By Matthew Estes, Communications Director
HUNTSVILLE – On Tuesday, July 12, I visited the Huntsville Field Office. Located near downtown, adjacent to Brahan Springs Park at 2801 Westcorp Blvd Southwest, this large field office shares a space with the Bureau’s Huntsville Day Reporting Center in a combined building.
District 3D Manager Wendy Garth gave a tour of the location alongside Josh Boyd, one of five officers-in-charge at the Huntsville Field Office. About 30 officers, specialists and support staff serve at the Huntsville Field Office, and Garth and Boyd introduced me to most of them.
Things moved at a fast pace; however, everyone was remarkably synchronized. Officers coordinated with specialists, leaders discussed classroom arrangements with Day Reporting Center employees, and Administrative Support Assistants Latasha Martin-Heard, Tracy Kirby and Marie Harrison-Morris checked in probationers and parolees. There was no chaos — to them the quick tempo was a normal Tuesday.
One thing was consistent: the unity and free-flowing exchange of information between field office and DRC employees. Everyone was effectively working for the same office, further unifying the goals of the Bureau’s Field Operations and Special Populations divisions.
“I consider the DRC my team as well as the field office,” said Garth. “We’re one. We have each other’s backs.”
Visitors can tell these team members have professional experience together and all trust each other’s abilities. In addition to the dedication of officers, Garth highlighted the office’s non-law enforcement personnel.
“We often overlook ASAs and specialists. Specialists have taken a huge load off our officers, and everyone plays an important part,” Garth said.
The Bureau has 62 field offices, serving all Alabama counties. Field offices function as a local base of operations for Probation and Parole Officers, specialists and other support staff. Officers are required to make various contacts with probationers and parolees based on their risk level. These contacts range from a monthly office visit for lower risk individuals to weekly office, home, employment and curfew checks for higher risk individuals. In addition, officers are tasked with various types of investigations requested by the Bureau or courts, as well as assisting other law enforcement agencies when needed.