To perform a wide variety of probation casework; provide preventative and rehabilitative services to adult probationers and juvenile offenders in field and institutional settings; and to perform related work as required.

Senior Probation Officer is a professional, advanced level sworn peace officer class in the series. Under general supervision, Senior Probation Officers utilize evidence based intervention strategies and programs, conduct investigations, write reports for the court, and supervise probationers focusing on an offender's risks and needs in an effort to change behavior to reduce recidivism. Positions in this class are only found in the Probation Department.

Senior Probation Officers handle the more complex and difficult cases, provide technical guidance and training to lower classes, and may act as a shift leader. Senior Probation Officer differs from the next higher class, Supervising Probation Officer, in that the latter is the first line supervisor responsible for the coordination, direction, scheduling and supervision of either field services, a special program or an institution.

The complete Deputy Probation Officer series includes the following:

Deputy Probation Officer (Class No. 005065)
Senior Probation Officer (Class No. 005090)
Supervising Probation Officer (Class No. 005115)


The examples of functions listed in this class specification are representative but not necessarily exhaustive or descriptive of any one position in this class. Management is not precluded from assigning other related functions not listed herein if such duties are a logical assignment for the position. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable qualified individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions of a job, on a case-by-case basis.

Essential Functions:

1. Performs case management role, including assessment, planning, linking, monitoring and advocacy for juveniles and adults on an assigned caseload of difficult probation cases.

2. Implements supervision plans and enforces court orders related to juvenile and adult probationers.

3. Develops case plans and makes recommendations to the court for the rehabilitation, supervision, and placement of juvenile and adult probationers.

4. Acts as shift leader to coordinate daily activities in an institution.

5. May act in the absence of the supervisor, assigning work tasks and assuring compliance with departmental policy.

6. Assists in the training of staff.

7. Orients new inmates.

8. Helps resolve routine staff and inmate problems.

9. Conducts investigations.

10. Prepares reports.

11. Uses risk and needs assessment instruments.

12. Conducts arrests and fourth waiver searches.

13. Makes field contacts in the home and community.

14. Collaborates with other law enforcement agencies to perform field work.

15. May be called upon to handle medical, security or disciplinary emergencies.

16. May be required to perform the functions of the lower level class in this series.


Knowledge of:

  • Interview and investigative techniques
  • Evidence Based behavioral science principles and their application to casework
  • Report writing principles including rules of correct grammar, punctuation, and sentence structure
  • Federal, State, and local criminal justice laws, regulations, codes and ordinances pertinent to adult and juvenile detention and probation work
  • Law enforcement and related legal terminology
  • Case management methods and techniques
  • Community-based policing
  • Familiarization between law enforcement and community residents
  • Federal, State, and local criminal justice system operations and services
  • Human behavior, theories of crime and criminology
  • Principles and methods of personnel guidance and training
  • County customer service objectives and strategies
  • Telephone, office, and online etiquette
  • Current technology and trends in the profession

Skills and Abilities to:

  • Provide technical guidance and training to subordinate staff
  • Coordinate and direct the activities, care, and treatment of adult and juvenile probationers and wards in an institutional setting
  • Act as lead worker in absence of supervisor
  • Read, comprehend and appropriately apply laws, regulations and policies
  • Observe and record events accurately and concisely
  • Interpret aberrant behavior of individuals and groups
  • Read, analyze and retain information of a factual or procedural nature
  • Counsel individuals and groups
  • Exercise appropriate judgment in various situations, including in maintaining order and security, directing the activities of inmates/wards in a detention/correctional facility, answering questions, and releasing information
  • Assess situations to prevent or solve problems and take appropriate course of action
  • Apply collaborative problem solving
  • Prepare and provide testimony in court
  • Engage and establish a professional rapport with sometimes reticent individuals
  • Use word processing and computer application programs and equipment in the production of work
  • Write clear, accurate and concise reports
  • Communicate effectively orally and in writing with a variety of individuals representing diverse cultures and backgrounds
  • Function calmly in situations that require a high degree of sensitivity, tact, and diplomacy
  • Treat County employees, representatives of outside agencies and members of the public with courtesy and respect
  • Assess the customer's immediate needs and ensure customer's receipt of needed services through personal service or making appropriate referral
  • Establish effective working relationships with management, employees, employee representatives and the public representing diverse cultures and backgrounds
  • Provides responsive, high quality service to County employees, representatives of outside agencies and members of the public by providing accurate, complete and up-to-date information, in a courteous, efficient and timely manner

Desirable Traits

Leadership, Communicates Effectively, Knowledge Worker, Holds Self and Others Accountable, Problem Solving and Innovation, Demonstrates Ethical Behavior, Leverages Resources (Coaches and Develops), Drives to Excel, Maximizes Team Effectiveness, Supportive of Changes


Education and/or Experience:Education, training, and/or experience that demonstrate possession of the knowledge, skills and abilities listed above. Required education/experience:

  • A bachelor's degree from an accredited U. S. college or university, or a certified foreign studies equivalency; AND
  • Two (2) years of experience as a Deputy Probation Officer in the County of San Diego.


  • A degree in Criminal Justice, Psychology, Social Work, Sociology, or Social Welfare is highly desirable.
  • Positions in this classification are Peace Officers as defined in Section 830 of the California Penal Code, and incumbents must meet employment guidelines and standards established by the Commission for Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST), the provisions of Sections 1029 and 1031 of the California Government Code, and STC Selection and Training Standards as contained in Title 15, Section 100-358, California Code of Regulations. Applicants must be 21 years of age by the time of appointment.
  • Requires a valid Peace Officer Standards Training (POST) certificate and ability to carry a firearm are required and must be maintained throughout your employment.



Required licenses, certifications and registrations must be maintained throughout employment in this class.License

A valid California Class C driver's license, which must be maintained throughout employment in this class, is required at time of appointment, or the ability to arrange necessary and timely transportation for field travel. Employees in this class may be required to use their own vehicle.Appointees must have the ability to obtain a Class B driver's license.


Requires a valid Peace Officer Standards Training (POST) certificate and ability to carry a firearm are required and must be maintained throughout your employment.


Working ConditionsEmployees are assigned to regular and rotating shifts which may include day, swing and/or nights as well as weekend and holiday shifts. Senior Probation Officers may be assigned to correctional institutions located in remote areas, may be exposed to inmates and probationers that exhibit hostile, abusive, or aggressive behavior and may be required to physically restrain them when necessary. Work takes place in an office environment and in the field. Work involves frequent exposure to computer screens.

Essential Physical CharacteristicsThe physical characteristics described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this classification. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable qualified individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions of a job, on a case-by-case basis.

  • Vision correctable to at least 20/30; glasses/hard lenses minimum 20/100 uncorrected; no minimum uncorrected visual acuity for soft lenses
  • Frequent standing, sitting, bending and stooping, twisting of waist, side-to-side turning of neck
  • Fine finger dexterity to operate keyboards and writing materials
  • Continuous upward and downward flexion of neck
  • Identifying auditory inputs; identifying and distinguishing various visual and audio inputs; accurately identifying and distinguishing colors; accurately identifying and distinguishing the smell of different chemicals and materials
  • Giving verbal commands in a loud, clear, and understandable voice
  • Running fast for short distances
  • Exerting physical force for minutes at a time
  • Jumping across or over objects
  • Climbing various structures
  • Applying physical force against individuals
  • Standing, walking, or sitting for long periods of time
  • Lifting 150 pounds to waist level and dragging up to 200 pounds 50 feet

Background InvestigationMust have a reputation for honesty and trustworthiness. Felony convictions will be disqualifying. Misdemeanor convictions may be disqualifying depending on type, number, severity, and recency. Prior to appointment, candidates will be subject to a thorough background investigation which may include a psychological, truth verification or other examination or test. Must be found by a licensed physician to be free from any physical, emotional, or mental conditions which might adversely affect exercising the powers of a peace officer.


Incumbents appointed to permanent positions in this classification shall serve a probationary period of 12 months.