Home to almost 625,000 residents, Bucks County is the fourth most populous county in the state of Pennsylvania. Among the largest towns in this county are Bensalem and the county seat of Doylestown. Supervision of probationers and misdemeanor parolees is handled by the Bucks County Adult Probation and Parole Department.
Bucks County Adult Probation and Parole Department currently has a staff of 62 with 41 Probation and Parole Officers (PO), five supervisors, a deputy chief, and chief. There are currently seven POs assigned to the Intake Unit, seven or eight officers assigned to five General Supervision Units, seven specialized officers assign to Sex Offender Supervision and five assigned to Forensic Mental Health Supervision. This department supervises almost 8,000 offenders with 49 percent on probation and 51 percent on parole. In 2006, Bucks County Adult Probation and Parole Department collected almost $1.88 million in victim restitution and fees.
The Intake Unit is located at the Bucks County Courthouse and interviews all probationers and parolees. Officers gather details about the supervisee and input them into the database system for the department. This unit also manages offenders who live outside the county but were convicted through the county judiciary. Officers of the Intake Unit conduct Bench Warrant hearings and violations of probation or parole hearings. The Intake Unit is also the principal in monitoring misdemeanor DUI cases.
How to Become a Probation and Parole Officer in Bucks County, Pennsylvania
The minimum educational requirement for a probation and parole officer in Bucks County is a bachelor’s degree, but a master’s degree is preferred. Any major in a behavioral or social science is acceptable. Candidates should also possess a car and a valid driver’s license. Qualified applicants should be able to perform the following tasks:
- Lift and move up to 100 pounds
- Carry and utilize firearms effectively
- Possess normal vision
BCAPPD offers interested undergraduates and graduate students internships. Officers should possess some prior experience with the following and are expected to perform the following duties:
- Arrest and transport of offenders
- Discuss and formulate supervision plans
- Prepare reports and maintain records
- Conduct pretrial and pre-parole investigations
- Interview offenders, arresting officers, victims and family members
- Present recommendations for pretrial release or probation sentencing during court proceedings
- Meet offenders in their homes and investigate activities
Bucks County Probation Officer Training
Newly hired officers must attend the three week basic training program at the Basic Training Academy. Members of search and arrest units must also take the Basic Firearms Training Course. This 31 hour course will prepare POs who volunteer for arrest and search duties to use and qualify with firearms. These members must already be proficient in physical conflict control training and Use of Force Model. After the first year, probation and parole officers must obtain 40 additional hours of training each year and re-qualify with firearms to maintain peace officer certification.