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March 19, 2013 > Probation officers honor Wieckowski as Legislator of the Year

Probation officers honor Wieckowski as Legislator of the Year

Submitted By Jeff Barbosa

The State Coalition of Probation Organizations honored Assemblyman Bob Wieckowski (D-Fremont) on March 13, 2013, as the Legislator of the Year 2012 at a meeting in Sacramento.

"This recognition is not just about me," Wieckowski told the officers. "It's about our common goal to increase the personal safety of officers across the state."

Wieckowski was recognized for his "dedication in advancing the standards for the betterment of probation, probation officers and the improvement of public safety." In 2012, Wieckowski authored AB 1968, a bill to allow for the arming of probation officers responsible for "high risk" offenders.

To help the state meet the prison inmate reduction set in place by the U.S. Supreme Court, the Legislature passed AB 109 in 2011, the public safety re-alignment bill. This put rank and file probation officers on the receiving end of a significant public safety policy shift. This enhanced public safety role has resulted in increased caseloads for probation officers and many offenders previously under the supervision of state parole agents are now re-aligned under their responsibility.

Even though AB 1968 was eventually vetoed by the Governor, despite strong bipartisan support, Wieckowski and probation officers made important progress in raising awareness of the issue among members. Wieckowski is hoping to get a new bill, AB 1040, approved in this session of the Legislature.

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