Latest probation sweep finds no violators

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Since June, sheriff’s deputies have been going on regular probation sweeps, casting a wide net over the Santa Clarita Valley, searching for those violating their probation terms, finding fewer and fewer violators each time.

The latest sweep carried out Thursday found all no violators whatsoever.

“On Thursday, our Crime Prevention deputies, assisted by Crime Impact Team deputies, conducted checks on probationers at six different locations throughout the Santa Clarita Valley,” Shirley Miller, spokeswoman for the SCV Sheriff’s Station wrote in an update posted on the station’s Facebook page.

“All six probationers were found to be abiding within the terms of their conditions,” she wrote

“These results show us that our efforts are working, and probationers residing in our areas are aware of our expectations,” Miller wrote.

A massive sweep carried out last month involving 10 teams of deputies identified nearly three dozen probationers that were not found to be at the address on file with the Probation Department.

Despite finding no violators in the latest sweep, sheriff officials still see a need.

Miller wrote on the sheriff’s Facebook post: “Due to a rise in theft and narcotic-related arrests of individuals that are on probation, it prompted us to analyze how we could ensure that probationers residing in Santa Clarita Valley are abiding by the terms of their probation, and not out victimizing our residents or residents in any outlying communities.”

Our teams will conduct probationer operations on a continuous basis, and continue to hold probationers accountable to their terms and conditions, she said.

The most recent numbers released last month show 239 people currently on probation throughout the SCV.

A check with the probation department based in Valencia revealed a dozen probation officers are assigned to the office.  One probation officer is “embedded” with the SCV Sheriff’s Station, Adam Wolfson, spokesman for the Los Angeles County Probation Department, told The Signal.

A dozen probation officers for roughly 239 people on probation works out to a workload of about 20 probationers for every probation officer.

“It’s not as simple as that,” Wolfson said, citing a greater need is required in dealing with “higher risk individuals.”

The fact that no probation violators were caught in Thursday’s sweep is good thing, Wolfson said.

“It’s always good news when you do compliance checks and you don’t have to apprehend anybody,” he said.

The sheriff’s sweeps are “a huge help” to the Valencia probation office, he said.

“The sheriff’s (teams) act as a force multiplier,” he said.

In June, when Capt. Robert Lewis launched the initiative in an effort to ensure probation compliance, SCV’s top cop joined deputies in the operation.

He joined more than 30 armed deputies in five teams who carried out probation checks at close to two dozen locations across the SCV.  They arrested at least one gang member and seized a handgun in the process.

A month later, another probation sweep resulted in another arrest and the seizure of drugs.

“We want to help them reach their goal,” Lewis said recently, “of staying clean.”

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