Sonora, CA — A small group of Probation Officers in Tuolumne County will soon start carrying firearms.
It is one of the changes approved by the Tuolumne County Board of Supervisors as part of the AB 109 realignment of law enforcement services. Many felony offenders will now be monitored by the Probation Department rather than go to state prison.
“I believe that with more felons staying locally, and having more contact time with our department, if we are to protect the community we must be able to do our job fully,” said Adele Arnold, Chief Probation Officer at Tuesday’s Supervisors meeting. “If there is a need to go out into the community and do a search to check on a non-compliant probationer, we need to have a skilled team available to go.”
The County Supervisors voted 5-0 to allow the arming of up to three Deputy Probation Officers. They will be required to take safety courses and will be subject to additional psychological testing.
Besides Arnold, others that signed onto the recommendation included Presiding Superior Court Judge Eric Dutemple, District Attorney Michael Knowles, Sheriff Jim Mele, Sonora Police Chief Mark Stinson and Public Defender Robert Price.