Judges name new chief probation officer | TheUnion.com

Judges name new chief probation officer

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Not long into his four-month tryout, Doug Carver decided he liked the job of interim Nevada County chief probation officer.

On Tuesday, the county’s judges officially removed “interim” and appointed him to head the department.

“Within that period of time, I got to know more of the workings of the department. I think it’ll be an interesting time (ahead),” Carver said, referring to a gloomy financial forecast that has county and state governments anticipating budget cuts.

The department is also working in temporary quarters because of the March fire in Nevada City that destroyed its North Pine Street office. Carver said the department will return to the site when the new building is ready.

Carver, 47, has been with the department since 1984 and, before becoming interim chief, was the juvenile hall superintendent.

As chief officer, he’ll oversee a department with 47 probation employees and 23 juvenile hall workers. He replaces John Wardell, who resigned in July to take a similar position in Butte County, where he already resided.

State law requires judges to hire the top probation officer, and Nevada County Presiding Judge M. Kathleen Butz said Carver was chosen with a unanimous vote. She didn’t immediately know how many applied for the job, but four people were ultimately picked for an all-day assessment process, and from that came two finalists.

Carver’s ability to work with people and his rise through the department’s ranks were key factors in hiring him, Butz said. “I think his personality as well as his experience – he’s got a nice combination of both.”

The judges also liked Carver’s intentions to gain funds by working with other counties and working with the court.

The department is funded by the county, while the court is directly funded by the state. Butz said she’s been told the courts should anticipate a 5 percent funding cut each of the next three years.

The Probation Department, according to Carver, watches over 1,200 probationers, or people convicted of crimes, and its duties include writing pre-sentence reports, supervising offenders and operating juvenile hall.

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