January 19, 2021
Dear Members,

We need your input on the Board of Supervisors’ plan to split the department (Adult & Juvenile) to help guide our advocacy. To gather your feedback, we're using a tool called ThoughtExchange. All of our voices matter, so your participation is crucial and valued.

You'll be asked to respond to one open-ended question, consider and assign stars to some of the ideas shared by others (20 to 30 is ideal), and learn what's important to the group. You can rate as many thoughts as you’d like before moving on to Discover where you can see all the thoughts sorted by the average star rating.

Your thoughts and stars are confidential. You can come back as often as you'd like to participate and, in fact, we ask that you do come back to star some of the new ideas shared since you first participated. The ratings will help us understand the most important areas to focus on for our advocacy.

Participation will be open until Wednesday, January 27, 2021.

Thank you in advance for your help and input.

Funding for School Based Unit Continues
“Together with people in the community, The Probation Department, teachers, school principals, Local 685, and many fellow probation officers in the School Based Unit, we were able to save funding for this important probation program,” explained Local 685 Fields Vice President, Dwight Thompson.  

The school-based program consists of Deputy Probation Officers assigned to school sites to advocate and ensure that youth receive resources available and alternatives to suspension or expulsion with the goal to keep kids in school.  The Probation officers also support and empower parents to become the primary charge agent for their children. 

“A lot of parents come to us because they see their kid on the verge of hanging out with the wrong crowd, flirting with gang activity, not going school,” Deputy Chief Felicia Cotton said. “The parent doesn’t know what to do. They come to us.”  

It was indeed great to hear panel member unanimously vote “Yes” on behalf of this program and fulfilling that Local 685 could start the year with something so positive, it’s our first battle, but many more to come,” said VP Thompson.
Good Day 11 discusses how changes to Calif. law in 2015 affects youth group homes following South LA tragedy

Click here to watch video.
AFSCME’s Saunders: Biden plan to aid public services is ‘a massive step forward’
AFSCME President Lee Saunders says President-elect Joe Biden’s proposal to invest $600 billion to support public services – including $350 billion in flexible aid to states, cities, towns and schools – is a “massive step forward.”

“But given the breadth and depth of the economic crisis, additional aid likely will be needed,” Saunders says in a statement.

The incoming Biden-Harris administration’s proposal is aimed at restoring critical services – everything from public safety to emergency medical response to trash pickup – and keeping the workers who provide them on the job.

The proposal is part of a sweeping relief package from the Biden-Harris team that calls for a $1.9 trillion investment to boost the economy and quell the coronavirus pandemic.

Click here to read full blog post.
Probation in the News
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, Los Angeles County, and the Los Angeles County Office of Education have entered into settlements to improve the conditions and education services in the county’s juvenile halls

New Probation Chief Scheduled to begin in his new position February 1, 2021

Judge rejects District Attorney George Gascon’s New Policies

Los Angeles County Appoints its first African-American CEO

Fullerton police called to residential treatment Center nearly 200 times

Former Wayfinder Family Services Employees say this facility has long been a hotbed of Violence
Probation Talk 101 
AFSCME Local 685 mades its Probation Talk 101 debut on Jan. 13, 2021.

Our goal is to begin to explain and give a more accurate depiction of probation officer duties and our pursuit to heal our communities and the people we serve. 

“Probation officers have frequently been mischaracterized. Probation 101 is a beginning effort to peel away some of the mystery of what we do throughout Los Angeles County,” explained Local 685 President Hans Liang.  “Probation 101 is aimed at helping people understand the complexity of a Probation Officer’s duties and the full spectrum of work that we do to help communities throughout Los Angeles County.”

Videos can be found on the AFSCME Local 685 YouTube page.

We would be very interested in your thoughts and ideas that will assist us with what we are trying to achieve. Please email Cookie Lommel with your ideas!

Our 2021 Calendar has been so popular that we have distributed all that we had! We have ordered more, and we expect to receive them next week.

If you have not received a 2021 calendar, please email Cookie Lommel with your work location.