Basic Safety for Probation and Parole Officers

Basic Safety for Probation and Parole Officers 

Working as a community corrections officer can be a dangerous job. Between 2016 and 2017, federal probation officers reported 528 hazardous duty incidents, ranging from verbal intimidation to physical attacks (Administrative Office of U.S. Courts, 2018). As such, it is important to be proactive in ensuring your safety in the office and in the field. This course will discuss dangerous situations community corrections officers may be exposed to, and provide suggestions for enhancing their safety in the field and in the office. It also will discuss safety precautions regarding the use of social media and provide a brief overview of use of force. The content in this course is applicable to probation and parole officers working in adult and juvenile community supervision agencies.


Hours: 2.00


Certificates provided by accrediting body (2 Match)

California Board of State and Community Corrections


This activity is approved for 2.00 STC credit hours.

Oklahoma Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training


This class has been accredited by the Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training for 2.00 hours of mandatory continuing education credit. Regarding any law enforcement concepts, practices, methods, techniques, products, or devices as might be taught, promoted, or otherwise espoused in outside schools or seminars, there is no intent, expressed or implied, that ‘accreditation’ indicates or in any way conveys ‘CLEET approval’ of such concepts, practices, methods, techniques, products, or devices, unless such approval is explicitly stated by CLEET.

Course Details

Course Code: REL-PSC-0-BSPPO
Hours: 2
Type: Online Course
Content Expiration Date: 6/30/2025
Learning Objectives:
Recognize 7 ways your safety may be threatened during your work as a community corrections officer.
Identify 8 general considerations for officer safety.
Recall strategies for enhancing officer safety during office and field contacts, as well as for protecting safety on social media and when off-duty.
Identify 4 situations when use of force is appropriate and the standard used to determine if use of force is reasonable.

Section 1: Introduction

About This Course

Learning Objectives

Section 2: Safety on the Job

Parole Officer Down

Overview of What We Know About Safety for Community Supervision Officers

Predicting Dangerousness

Ways Your Safety May Be Threatened



Section 3: Considerations for Officer Safety

General Considerations for Officer Safety

Enhancing Safety in the Office

Knowledge Check

Enhancing Safety in the Field

Be Aware of Potential Hazardous Environments and Situations

Quick Check

Enhancing Safety Off-Duty

Do You Ever?

Enhancing Safety on Social Media



Section 4: Use of Force

What Should You Do?

When to Use Force

The “Reasonable” Standard

Use of Force Continuum

Things to Keep in Mind



Section 5: Conclusion


Course Contributors



Staff Writer: Kimberly Cobb, MS

Mrs. Cobb is a Lead SME Writer/Trainer at Relias. Her primary writing responsibilities are in the Health and Human Services vertical, in the content areas of public safety and behavioral health. Mrs. Cobb is also the onboarding trainer for new Relias staff joining the Content Department. Mrs. Cobb has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Correctional and Juvenile Justice Studies and a Master of Science Degree in Criminal Justice. She has over 24 years of experience working in criminal and juvenile justice. Her work includes direct service, research, and training and technical assistance. She was the statewide evaluator for the Commonwealth of Kentucky for adult, juvenile, and family drug courts; a Research Associate for the American Probation & Parole Association providing training and technical assistance to Native American Nations/Alaska Native Villages on systemic criminal and juvenile justice initiatives; and a Research Administrator for the University of Kentucky.

Disclosure: Kimberly Cobb, MS has declared that no conflict of interest, Relevant Financial Relationship or Relevant Non-Financial Relationship exists.
Instructor: Robert L. Thornton

Robert L. (Bob) Thornton, M.Ed., is Director of Community Corrections Institute, LLC, a company dedicated to providing training and consultation specifically designed for community corrections. Previously, he served as a Pretrial, Probation, and Supervising U.S. Probation Officer for over 27 years, and served as a faculty member of the Federal Judicial Center. He also conducts training for the National Institute of Corrections (NIC) and the American Probation and Parole Association (APPA). He co-authored the NIC monograph, New Approaches to Staff Safety, and authored New Approaches to Safe Safety-Second Edition, and was recently awarded a cooperative agreement to co-author a third edition.

He also authored the publication Guns, Safety and Proactive Supervision: Involving Probation and Parole in Project Safe Neighborhoods, co-authored the 2014 publication Gang Courts: An Innovative Strategy for Gang-involved Offenders, and was contributing author for the APPA publication Practical Action Tips on Officer Safety for Tribal Probation Personnel.

Additionally, he is a Federal/State Court certified expert in community corrections and a Certified Force Analyst through Force Science Institute.

Disclosure: Robert L. Thornton has declared that no conflict of interest, Relevant Financial Relationship or Relevant Non-Financial Relationship exists.
Target Audience:
The target audience for this course is: Probation/Parole Officers; in the following settings: Law Enforcement.
Relias will be transparent in disclosing if any commercial support, sponsorship or co-providership is present prior to the learner completing the course.
Course Delivery Method and Format
Asynchronous/Online Distance Learning; please see certificate details for specifics on delivery format.
Relias has a grievance policy in place to facilitate reports of dissatisfaction. Relias will make every effort to resolve each grievance in a mutually satisfactory manner. In order to report a complaint or grievance please contact Relias.
If you require special accommodations to complete this module, please contact Relias Support by completing the web form ( or by using the chat functionality.
All courses offered by Relias, LLC are developed from a foundation of diversity, inclusiveness, and a multicultural perspective. Knowledge, values and awareness related to cultural competency are infused throughout the course content.
Reference herein to any specific commercial product, process, or service by trade name, trademark, service mark, manufacturer or otherwise does not constitute or imply any endorsement, recommendation, or favoring of, or affiliation with, Relias, LLC.
All characteristics and organizations referenced in the following training are fictional. Any resemblance to any actual organizations or persons living or dead, is purely coincidental.
To earn continuing education credit for this course you must achieve a passing score of 80% on the post-test and complete the course evaluation.
If you require special accommodations to complete this module, please contact Relias Customer Support here.