Supervisor Cheney praises county’s pre-trial, probation and patrol employees

Karen Newman 

The Clay County Commission formally recognized the dedicated staff of the Pre-trial, Probation and Patrol Division for their nationally-designated appreciation week.  District Supervisor Janelle Cheney said, “I appreciate you having me here and giving your recognition to our staff.” The department includes fifteen agents, six support staff and one part-time Sentencing to Service crew leader for Clay County. She pointed out that the division is an essential part of the criminal justice system upholding the law with dignity while recognizing the right of the public to be safeguarded from criminal activity. The professional staff provides services and referrals for others.

Cheney added, “They work in partnership with community agencies and groups. Our staff promotes prevention, intervention and advocacy. They provide guidance and skill-directed practice with individuals. They also provide service, support and protection for victims. Our staff advocates for a healthy community.”

Cheney added that a recognition brunch was hosted for department employees and will add de-stressing activities for the employees during the recognition week.

Commission David Ebinger added, “On a personal note, in my thirteen years with the Moorhead Police, you and your staff have repeatedly been supportive, not just to the officers here, but to the probationers who you are trying to keep on the right track. It’s a real asset to the community and the state. I’m grateful for it.”

Commission Chair Kevin Campbell responded by officially sending the board’s gratitude for the work of the Pre-trial, Probation and Patrol Divisions of Clay County.

Cheney also presented her department’s annual budget to the commissioners.  She noted that a retirement led to budget savings. An agent vacancy has not been filled to date.   The Sentence-to-Serve program moved from the Jail Division to Cheney’s, leading to an overall budget increase.

The Professional Services Budget increased for translator services due to rising needs.  Commissioner Jenny Mongeau inquired about whether agencies utilize local or state-provided translators, citing a need for professional services that fit into department budgets.  Cheney replied, “The contract office does work locally with services. They are pretty consistent with who the court uses locally. The Department of Corrections does have a contract. Many times, they are using someone from St. Paul. We try to use whoever is closest in the region.”

Cheney pointed out that the training budget was not fully utilized in the past year because of Covid-19 restrictions on travel and in-person meetings.  She anticipates virtual meetings being used more to do continuing education which, in turn, will cut down on travel expenses.  She concluding by informing the board that the Minnesota Department of Corrections has assumed responsibility for some of the IT expenses, cutting local costs.

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