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06-11-2007, 12:15 #116cats Guest
Los Angeles County Probation hiring process, continuous filings
I am a newbie here, and I am seeking some information about the Los Angeles County Probation Department hiring process. I am female, and I will be 42 yrs. by the time I finish my bachelor's degree next spring. I expect to start looking for P.O. positions by May of '08.
I have a question about the continuous filing aspect of the opportunity. Not too many probation departments are recruiting in SoCal right now, and I am curious as to why LA County has a continuous filing going on right now. Is it because of high turn-over or is just that they do not have enough qualified applicants at this time? I appreciate any insight our members can give me....
Last edited by 16cats; 06-11-2007 at 12:16. Reason: spelling
06-11-2007, 12:23 #2
Probation Officers have also been traditionally paid quite a bit less (at least here in CA) than their police officer counterparts. This is especially interesting as most police departments require a high school diploma while probation wants a 4-year college degree.
Many POs who start as POs soon find their counterparts (often working closely with local LE agencies) make just enough money more than them that they sometimes leave probation for local LE. Other folks find the job is not for them...
Even with moderate turnover and a great working environment, the applicant pools is only going to yield so many qualified folks. You have to be qualified with education, be able to pass all of the testing (including physical), as well as have a clean *BACKGROUND*. The background and maybe the psychological exam are probably the two areas most folks get washed...
So even though they may have 1000 applications a year submitted during the continuous filing, lots of folks won't show up on test day (some have lost interest, others have been hired somewhere else, etc). Even if 700 show up and take the test, by the time you weed out the low scores, background issues, etc, etc, you're down to a relatively small pool. As hard as it is to get qualified folks through all the steps, continuous filing just keeps the pool deep enough to have *SOME* water (applicants) left once the majority of the water is drained.
06-11-2007, 12:56 #3
06-11-2007, 16:41 #416cats Guest
Yes Kahuna, I am very aware of the pay discrepancies when it comes to having a degree; and really that is in any field today it would seem. In all actuality I am not so concerned about the pay rate, that's about # 5 or 6 on my list.
I'm just looking for some clarification as to why it is a continuous filing and trying to get an idea as to how many P.O.s they need and what my chances are to get in. I mean I'm old (older) than many of the applicants I am sure, but I do have some experience in the detention (jailer) area of things, and as a reserve cop some twenty-odd years ago.
No doubt also there is consistent turnover to the feds for probation, but unfortunately or not I am too old for the feds. Within the state of California also probation is handled by the counties, and not the state. Parole would be nice, but Dept. of Corrections in California only hires within the department for parole agents, and I have no interest in going back into the lock-ups (been there done that).
Anyway, if anyone else can provide some additional information I would appreciate it. Within one year I expect to begin the process, but I'm researching it first.
06-11-2007, 22:28 #5Kelly828 Guest
Unfortunately, I work state probation/parole (we're combined here) on the "wrong" coast to help you out at all. I could comment about the huge advantages, and caveats, to probation work but every single state seems so different policy-wise, in my experience. I do, however, wish you the best of luck in your endeavors!
06-13-2007, 00:55 #6Officer
- Join Date
- Mar 2005
i believe there's always continious filing because they are trying to get enough applicants for the next testing cycle. and probably because they are short handed so there's no deadlines. you might have to wait when you submit your app. i believe most agencies wait for a certain number of apps to start the process. so it's like a cycle.failure is not an option
06-13-2007, 10:50 #716cats Guest
06-13-2007, 10:55 #816cats Guest
06-13-2007, 22:58 #9Kelly828 Guest
Well, you kind of proved my point. I would hardly call myself a counselor, but as I posted, every state's probation paradigm is different. Some states consider PO's a type of social worker, do not carry weapons, do not have powers of arrest, and make few home/field contacts. In other states, PO's are considered public safety officers or law enforcement officers.
If you're interested in counseling, I would definitely make sure I knew the mindset and policies of the department I was applying with first. You may get offered a job and report that first day ready to have lengthy counseling sessions with offenders only to be scheduled for basic training, firearms qualification and bullet proof vest fitting! So know the work you're applying for. It's my understanding that CA probation is county level so each county could have a totally different way of doing things?
In North Carolina, PO's are public safety officers with the power to arrest, search, seize evidence. Most of us are firearms carrying officers with the exception of entry level PO's whose jobs are primarily to work intake processing in the courts. We are field/home contact heavy and shifts vary from the traditional 8-5 to second shifts like 1-10 or 3-midnight. The closest to counseling I get is when I perform a "good cop, bad cop" routine with a partner on an offender who has tested positive (yet again) for meth or crack. My drug cases (users not dealers) go to substance abuse counseling so I leave the mental health work to that counselor. I probably have a fairly balanced routine of positive and negative reinforcement but again, I just don't delve too deep into an offender's psyche.
After almost 6 years of doing this, the best advice I can offer is to not expect a lot from offenders. Try your best, of course, because being a positive influence can make a difference you may never even know about. But, probation officers deal with a LOT of hardened criminals who cannot comprehend living a different way. Try hard but expect nothing. That way, the 3 or 4 that do actually "get it" and come back to visit a few years later will be special to you.
Oh, and for pete's sake, be able to defend yourself. I've been attacked in various forms ranging from having a stapler from a desk thrown at me to a 300lb. woman running through a screen door after me. One word should actually sum it up: pitbulls.
Now don't you wanna be a PO?
Seriously, every day is something new. I've loved most days. And since you'll ask, the days that I come home miserable have been mostly due to rediculous outcomes in court after violation hearings. Not the job itself usually.
You're welcome to PM. I'll be glad to help if/however I can with your questions.
06-14-2007, 23:03 #10
I have worked extensively with LA County Probation officers while on a muti-agency task force. A few things to consider specific to the LA County Probation Department. An overwhelming majority (over 95%) of the probation officers are NOT armed while on-duty. They have an armed team called "DISARM" which deal with some of the more violent probationers. Another point to consider is that they do not receive a law enforcement retirement. Both could be considered deal breakers for some folks, but I have to point out that I have had VERY positive experiences working with numerous officers from their agency, especially those from the DISARM team.
Forget world peace, try using a turn signal...
06-17-2007, 17:21 #1116cats Guest
Understood Kelly. My experience in the jail and on the street definitely gave me an understanding of the mindset of offenders. I have been called every name in the book, and have had to use my training to defend myself in so many different ways. I appreciate the insight you have passed along to me, and I am intrigued. Thanks again!!
06-17-2007, 17:28 #1216cats Guest