In Bergen County, New Jersey the supervision of juvenile probationers is conducted through the Juvenile Supervision agency of the Superior Court, Family Part. As the largest county in the state, it is not surprising that Bergen County experienced one of the highest arrest rates of juveniles. With 4,256 juvenile arrests in 2007, Bergen trailed only Essex, Monmouth and Mercer counties, but, what is more surprising is that Bergen was 16th in the state in rates per 1,000 youths with 45.6 total arrests per 1,000. Bergen County was also 16th in the state in violent crime arrests with 1.9 per 1,000 youths.
Unfortunately, Bergen County was third in the state in terms of number of juvenile drug arrests. In 2007, 543 juveniles were arrested for crimes related to drugs, which constitutes almost 8.1 percent of the entire state’s juvenile drug arrests. This places Bergen behind only Essex and Camden counties. The rate of drug arrests, however, places Bergen as the 16th most prolific with 5.8 drug arrests per 1,000 youths.
Youth crimes have dropped significantly in recent years. In 1998, the total number of juvenile arrests in Bergen was 5,724. By 2003, this number had dropped to 4,711 and by 2007; this figure had fallen to 4,256. This constitutes a 25.6 percent drop in juvenile arrests over a ten-year period.
Education Requirements for Bergen County Juvenile Probation Officer Jobs
There are two types of entry-level juvenile probation officer jobs in Bergen County, New Jersey. New Jersey allows some candidates to enter the profession at the trainee/investigator position, which requires that applicants possess the following qualifications:
- An associate’s degree or 60 semester hours of post-secondary course work; or
- Two years of professional experience in
- Information gathering
- Socioeconomic data management
- Examining records
- Interviewing youths and families
- Preparation of investigative reports
The basic juvenile probation officer requirements are
- Four years of collegiate education or a bachelor’s degree with at least 24 credit hours in social or behavioral sciences
Positions at higher levels including supervisor or management careers require a master’s degree in social or behavioral sciences along with at least four years of experience in
- Analyzing and collecting socioeconomic information
- Evaluating client treatment needs and risks
- Providing social services
- Producing reports and recommendations
Training to Become a Juvenile Probation Officer in Bergen County, New Jersey
Once hired, new juvenile probation officers must obtain 40 hours of training prior to field service. This training includes
- Interpersonal communication
- Critical thinking
- De-escalating confrontations
- Firearms use
- Arrest techniques
Juvenile probation officers in Bergen County are peace officers and must carry a firearm while on duty. This peace officer status must be maintained through periodic re-qualification in the use of firearms. Unlike most other states, New Jersey does not mandate juvenile probation officers receive annual or periodic training, but individual county probation offices may strongly encourage officers to take in-service classes.