepare to complete a series of interviews, exams and tests. One of the exams is the Civil Service Exam, which is required of all state employees looking for a law enforcement position in Florida.
The application process includes the completion of a correctional officer willingness questionnaire, which asks about background information and work history, among other supplemental information.
Orlando’s Probation and Parole Officer Training Academy
If an applicant is accepted, they are then required to complete training at an academy in the area. The academy includes 640 hours of required training in a variety of areas related to probation and parole officer duties in Orlando.
Probation and parole officer careers in any location in Florida require an additional 40 hours of training every year. Those employees that opt to carry a firearm on duty are required to complete a firearms handling course and be certified each year.
Upon completion of the training academy, probation and parole officers are given certification through the Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission. Through training, probation officers are taught how to make arrests, how to conduct probation investigations and how to manage rehabilitation services in substance abuse, mental health and sex offender situations.