Badge 411: Actual Experiences of a PO by Kurt Niemann

by | Apr 19, 2022 | Uncategorized | 0 comments

Through the lens of a frontline officer, these tales are fun, raucous, and heartbreaking in equal measure.

What Makes A Good Probation Officer (PO)?

In Kurt’s book on Actual Experiences of a Probation Officer, he pointed out that many qualities make a good probation officer. A probation officer constantly meets with offenders who have committed crimes. This is to monitor their behaviors and activities to ensure that they are compliant with court orders. Probation officers’ everyday interaction with their parolees is imperative for them to have the ability to make progress for change and conduct and act themselves as law-bid citizens. This position bears for a probation officer to present leadership because the job entails a willing person to take charge, lead, and offer productive, supportive, and essential opinions and direction. Without the proper guidance, an offender will continue to re-offend, engage in illegal substances, and not sustain a better future. Taking the role of a probation officer, an individual has to demonstrate sensitivity yet show firmness. These two factors go hand in hand. This is because being sensitive is having concern for others by understanding one’s situation. Enforcing firmness is to implement control and structure to assure the offender is not continuously getting infractions while under supervision. In other words, probation officers can care for their parolees while still illustrating firmness. 

Title 18 of the U.S. Code is the section that employers use to describe the duties of a probation officer. These include instruction, communication, reporting, and supervision responsibilities.

The other duties of a probation officer include investigation, meetings, community collaboration, and special assignments with other law enforcement agencies.

What Makes Up Badge 411?

Loosely autobiographical, Badge 411 by Kurt Niemann is a stunning debut that imparts a few unforgettable memories of a career spent in service. He began as a rookie on probation detail in the late 1960s and became a member of a multi-agency unit, then finally as the designer and coordinator of the first juvenile detention officer academy in Arizona. This officer has seen it all and then some. He sets the standard of what it takes to keep an eye on the bad guys—and the good ones—while keeping his wits, wisdom, and sense of humor about him. From dealing with car thieves, prostitutes, and hoodlums, these adventures are often lighthearted, surreal, and always entertaining at times.

These experiences had Niemann surrounded by various attitudes, personalities, and mental health offenders who sometimes tend to act and behave aggressively, abruptly, violently, and deranged. Thus, he pointed out that probation officers must have self-control which requires them to keep their composure under stressful or out-of-control situations. Nonetheless, keeping one’s emotions in place, controlling their anger, and being able to stop themselves prevent aggressive behavior. As a result, this will aid in avoiding conflict between the offender and the probation officer. Also, patience plays a role in Niemann’s career being a good PO. 

About the Author

Kurt Niemann served as a probation officer for thirty-two years. After Niemann served in the United States Marine Corps, he obtained a Master’s degree in criminal justice from Arizona State University. He has worked as a charter pilot (licensed by the FAA as a Commercial Pilot) and a flight instructor. Among his awards were the following: “Detention Officer of the Year” in Maricopa County, Arizona, in 1998 and “Detention Officer Of The Year” by the State of Arizona in 1999. 

Moreover, being a martial arts enthusiast, he is a Master Level Martial Artist in Kenpo, Kung Fu, and is currently a level six master instructor in Tai Chi.  

Presently, he is happily married with two sons, three daughters, and many grandchildren and lives in rural central Arizona.


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