Our communities owe so much to the dedicated officers of the Probation Department, a hard-working and vital component of public safety whose life-changing efforts have not received the level of recognition they deserve. However, with those achievements in mind, on last Friday, the Los Angeles County Deputy Probation Officers Union, AFSCME Local 685, hosted the organizations’ 15th Annual Scholarship and Awards Banquet. The union presented scholarship awards to youth and honored outstanding Probation Officers. Hopefully, other organizations as well as the general public will follow AFSCME’s model to show that we value the heartfelt contributions of the men and women in the Los Angeles County probation department.
The Master of Ceremonies for this event was Monterey Park City Councilmember and Local 685 First Vice President Hans Liang. Liang clearly expressed Local 685’s gratitude stating, “This year, we are boldly declaring that, as a community, we are highlighting probation officers as the heart of Los Angeles County. Together, we are honoring the values and qualities of success in our profession. We are also proud to honor educators, health care workers, fire fighters, law enforcement officers, and all those who keep our community safe.”
The partnership between probation officers and judicial officials is an important one in keeping our communities safe, The Los Angeles County Probation Officers Union, AFSCME Local 685 recently awarded The Honorable John C. Lawson II who is the current Supervising Judge of the Juvenile Delinquency Courts for Los Angeles County, has been awarded its Leadership Award.
Judge Lawson spent 19-years in the Los Angeles County Public Defender’s Office. Throughout his career, he has been committed to the accountability and rehabilitation of at-risk youth, He worked with the Long Beach School District to launch the Superior Court Teen Court program at Cabrillo High School. He participates in the Long Beach Gang Reduction, Intervention, and Prevention Project (LB GRIP). This program is a collaboration with the city, community based programs, law enforcement and schools to provide life skills development and counseling for at-risk youth and adults. Judge Lawson’s chamber door is always open to speak to young people and he routinely goes to schools to talk about the court system and making the right choices in life.
Deputy Probation Officer James Blanton explained, “One morning when I came to work, I noticed that one of my young charges was in tears, so I sat with him to see how I could help him. He began to tell me about his younger brother Jaylen’s rare form of bone cancer, which was terminal that was the cause of his distress. I decided to petition the court so that he could visit his brother. Granting him the chance to see Jaylen, helped to transform the young man in our camp into a different person. He began to talk about the responsibilities he now felt for his family and discussed ways of helping his mother.” These kinds of actions demonstrate the caring and thoughtfulness that the officers in our probation department have for the communities they serve.
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Source: Black News