Commission to consider changing probation officer requirements

Augusta, Georgia Seal graphic
Augusta, Georgia Seal graphic

AUGUSTA,Ga (WJBF) Taking over the probation services was a big undertaking for the Augusta one that some believe now needs some tweaking.

“Gives us the opportunity to revisit it’s not a year old yet so Anybody would tell you under normal circumstances when you start out something in a year’s time frame you make necessary adjustments,” says Commissioner Ben Hasan.

Last year city leaders approved requiring it’s probation officers to be post certified police officers, but now  some city leaders want to do away with that requirement.

“The quality of the person does not depend on their ability to drive a police vehicle in a high speed chase or shoot a bullseye down the range,” says Commissioner Dennis Williams.

But opponents of changing the requirement worry about lowering the standards for probation officers.

Sentinel had a lot of lawsuits if we have more qualified people in there maybe we lower the lawsuits,” said Commissioner Sean Frantom.

But those who want to change the requirement think it would be better for those paying fines to see fewer police officers,

“Gives them a haven of comfort in coming in and trying to fulfill their obligations to the city,” says Commissioner Dennis Williams.

“So having police officers there could be an intimidating factor?”

It could be an intimidating factor with the uniforms and such,” said Williams.

The Commission action says if approved the change will take place in 60 days, and that the commission will meet with state and Municipal Court judges in ten days to discuss the issue it was the judges who pushed for the certified police officer certification.

 

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