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Special Operations

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The San Diego County Probation Department has more than 150 armed probation officers who support department operations and collaborate with fellow law enforcement agencies.

CATCH ID Team: The goals of the armed CATCH Team is to conduct 4th waiver searches on probationers with a search condition who have histories of identity theft, forgery, or grand theft through the use of a computer. The Probation Department works in collaboration with the District Attorney, Department of Justice, San Diego Police Department, Carlsbad Police Department, and the United States Postal Inspector. If new crimes relating to identity theft are discovered, they are investigated and prosecuted.

Electronic Surveillance Program (ESP): Through this program offenders may be placed back into their homes instead of jail. An electronic detection device monitors offender’s movements and probation officers frequently stop by for visits. Offenders may go to work but have restrictions on most other activities.

Gang Suppression Unit (GSU): Goals of the armed Gang Suppression Unit are to assist the offender to successfully complete probation, to recommend immediate prosecution of probation violators, provide education and information to the public, and develop timely and accurate criminal intelligence. Duties to accomplish these goals include, monthly contacts with probationers in the field and in the office, random drug testing, conducting 4th waiver searches, and submitting reports of new offenses or probation violations. GSU officers assist probationers by assessing their risk and needs and by referring individuals to appropriate community based organizations for counseling, training, and/or support. The unit also provides gang awareness presentations to schools, community based organizations, and other law enforcement agencies.

Home Supervision (Juvenile Only): Through this program offenders may be placed back into their homes and frequently supervised by a probation officer instead of being incarcerated in Juvenile Hall or jail. There are strict restrictions on their movements and activities and can be monitored by an electronic surveillance detection device. Most of the offenders placed on home supervision are juveniles with minor offenses and it helps keep detention facilities from being overcrowded.

Jurisdictions Unified for Drug and Gang Enforcement (JUDGE): This is a multi-jurisdictional task force comprised of armed Probation Officers working in partnership with officers from San Diego Police, Chula Vista Police, National City Police, State Parole, San Diego County Sheriff, Escondido Police, and Oceanside Police. This unit targets drug and gang involved probationers, parolees, and other criminals who have been convicted of "strike" crimes. This task force is operated under a grant that is administered by the San Diego County District Attorney.

Regional Auto Theft Task Force (RATT): RATT is a multi-agency law enforcement team with the task of increasing the apprehension and prosecution of professional auto and cargo thieves using regional proactive methods. The armed task force uses each agency’s resources to identify, target, apprehend, and prosecute organized criminal groups involved in these activities.

Warrant Unit: The Warrant Unit is tasked with reducing the number of outstanding probation warrants. The Unit conducts investigations using computer records, surveillance operations,collateral contacts, and law enforcement information sharing to apprehend probation absconders.

Multi jurisdictional Units: Armed Probation Officers are assigned to multi-jurisdictional task forces such as the U.S. Marshal's Fugitive Task Force, Narcotics Task Force, F.B.I. Task Force, North County Regional Gang Task Force, East County Gang Task Force, and the Violent Crime Task Force.