New probation chief begins term

DOWNEY - Donald H. Blevins officially began his tenure as 18th Chief Probation Officer of the Los Angeles County Probation Department on Monday.Blevins, who was the chief probation officer for Alameda County for six years, replaces former Chief Robert Taylor who retired in February. Acting Chief Probation Officer Cal Remington, from Ventura County, will continue to lead the Department until Blevins arrival and will remain onboard for several weeks to oversee a smooth transition. Blevins now heads a department that is currently experiencing tough budget challenges and strong criticism from the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. The Probation Department, largest in the U.S., presumably the world, has 6,214 employees (4,404 of whom are sworn officers) who supervise over 60,000 adult and 20,000 juvenile probationers in Los Angeles County. The Los Angeles County Probation Department has 30 area offices, 15 residential treatment service camps and three juvenile halls located throughout the County. There are more than 4,000 juveniles currently incarcerated in Los Angeles County. Blevins enters L.A. County Probation Department with a resume that includes over 34 years of experience in both Alameda and San Diego County Probation Departments. He has a Bachelors degree in Psychology and Sociology from the United States International University and holds membership in many professional societies including; ••Chief Probation Officers of California (CPOC) •American Probation and Parole Association (APPA) •National Institute of Corrections In a recent interview, Blevins was asked why he believed the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors entrusted the management of the world's largest County Probation Department to him. "One of the reasons why the Board chose me was because I had experience in dealing with a tough budget climate," Blevins said. "A person in this position must be the most fiscally responsible individual in the Department." Acting Chief Remington will provide support agreeing to remain at Probation Department Headquarters in Downey for about 60 days to assist in Blevins' acclimation. "My role as acting Chief was a temporary one in which I assessed the Department's strengths and weaknesses, and will provide that assessment to the new, incoming Chief. I've known Don for some time and he's really an outstanding professional. I wish Chief Blevins all the luck in the world."

********** Published: April 23, 2010 - Volume 9 - Issue 1