Multnomah County’s Board of Commissioners this week honored more than 30 hard-working and dedicated employees of the Department of Community Justice.
The board’s unanimous approval of a proclamation declaring July 15-21 to be Probation, Parole and Community Supervision Week in Multnomah County was part of National Probation, Parole and Community Supervision Week in the United States and Canada.
DCJ director Scott Taylor told the board before the 36 employees were honored individually at the July 19 meeting that the honorees “in every day and in every way make the community safer and exemplify the kind of people you have working for you.”
“This field continues to get more and more challenging,” said Taylor, who is president of the American Probation and Parole Association." The expertise and expectations we have for the folks who work in this business continues to grow.”
The Department of Community Justice is responsible for supervising more than 8,200 adult probationers and parolees as well as more than 360 pretrial defendants and about 650 young men and women on informal probation.
According to the American Probation and Parole Association, there are more than 5 million adults on community supervision in America — and more than 670,000 juvenile offenders. Most of those people are monitored by probation and parole officers.
Multnomah County Presiding Judge Nan Waller paid tribute at the July 19 county board meeting to the hard and challenging work done throughout the Department of Community Justice.
Judge Waller spoke movingly of how the men and women of DCJ "are truly protectors of the community in responding to the needs of victims, in supervising offenders in the community and making sure that people are in treatment, not getting behind the wheels of a car and staying away from their victim.”
“In all of those day-to-day actions, they are truly providing for the safety of our community,’’ Judge Waller said. “There are few things more fundamental to the well-being of our community than a sense of security and a lack of fear. And the men and women who work for DCJ are in my estimation truly the unsung heroes in preserving that sense of security and lack of fear in our community.”
County commissioners echoed Judge Waller’s praise for DCJ’s work protecting public safety while tailoring a plan for each offender that gives that person the best chance for becoming a productive member of our community.
“You provide some of the most challenging and important services to our community,” Commissioner Loretta Smith said.