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  • Writer's pictureLocal 685 Executive Board

Probation Department Deployment Update

The L.A. County Probation Department is the largest in the U.S. – if not on the planet – which is no surprise in light of the fact that, with nearly 10 million residents spanning 4,000 square miles, we have more residents than 40 states and are 25 percent of the state of California.

L.A. County’s government responsibilities include law enforcement, tax collection, public health protection, social services, and flood control. The County has a budget of more than $38.5 billion, employs more than 111,000 people, and houses 18,000 people in County jails. It’s a lot to manage, but the people at the top – the five Supervisors, the CEO, CEO staff, etc. – get paid extremely well to do their job.

Nevertheless, they cannot seem to stabilize the County’s alternative to incarceration – Probation. Field staff, many of whom have never been trained or worked in the halls and camps are being deployed to work in juvenile facilities. The Halls have always been an entry level position; now it has become boxing match.

Deployment will continue until the County can stabilize the staff who work in the institutions.A big part of this problem has been created because institutional staff are hesitant to come to work for fear they will be assaulted by the juveniles with no way to stop them due to additional reform policies.

Local 685 Fields VP Dwight Thompson.

"Management is presently utilizing methods and policies that are not working in present COVID conditions, strategies such as ‘flexing’ your time,” explains Local 685 Fields VP Dwight Thompson.

Flextime is an arrangement that allows an employee to alter the starting and/or end time of her/his workday. Employees still work the same number of scheduled hours as they would under a traditional schedule. It is also a flexible work option for positions that do not easily support remote work. "Please do not allow managers to insist on flexing your hours of work,” continued VP Thompson. "Flexing of a schedule is a manager's way of not compensating for overtime you would have earned.”

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