The Sacramento County Probation Department and the City of Rancho Cordova are being honored for a unique partnership between the County Probation Department and city’s code enforcement officers. The California Association of Code Enforcement Officers is recognizing the partnership for the “Most Innovative Program in 2013.”
“This unique collaboration illustrates that when you work as a team to address problems in a community, you will have better results,” said Alan Seeber, Assistant Probation Division Chief. “The collaboration between different agencies really makes a difference. We hope people recognize that and choose to replicate the program in other cities as well.”
The Sacramento County Probation Department reached out to Rancho Cordova in March 2011. The project involved Rancho Cordova’s Code Enforcement Officers and the Police Department’s Problem Oriented Police Officers (POP Officers) teaming up with County Probation to jointly work on community concerns. Often, homes that have code violations such as hazardous waste dumped in the front yard or vehicles parked on lawns, have other issues. When Code Enforcement officers visited these homes, they had little cooperation from the residents; however, once County Probation joined with them, the Probation Officers were able to investigate individuals on probation, allowing the department to enter the homes and search for drugs or guns, common probation violations. This resulted in an atmosphere of more cooperation from residents’ homes with code violations and quicker code compliance.
The Probation Officers also helped city Code Enforcement officers on unsecured vacant buildings and other calls, acting as a liaison with police to help get quick responses to problem individuals and providing support and safety in various cases. One example involved a call for code enforcement regarding a home with blighted conditions and a dog chained in the front yard. Probation Officer Derek Casebeer found the resident was on probation, searched the home, and discovered a large amount of methamphetamine. A six -year-old child living in the home tested positive for methamphetamines and two children in the home were placed with responsible family members. The two parents were sentenced to five years in prison. This specific case required involvement from Rancho Cordova Code Enforcement, the County Probation department and Animal Services.
For the first year of the program, the Sacramento County Probation Department funded the two Probation Officers, Derek Casebeer and Mathew Mitchell, stationed in Rancho Cordova. After the program demonstrated success, the City of Rancho Cordova agreed to fund one of the officers, while the County continues to fund the other.
The officers’ duties also include:
Presentations to a variety of agencies and community based organizations.
Conduct searches, affect arrests and oversee tactical operations to ensure compliance of residents of Rancho Cordova who are on Probation, Post Release Community Supervision (PRCS), and Mandatory Supervision.
Assist law enforcement agencies with the investigation and prosecution of offenders in Rancho Cordova area.
Assist probationers and citizens to access appropriate community resources.