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Criminal Justice: Police Operations

             As we near the twenty-first century, the profession of probation is far more .
             Computer and electronic technologies have .
             advanced at a tremendous rate and provide the probation professional with an .
             array of high-tech tools to monitor the whereabouts of offenders in the .
             community. Today, services for offenders are more readily available and .
             specialized caseloads allow for closer supervision and treatment of .
             particular groups of offenders. .
             The turn of the century also marks an era in which probation personnel are .
             exposed to greater risks than in the past. In fact, a 1988 survey indicates .
             that more than half of all probation officers will be the victim of some type .
             of assault or significant hazardous incident during their probation career .
             (Parsonage & Bushey, 1988). One reason for the increased risk is that now .
             probation is being granted to offenders whose criminal acts, prior records, .
             and drug abuse histories are more serious (Petersilia & Turner, 1990). .
             As a result of both increasing violence and the potential for violence .
             against probation personnel, many local, state, and federal probation .
             agencies throughout ,the nation have introduced or increased safety training .
             for their employees. The intention of this training is two-fold. First, it .
             informs the individual how to remain alert, thereby hopefully avoiding .
             personal physical attack. Second, it increases the chances of survival in the .
             event of an attack. .
             Many of these same probation agencies either mandate that probation officers .
             carry weapons while working outside of the office or provide officers with .
             the option to carry weapons. Some other agencies only allow officers to carry .
             weapons in specific situations such as when conducting field work, making .
             arrests, or transporting offenders (Camp & Camp, 1995). Although the types of .
             defensive weapons probation officers carry varies throughout the nation, they .
             usually include one or several of the following: impact devices such as .

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