On day 4 of Public Service Recognition Week we’re featuring Bill Hastings, a Parole Officer who has worked in various Parole offices throughout the state. Bill just celebrated his 5th anniversary as a CPO but he has previously worked as a public employee and a law enforcement officer in Fremont and Pueblo counties.
I really enjoy being a Parole Officer. There are a lot of things that are rewarding and a lot of things that are disheartening, but the bottom line is sometimes i feel like I do make a difference. I’ve worked in other aspects of law enforcement before and working the street or in the detention center I never felt that.
Even a small action or gesture really makes a big difference. One time one of my coworkers had an offender come in because she had a warrant out for her arrest. She had a baby with her that was about a year old but she couldn’t even hold her head up, couldn’t sit up, couldn’t roll over. We called the Dept. of Social Services and as we waited my coworker and I went through the diaper bag and found that she had no clothes, no food, nothing.
So I took it upon myself to get her some formula, some baby food and a little outfit that would keep her warm. I did all of that out of the kindness of my heart, it wasn’t the baby’s fault. That little girl will probably live in our memories forever in that office. We all took turns holding her and everyone wanted to take her home and provide a great place for her. It was a really awesome thing. Baby Christine, I’ll never forget that, ever.
I don’t view this as doing something above and beyond my job, I truly do care for people. I still get a little emotional talking about her because she was just a wonderful little bundle of joy. I have to share the credit with my coworkers. Yes, I went to the store and I got her that stuff. Did I have to? No, I didn’t. But it was a joint effort to make sure Baby Christine was OK.
Sometimes, even just talking to offenders makes a difference. I work with Youth Offender Services and last year I had an offender that was struggling. He was living with his mother, who was an alcoholic. He was bouncing from job to job, trying to go to CSU-Pueblo full time. He was very concerned about his mother and her drinking, so we got her some help. Me and my boss we were able to reach out to a treatment center for her to go to rehab. She reluctantly decided that it was in her son’s best interest to go. After that I helped him get a job.
He’s been discharged off of parole for almost a year, and he still calls me and thanks me. He’s making $25/hour now, bought a house, is married, has a little baby. Just the inspiration that I gave to him to put things in perspective at the time of his crisis and the fact that we were able to help his mother cope with her alcoholism, that’s rewarding. It doesn’t happen often, but when it does it is one of the best things about my job. There’s a lot of offenders you’ll never reach and I get that. But the ones that you can, it’s pretty rewarding when you do.