by Stacy Ford, Camps VP
There is a lot going on in Probation these days. There are advocates saying they can do our job better than us. There are communities who don’t want our facilities in their (our) neighborhoods. There are certain members of the Board of Supervisors (BOS) who don’t support us. There are community members going to Washington D.C. and Sacramento lobbying against us. There are rank and file members who sit on the side lines and blame every single thing that is happening in Probation on the Union.
To be honest with you, I get so tired of listening to all this negativity about Probation. We are better than what people are saying about us. As professional probation-peace officers, we have let others control our narrative. The BOS have invited everyone to the dinner table except the men and women who do this job. When everyone is at the table making decisions about what we can and cannot do as Probation Officers – everyone but us – this to me is a set up for failure.
This is equivalent to me (a Probation Officer) being invited to sit at a table with doctors and make decisions on how doctors should perform surgeries on patients. I have no idea on how to advise or comment in this setting because I am speaking out of my area of expertise. I am not a doctor and therefore should not be invited to speak on this matter.
This is exactly what has happened with Probation. Everyone has been invited to the dinner table to discuss Probation and most of these people have no idea what the heck they are speaking about. Who are these people? The BOS, the Probation Oversight Commission, the community-based organizations, the “advocates,” and the folks they hired to tell lies about us. These people have teamed up and declared war against us.
They have organized and strategized. And you know what? They have been successful in their endeavors. These groups have been to Washington D.C. and Sacramento and have changed the way we do business in our institutions and camps. They have made a wrong seem right. They have made what has never made sense, make sense. This is crazy.
Sisters and Brothers, the time has come. The time is now. If we want to remain relevant, we must do things differently. And let me say this, I’m also speaking to the supervisors (Local 721 members). Without us, there is no you. Remember, you supervise us. The time has come that we must unite with one goal in mind, that goal is to remain relevant.
I hear so much complaining about the Union, mainly Local 685. Well just in case you didn’t know, my sisters and brothers, last time I checked, we (you) are the Union. It’s not the executive board, it’s you. The executive board is your Union leadership, but all of us are the Union. Now with that being said, this is the part where I get called a bunch of names. LOL
We need you to get involved. It’s time that we do like the “advocates.” We organize, we strategize, and we fight for our existence. The time has come where if we don’t fight, we lose. We will be forming committees to attend meetings (zoom), attend rallies, attend meetings with upper management, the Probation Oversight Commission, the BOS, etc. It’s time to stop talking sh---- and get on board. It’s time to get your green Union shirt and get to work. Stop with the excuses!
Our first event will be on May 24 from 4PM- 6PM via zoom. We will need 100 Probation officers on this zoom call. More information to come soon.
If you will be a willing partner in fighting back, please send an email to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please provide your name and contact information, including your cell number, work location, and your personal email address.