North Carolina Department of Correction news release

Probation and parole officers join Community Policing Program

September 15, 1997

Raleigh - Probation and parole officers are joining forces with city police looking for lawbreakers in high-risk areas.

As part of the Raleigh Community Policing Program, officers with the Division of Adult Probation and Parole (DAPP) take part in roadblock checkpoint operations.

Probation officer works with Raleigh policeman in a traffic stop. DAPP officers can quickly identify offenders who may be in violation of their probation or parole by being out past curfew, drinking, weapon possession or any other restriction that can send them back to jail. Raleigh police officers don't always have immediate access to that information. 

On one typical Friday night, six probation and parole officers donned bullet-proof vests and worked at the elbows of Raleigh city police who had set up a roadblock in a west Raleigh neighborhood known for drug problems. There was a feeling of tension as officers stopped cars. The police officers would pass the drivers licenses on to the probation and parole officers who would in turn radio back to the DAPP office where four other officers were manning the computers.

One evening probation and parole officers caught six probationers, three were out past curfew, one was on the run, another was carrying a semi-automatic pistol and one was driving while intoxicated. Another night, they found a dead-beat dad.

"If the probation and parole officers had not been present, this offender would have passed through the roadblock unabated," DAPP Manager Nate Gay said. "The probation order for arrest was issued that afternoon and the non-support charge had also been recently issued."

That night, DAPP officers actually arrested more people than police officers did.

"People who live in these drug-infested communities appreciate the Raleigh police setting up the roadblocks in their neighborhoods, even if it may be of some inconvenience," Gay said. "The added help of our officers keeps the streets a little safer."

Gay said he never has any problems getting volunteers to work these special operations, and as a matter of fact, their participation has boosted morale and enhanced the relationship with the Raleigh Police Department.

Probation and parole officers also have an office in each of the four police sub stations located in high crime neighborhoods. the Raleigh Police Department plans to initiate a third phase of their community policing effort by establishing a Ride-Along Program for police and probation and parole officers.

"The potential of our probation and parole officers helping to cut crime in poor neighborhoods is tremendous," Correction Secretary Mack Jarvis said. "We hope this combination of efforts will continue to grow and strengthen both our operations."

Mecklenburg and Cumberland counties also participate in Community Policing activities. -pmc-