In a recent Sound-off, someone made a disparaging remark regarding the St. Clair County Probation Department. As the recently retired director, I felt compelled to reply.
Unfortunately as with any organization, at times, individual employees make poor choices that have severe consequences for themselves and their families. It also can leave a negative impression of the organization as a whole. Employees who made poor choices at the Probation Department were dealt with per department policy and, when deemed necessary, prosecuted through the courts.
The Court Services and Probation Department has nearly 80 officers and staff serving within the Pobation Department and detention center with the 20th Judicial Circuit. These individuals are dedicated public servants. The officers risk their lives serving warrants, conducting home visits as well as curfew checks in areas many people would never venture into, but is the daily routing for the officers monitoring individuals placed on probation or released on bond. The officers and staff work tirelessly with local law enforcement to keep our communities safe. Their dedication to improving the lives of the probationers to help them be productive, law-abiding citizens is rarely acknowledged by the public or the media.
Some individuals have their opinions and I doubt my letter will change that. However, I will not sit idly by and let some misguided comments defame the reputation of the department I dedicated my life and career to, and the individuals still working there serving our communities every day.
Michael J. Buettner
Candidate, Ward 2 alderman