Beating Children LA County Probation

BEATING CHILDREN: Four L.A. County Probation Staff to Be Fired for Assault of Teenager in Central Juvenile Hall

Celeste Fremon
Written by Celeste Fremon

On March 20, 2017, a Los Angeles County Probation supervisor allegedly physically assaulted a teenage boy inside the county’s Central Juvenile Hall, and three Detention Services Officers allegedly helped the supervisor cover up the beating.

On Friday, December 8, the supervisor—whose name is Norm Johnson, Jr.—along with the three DSOs, are scheduled to be terminated from their employment with the nation’s largest probation agency, according to an emailed notification sent by Probation Chief Terri McDonald on Thursday to the members of the L.A. County Board of Supervisors.

In addition to the department’s internal investigation, the March 20 incident is reportedly under investigation by the District Attorney’s Office. Johnson’s actions are also reportedly being reviewed as a potential federal civil rights violation, according to McDonald’s letter.

Probation officials consider it likely that Johnson, who is allegedly the the person who actually physically harmed the teenage probationer, will be charged by the district attorney’s office. However, it is additionally possible that the three other employees who will be terminated Friday will also be charged by the DA. According to McDonald’s email to the board, these three are guilty of filing false reports to attempt to cover up the abuse.

Whatever the DA’s office decides to do, according to probation, following Johnshon’s notice of intent to discharge on Friday, he will be restricted from all probation properties for union activities.

It seems Johnson’s father, Norm Johnson, Sr, has long been an influential member of SEIU 721, the probation supervisors union. Now Johnson Jr. too has reportedly become influential with the union.


The alleged on-camera assault

WitnessLA originally learned about the alleged March 20 assault in August of this year when probation sources contacted us about an alarming incident that began after a tall, gangly teenage probationer in the XY Unit of Central Juvenile Hall said he didn’t want to go to school that day.

It seems that the boy, whom we’ll call Danny, had seen a so-called “enemy” in his class, and he was fearful of being in a fight. His solution was to avoid going to school at all.

According to our sources (who asked not to be named), when the kid said he wanted to stay in his room and skip class, Supervisor Johnson “laid hands on him.” It was at this point that a physical assault allegedly occurred that resulted in Danny screaming in pain about his arm being injured.

Our sources described how two staffers, reportedly friends of Johnson’s, took Danny to see the nurse, and allegedly tried to persuade him not to make a complaint about the incident.

They were not successful. The boy complained anyway.

Furthermore, there was a video of the incident. Plus there were three witnesses, Detention Service Officers Alejandro Ramirez, Jeffrey MacDuff, and Elizabeth Flores, who is presently out on maternity leave.

Amazingly, the witnesses, who were reportedly also quite visible on the video along with Johnson and Danny, either claimed they didn’t see what had occurred, or allegedly lied to back Johnson’s version of events.

Johnson had the personal cell phone numbers for two of the witnesses, according to our sources, and, after the incident, he reportedly called the two men and told them what they should and shouldn’t say on the post-incident reports they were required to write.

We also were told that the situation grew further problematic when Johnson’s father, Norm Johnson Sr., reportedly presented himself to one of more of the three witnesses to the incident, and suggested that he would be acting as their union rep for the matter.


The Pace of Change

“The overwhelming majority of our staff are hard working, committed public servants who take seriously their roles as youth advocates,” Chief Terri McDonald told WitnessLA via an email, when we inquired about the four staff terminations. “However, if and when we encounter situations where staff actions do not align with our collective values and expectations regarding treatment and protection of our clients, those staff will be held accountable,” she wrote.

“When staff engage in abuse, indifference, or failure to report abuse, they do not represent this organization or the thousands of hardworking and committed members of this team who hold themselves to the highest standards.”

In her communication with the supervisors, McDonald said she has received increasing reports of staff members declining orders to use force in situations when force was unnecessary, and other reports of staff acting to calm their colleagues when the colleagues got upset and might otherwise have used force when it was not needed.*

We asked a veteran source who also works at Central Juvenile Hall what kind of message, if any, the news of the terminations would send.

“I think it will have an effect,” our source said. “I think it will tell people that, ‘Listen, you can’t let people tell you what to say and what to write in these situations. You’ve got to do what’s right and tell the truth.'”

For a long time, continued the source, people like Norm Johnson “have been bullying people to say what they want them to say.” Whereas the new terminations, said the source, will help people to stand their ground and to say, “‘No, you can’t tell me to lie.'”


Postscript

This is the fourth incident of probation staff allegedly physically assaulting the kids in their charge that WitnessLA has probed since we began our award-winning Beating Children series, which you can find here in WLA’s SERIES section.


* Correction – 12/8/2017, 10:25 a.m.- We initially wrongly suggested that Chief McDonald thinks that terminations raised morale. She did not say or suggest that at all. This was a mistaken interpretation on our part. It has since been corrected.

79 Comments

  • Wonder if Los Angeles County Probation Department has a “Brady List” naming problem Probation Officers who are not credible. The Sheriff’s Department is a prime example.

    • Everyone has valid concerns. Juveniles are difficult to work but so are own children. All Probation Officers are not bad or cruel. It begins with upper management as in all past cases. Line staff are always trying to do the right thing all the time, but when Mann-gement has influence on co-workers whom you work side by side with and count on them for support, it makes it difficult to go to work. Every work location has its issues, but as mentioned it starts with the upper management that influence subordinates to report or not report incidents as they occurr. The subordinates are promised promotions in exchange for their cooperation with assistance in filing false documents or allegations towards the workers which choose to work and follow the rules. All the attention should be on the people which are training these Officers. Is the training unit credible? Is it full of the same politics which were involved with Mr. Johnson? Does the training unit falsify paperwork? Does the training unit have its own issues which should be reviewed by the Board of Supervisors, the answer is yes.
      How do mangers and certain staff earn overtime when they do not complete their required 40 hours weekly. Certain workers are allowed to roam around the facility carte blanche.
      How does Mann-agement choose when to file complaints on certain staff and not others. From new hires to existing workers. Clerical staff are belittled by their managers. Support staff are accused of not completing their job. Upper Mann-gement is working with both unions (721 and 685). Which in turn promote their own inner circle. They do not follow the process which is in place by the Department to promote. The training unit also does not follow the bid/transfer process. The manager overlooks credible candidates because they will not do as they are told but will due the job how it is intended to be completed. Are they qualified yes and told that they are over-qualified. The years of doing favors is over.

      Chief McDonald does indeed have a difficult job to do. When the people she relies on for accurate information give her the run around. Just as now Probation officers are being hired and promoted without the proper training, due to
      Mann-gement at the training facility diluting the State Mandates and pass all recruits. As in the past years prior recruits/new hires were released or separated for not passing all exams, physical test and or not arriving on time to the acamadey. Mann-gement’s inner circle has circulated test answers to one certain race and failed others which does not allow them to promote to the next level. There are currently some staff that were returned to their previous work assignment after not being allowed the same opportunities as others.

  • Typical WLA. Where’s the rest of the story? “My enemy is there” is a generic excuse for everything. Juveniles are extremely difficult, but if this supervisor is a problem, he should have been dealt with long ago. Lying is never justified in any report, and recent cases have demonstrated that.

    Big Red would rather her staff be assaulted than defend themselves. I also question the morale point. Influence with the union? Lots of questions here.

    • So many exaggeration on this story. One thing that will change in 2018. Is the reporting of minors assaults on staff. Officers will be filing with union and local police agencies. No longer leaving this to the discression of the Probation Dept. Amazing how the reporter can find all these exaggerated stories and numbers. But has yet to ever ask why. Not once has she ever asked why are the use of force incidents against minors has drastically risen? Not once has she asked about assaults to staff, by detainees. Do some real reporting. Stop printing lies. People are ignorant. And believe this crap all to often.

  • Again, we have this left wing hippie who couldn’t work in this environment but want to tell others how to do probably the most difficult job in Law enforcement. Ms. Fremon I dare you to ask the administration to give you a uniform and hand you a clip board and send you to a unit. I bet they won’t and I bet you wouldn’t dare.

    • Preach! Same author, same result. Dealing with juveniles is a challenging job. Law enforcement in general is becoming a very difficult profession. Damn if you do, damn if you dont. Every action of officers is under the microscope, but offenders are getting away with more and more everyday. I also dare this author to wear a uniform and see how they respond to her. I dont think she would like minors calling her every name in the book except for her birthname and i dont think she would appreciate getting assaulted and then wonder why the offender gets no punishment. Its very easy to criticize people and a situation when you have no work experience in that field. Ridiculous article.

    • I totally agree with “Just Me” in regards to people not understanding the dynamics and conditions Probation Officers work under. Its never ok to falsely report on any documentation, especially legal documents. & it’s never ok abuse a minor or use force when force is not needed. But I will say, Probation Officers get spit on (in the face), feces thrown, hit/ attacked, chairs (or other objects) thrown, hurt, etc, etc. & there’s no real consequences for the minor when these things take place.
      & yes, the department is moving away from any physical contact, but when this is completely set in stone, Ms. Fremon next article will be, “Probation is Failing to Protect Our Youth From other Minors in Juvenile Hall.”

  • Another hit piece where only one side of the incident is told. I challenge you to come out to CJH, wear our uniform and experience day in and day out what the officers have to deal with. I personally know the officers involved. They are good and decent people. I hope you are proud of yourself for helping to destroy lives and reputations.

    • WOW !!! HOW DARE YOU CALL NORM JOHNSON GOOD PEOPLE?? HE IS THE MOST HATED MAN AT CJH. WHY? BECAUSE HE WALKED AROUND THE FACILITY INSULTING OFFICERS AND JUVENILES AND GOT AWAY WITH EVERYTHING FOR YEARS. I FEEL BAD FOR THE OTHER 3 OFFICERS WHO I KNOW AS WELL. THEY ARE NOW WITHOUT A JOB AND WHY?? YES, BECAUSE NORM JOHNSON FORCED THEM TO LIE AND FORCED THEM TO HAVE HIS FATHER REPRESENT THEM. C’MON LETS BE REAL NORM JOHNSON WALKED AROUND INTIMIDATING AND BULLYING OFFICERS EVERY DAY. DARING OFFICERS IN MULTIPLE OCCASIONS TO COMPLAIN ABOUT HIM. MAN HAS BEEN ACCUSED MULTIPLE TIMES FOR FRAUD ON PEOPLES TIMECARDS, GANG ASSOCIATION WITH KNOWN GANG, ABUSE OF AUTHORITY AND THE MOST RECENTLY FOR REFERRING TO GAY OFFICERS AS FUCKEN FAGS, DIKES AND SICK ASS HOMOS!!! SO PLEASE WE ALL KNOW THE TRUTH ABOUT HIM. I SPEAK ONLY WHAT I CAN PROVE THE DEPARTMENT WAS GIVEN PROOF, PICTURES, LEGAL DOCUMENTS PROVING THAT ALL ALLEGATIONS WERE TRUE AND NOTHING WAS DONE! DENNIS CARROL EX PROBATION CHIEF RETIRED BEFORE HE GOT CAUGHT UP FOR COVERING ALL THIS UP. HE WAS A SMART MAN.

      • Haters, I was a senior at BJNJH and LPJH. It was about love at our halls. At central I guess it’s hate. Dennis Carrol was a mentor, supervisor, superintendent and bureau chief. Another good man who is vilified. I know about accusations because I was the senior DSO arrested for 187(a) and know about all you haters.

  • “Those who can do and those who can’t; rant…preach…teach and critique.” Of course Ms. Freeman or any other monitor, overseer or far removed paper pusher analyst type would never put themselves in the “line of fire.” It would expose their ineptutitude in doing the actual work they can so easily dissect and criticize others for doing from afar. It’s easy to Monday morning quarterback and criticize from a far and hide behind the assertion , “I’m just telling the people the truth” even though it may be one sided and field with headline seeking, self servicing bias. It’s not in WLA’s best interest to tell the whole story since the public and political establishment has made law enforcement at the grassroots level the new boogeyman, and the reason for all of societies ills.

    It’s far easier to get literary awards and sells books by capitalizing on the already built in misconceptions and bias the public already has. Why try and sell a different narrative when the anti-law enforcement sentiment is already so firmly established in the minds of the public and vote grabbing opportunistic politicians.

  • Enough is enough. Dissolve the Los Angeles County Probation Department and let the Los Angeles County Sheriff Department take care of it.

    • Heck no…LASD has enough problems to overcome with its own management and low moral.

      No need to add more carnage created by the wonder Chief TM. She helped to do enough already to send LASD down the drain.

    • Lmfao you think men who deal with grown men is going to work lmfao!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! At least think before you type so you want men who don’t take shit from grown men to deal with lil kids who cry if they don’t want a sandwich for lunch or who don’t want to go to there room or shower lmfao!!!!!!! Your a stupid fuck hahahahahahahhahahah

      • Regretfully, many of these so called “grown men” display the same type of acting out and manipulative behaviors as the juveniles. I wonder where they learned them?

        If only the system would have allowed LACPD to do their job and change these behaviors before these “juveniles” became 6’00”, 200-lb “man children”.

    • The SB Sheriffs dept did away with the youth pod because their officers refused to work it. (17/18 year olds)

      LASD has been scrutinized for inmate abuse. … recently, too.

      Youth are very difficult to work with, and the Sheriffs dept train to engage citizens in a community setting, not detention. The solution is pretty complex.

      This article chooses to address only part of the concerns of a much larger picture.

      Long road ahead for the department and community agencies. LACPD can’t be held accountable for concerns that our communities should have been addressing the “children” way before they even became youth.

      These stories affect everyone involved in a capacity many will never understand.

  • Lol I love it when people who have never dealt with this part of the community have all the answers some people learn from books some people learn from actual experience this is what’s going on not only in this department and other departments but in society the weak mined and weak hearted mainly ppl with no balls are making new rules policy’s or are trying change things which is fine when you see someone playing with fire who has an education you let them be obviously they know what there doing right I mean reading all about playing with fire is enough right no actual experience is needed right lol well this is what’s happening right now the sheep are controlling everything and getting rid of all the wolves or tying there hands which will end up leaving nothing but sheep’s in there place but what everyone needs to remember is that the wolves that are detained will be watched by sheep who as we all know are scary already are now even more scared to lose there job over touching a detainee so if you have a brain you can do the math what will follow next but if your stupid and self involved I’ll tell you which I know you are stupid the detainees will have more power rights and will and have physically assault staff which then will be placed on IA getting paid and not working so tax payers are paying for that person not to work because the county felt it was better to have scary sheep watching wolves and let’s be serious for a min when you see teenage gang members rapist burglars robbers etc what’s the first thing you think of ooooooo fucking animals why don’t they just lock them up and when you see yourselves what the first thing you thing off calm quite going about your business and only want to be around like minded ppl like yourself sheep in nature a sheep will never ever control wolves it’s simple common sense but in this day and age we all know that’s rare so sheep keep running shit into the ground it’s fine in the end you’ll be calling wolves to control your wolves it’s just how the world is and we all know it if it isn’t lets just give up all of our weapons nukes military ships all of our counter measures against our enemy’s lets just say ok you have to respect us and listen to us but don’t worry there will be no actual consequences for not obeying the rules and if your reading this thinking is this person is defending beatings your a stupid motherfucker yourself lol and to the person that wrote this article about the department it’s obvious you have a source within the department why don’t you ask that person which I know who it is and wait till the right moment when they feel most secure and at ease will reveal the identity to the right ppl so good luck any ways ask them how are the new sheep hires are doing how many are quitting crying on the job and letting the kids fight each other resulting in hospital visits at the tax payers expense and are scared to subdue irate detainees which means they get paid to be witnesses to fights assaults drug use and bully weaker detainees and see how much they get paid lol make a story on that or maybe just maybe your waiting for that day to come to get more readers at that time so are you being proactive and informing before hand or after the fact lol everyone believes in inmate rights until they themselves are victims or there loved ones are victims to inmates I’m just enjoying watching incompetent ppl and ppl who never dealt with criminals run things into the ground lol got my tea in hand with a smile lol the last chief was fucking his assistant in the ass will have to see what Terri Ronald McDonald clown ass does it’s ok everyone is watching every move you make hopefully you power it or baca it lol but being that your full of emotion it might be worse lmfao good luck

  • Staff in all the institutions are under siege, and too fearful of a use-of-force termination to act in their own defense. Where is the story of the elder female DSO who was beaten with a telephone, or the Sr. DSO who was choked out, or the DSO bashed with a chair. Our children are running wild at the behest of well meaning advocates, who will never don the uniform or suffer abuse at the hands of a sophisticated juvenile population who are well aware that the right word said to the right person will put a diligent officer under investigation for months. The Department gets no credit for investigating and firing the few malcontents that this website wants the reader to believe represents the other six-thousand. What a shame!

  • I’d like to know how many staff have been assaulted by kids and if charges have been filed. What’s the union response to all of this? Silence.

  • This dam bum always writing half ass stories very bias stories write about how this same kid brought a phone into the facility n had a plan to escape by killing GSN staff at night

  • It is sad when a piece of one sided trash like this is written. These are people who go in for a 20 minute visit and want to share their experience with everybody. They will never take the challenge to put on a uniform and work a shift. Guaranteed they will never return. There is no history of the minor given. The minor has a colorful gang related history starting from the age of about 11. He has had many negative behavioral reports. I have personally worked with the staff who are going through this and they are great officers and line staff. It’s a shame they are put through this.

  • I count nine Dept. of Correction deaths from all types of inmate violence on the Officer Down Memorial Page but you’ll never hear a peep about it here, nobody at W.L.A, gives a damn about dead cops…NOBODY!!!!

  • Working in Detention with juvenile is the hardest job in America. The money isn’t enough for the bullshit you have to endure day to day. California’s liberal laws have created monsters everywhere. Nothing will change until people in the community come together and force change. Detention officers are consistently being assaulted and there is more employees out on injury then working day to day. We need the pendulum to change. Hold these kids accountable. Abuse is not okay, but refusing to hold children accountable should be against the law.

  • High blood pressure, depression, suicide, stress related illness and job related injuries (assaults) are an everyday occurrenc for law enforcement whether it be in a detention facility or on the street. These presumptive injuries/illnesses are something everyone in the law enforcement field are aware of and willing to accept the risks. However, no one signs on to be a sacrificial lamb…victim…proverbial punching bag or martyr.

    I’m sure some will say (CF) if it’s that bad quit and find another job. However, the majority of honorable folks chose the career and profession of law enforcement to help people and make the world safe for themselves and their families. Their are some people who still believe in a respect for rule of law and order in a civil society, versus chaos and anarchy.

  • Will you all please stop asking WLA to do a comprehensive unbiased piece of journalism!!!!

    It doesn’t sell people!! It doesn’t sell!! I keep telling you that. This sham of a site would shut down in 3 days if it was a law to actually be a true journalist.

  • Terri McDonald is the chief probation officer with the Los Angeles County Probation Department. She is a former assistant sheriff for LA County Sheriff’s Department, overseeing the Custody Division. McDonald is a 24-year veteran of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, where she served as under-secretary for operations

    • She also happens to be a worthless career bureaucrat, with a long string of failed reform efforts, most notably CDCR and the LASD. It will take decades to erase the dysfunction created by Big Red.

  • Liberal Ca has destroyed the probation department. No accountability for the juveniles actions. This Department sucks! Favoritism rules here. Kids run these facilities because they know there are no repercussions for their horrible behavior. Oh and don’t use foul language, you will get suspended!!!

    • I knew a staff who was actually put under investigation for several months for calling a kid a “Mama’s Boy”. He was removed from his unit and stuck out on a field post for over 9 months. This was probably around 15 years ago. I knew then we as a department was heading for big trouble!

    • There’s nothing wrong with having kids run the facilities. Most kids have been in the system longer than most staff due to high turnover.

  • Campus Kilpatrick has been designed over the past three years with only boys in mind, but that will change under the proposed Probation Department plan. The number of girls in L.A.’s juvenile camps has rapidly dwindled and now stands at approximately 25, according to Mitchell. Campus Kilpatrick would begin housing 24 of those girls alongside boys on January 30, 2018.

    • That’s false. Females will not be housed next to Males. Beyondeeeee won’t allow it. Kilpatrick campus is a failing joke with daily assaults. You can put lipstick on a pig but it’s still a pig.

  • KARMA is spot on in his/her assessment. Norm Jr. has been terrorizing this department for years. Him and his buddies MF, LB and JA used to walk around CJH like it was their personal playground, bullying the staff, intimidating them into violating policy for their own gain/protection and talking down to them like they were slaves. All because Normie’s daddy had influence and power that his son could throw around. LB and JA have already jumped ship and are continuing their crooked tactics at another hall, and now that Normie is done for, wonder how long it will take for MF to turn tail and run somewhere else too?

    Here’s something for all you staff reading this to think about. Some of you like to complain about the new promotional process saying that testing is unfair and that you want to return to the “old ways”. Don’t you EVER forget that the “old way” is how all these dirtbags moved up to supervisory positions. They all were related to someone or were buddies with someone else who “hooked them up” with high AP scores which boosted them into positions of power that they did not possess the intelligence or integrity to hold. The new testing process is what prevented these idiots from ever becoming Directors because none of them can add their way out of a paper bag.

    Normie’s fall has been a long time coming and was WELL DESERVED. It is just sad to me that he had to take some (not all of his accomplices were angels) good people down with him.

  • That article is apart of many articles published in a demeaning sequence to destroy the image of the Probation Dept.
    There are joint stakeholders who have even sent people to work for Probation, who hold interest in taking over many of Probation’s custodial contracts.
    Their goal is to make Probation appear incompetent. They’re even working against the operation within, and sometimes through other organizations, to negatively change Probation’s rules and guidelines. Their goal is Probation’s failure.
    After this, conversations about other agencies taking over, and suggestions towards privatization will ring loud.
    They use one hand to create hysteria, and they will use their other hand to present their solution.
    Sponsoring journalists has always been a tool used by capitalists.
    Staff be cautious of your involvements.
    Give them an opportunity, and the media will make an ugly filthy story about you.

  • Where’s that Porter guy at? The real ROCK from that probation sports facility Camp Kilpatrick Ya know the guy who ran around the department with his chest sticking out thinking he was a movie star! Rumor has it he’s MIA.

  • To all Probation Officers out there, Is your union doing anything to put things in order? That would include everything from probation administration to assaults on staff. No word about them in any of the comment

  • The union is useless! Status quo in place. They do absolutely nothing for officers. Weak union with weak leaders. Its a shame they take your union dues and spend your money on salaries.

  • MESSAGE FOR THE WRITER CELESTE FREMON
    LETS SEE IF YOU REPLY TO THIS OR HIDE LIKE A SCARY ASS! Lmfao!!!!!!!
    Ok let’s give you a lil taste of what a staff member deals with you get up at 5am get ready to go in at 6am report to your building you work in a build with a lead male staff who is scared to work with kids and gets punked himself and another cowardly staff the male or female who normally run the unit puts out all the fires and the kids respect has called out because their tired of putting out all the fires for the weenies and needs a mental day keep in mind that person gets paid the same as you and less than the lead officer in the unit so there goes the unit rock and you sit there thinking shit omg how is day going to be were short a staff and the main staff that controls your unit you count your kids you got 15 a couple followers a couple rival gang members one who is homosexual another who is there for sexual assault on a child and the weak ones that you have to watch over because they are the unit victims shoes gets stolen food clothing personals from them o and the best for last for female staff the pervert who stares at woman’s tits ass and vagina so you have to get your kids ready and fed before school movement you have to get your kids to use the restroom brush their teeth remember you have to watch 15 of them while they argue with each other or punk each other and try and fight each other but don’t forget they don’t respect you and they know the one who runs the unit and they respect is out for the day you open one door say good morning and the kid responds with what the fuck fuck that I’ll go last you say no your first he says fuck you I’ll go last so you close the door on doing so the kid says fucking old ass dike bitch lol and that’s just the first kid lol you still got 14 to go a couple listen get ready one needs you to get his personals you open the door he grabs his things and starts going through another kids personals you say stop the kid says what the fuck that’s the homies he lets me use his tooth paste what do you do say ok because remember your old a woman and a writer and never grew up around gangs and hold your purse tighter when a riffraff minority walks by you at night lol these kids can smell your fear and see it in your eyes so today some will unite to fuck with you the others will try to fight when your not paying attention your kids are taking there time but your on a schedule too remember your running late now you need your last group of kids to get ready remember the kid try to get up first that cussed you out well you literally saved the best for last you go and open the door guess what he’s still asleep you wake him up and responds with what the fuck bitch get out my room I told you I’ll go last you tell him he is the last one he gets up slow as hell lol dragging his feet walks out his room starts talking to his homeboy through the door which keep in mind is not allowed you ask him to stop he responds with bitch I’m talking to the homie stop worrying about me you build up some courage to respond back and you say minor such and such you have wasted enough time I need to keep on schedule lol he responds with look bitch get the fuck out my fucking face before i knock your old ass the fuck out and you die or break a hip you old bitch by this time the lead staff hears and decided to intervene but keep in mind he’s an over paid bitch because he took a test which was meant for ppl that admin believe can run a unit lol and not based or control brave and balls which is needed lol he’s says what’s going on so the kids says I’m talking to the homie to see if he can let me barrow some tooth paste and his deodorant your lead staff lets him doesn’t address the fact the kid cussed you out threatened you the kid starts to walk down the hall mind you he’s dragging his feet still lol but your on a schedule lol remember you get evaluated by your supervisor in three months lol so the kid brushed his teeth after about ten mins lol which you know he doesn’t do at home because he has broken missing or yellow teeth lol then he needs to use the the toilet he takes his time the longest shit you have ever seen longer than your kid husband or yourself has taken lol you ask can you wrap it up I need to feed everyone lol he responds with bitch shut the fuck up I’m taking a shit I’ll wrap it up when I’m done taking a shit bitch get the fuck out of here why you watching take a shit bitch what you a pervert bitch remember you are just doing your job the kid says he’s going to write a grievance on you lol then you remember that you lead officer is a bitch and is scared to lose his job just like you and remember the department believes the kids before the staff lol so good luck when the investigation comes up but wait there’s more you still have about 6 hours left of work lmfao!!!!!!! To go and it’s barely your Monday hahahahahahahah!!!!!! I’ll stop here for now I’ll right more if you respond back CELESTE FREMON keep in mind that was just 2 hours into your day as a staff member and I still left out the phone calls for kids going to court which you have to get ready kids that get picked up early for medical or interviews by lapd or probation there so much more keep in mind that the rocks or under investigation out on leave fired or just left the department because all they are hiring is ppl like you who think they know what they are doing and think because they went to college they know everything and are superior but when those nerds are put in a building with gang members rapist thieves pedophiles well we get you in this story I wrote you and remember that was two hours only into the work day your first week lol there is soooooooooo much more to cover like I said I’ll write more if I see a response from you the department is hiring nothing but these kind of ppl you might get one or two in a group that are good but that’s another story oooo and by chance TERRI MCDONALD if your reading this why don’t you put on a uniform and hide the fact who you really are to these kids and work a day in the hall but keep your last name the kids will love it and you’ll have fun with them all day with it lmfao!!!!!!!!!

    • Rampart….

      I am not trying to be insulting, snarky or anything like that, but please try and add punctuation and paragraphs.

      You appear to have slot to say and add but it is very difficult to read.

  • Rampart said it best. Chief McDonald has no experience working with juveniles. Line staff bear all the responsibility and deal with kids that don’t want to listen to staff.

  • Rampart, don’t let them bring you down, you’re there ,they aren’t. Stick with it, I’d rather hear from people in the trenches, like you, than the “ great writers” of Witness LA. They have a habit of telling it like it ain’t. Celeste’s srtoies are more about her own issues than anything the Probation Dept has done wrong.

  • Lol grammar and punctuation yea I don’t care about any of that I’m just here to talk shit and you guys who responded to my post and haven’t commented yourself in the article do so now or the way things are if you have actual experience dealing with the kids or dealing with the incompetent ppl at the main offices lol don’t be shy we all know it’s like high school one person will read this pass it along and tell someone else eventually the retards being aimed at will read these comments lol they’ll have a couple responses
    A ignore it like lil weenie
    B at like they don’t care and say they won’t read it until ther alone because they don’t want ppl to know there nervous what is said here lol
    C respond lol which we know they won’t lol sissys
    D well we know some taking or took the D to be where there at lol Harvey Weinstein is taking the D now after he gave it I can’t wait to see what those up top do when the ones they tried and gave the D to realize they ain’t shit lol like that guy in baker to Vegas lmfao you guys know who im talking about lol

    Big question for anyone here the ppl at the bottom get investigated right away but when the ppl up top get investigated or have an allegation made towards them who does their investigation the ppl they put in place or their coworkers or subordinates that supervise the investigation unit lol or do the ppl up top get a heads up like look everyone knows your fucking your secretary and bought her flowers and gave her special privileges just resign and will give you a couple hundred G’s go before we put this in your job history lmfao

  • The problem I see is not the article; which for the most part is presenting fact or someone’s opinion. The problem has been and continues to be the Department and the truly unrealistic Board of Supervisors expectations.

    The goals of our detention facilities should be to keep the kids and staff safe, to further the education of the minors, to provide medical/mental health care and job training – period. The Department has no identity – it tries to be all things to all people and that’s resulted in epic failure.

    It’s a damn shame that good people have gotten caught up in this crap. Many people have turned a blind eye b/c they need a job and are doing their best to just get through the day. AN ENTIRE DSO RECRUIT CLASS QUIT THE DEPARTMENT SOME YEARS BACK B/C WORKING CONDITIONS AT THE HALLS ARE SO BAD. The resignation rate for newly hired DSO staff ought to be publicized – it speaks volumes.

    The unfair and inappropriate promotions of people loyal to certain bureau chiefs has not helped. Some people have been promoted that could really given a damn other than their own advancement, can barely write a sentence and are of questionable ethics. This has gone on for a lotta years and yeah, NJ strolling all over acting like he owned the place has gone on for years too. That’s all come at a high cost and many of these people are still around, which impedes real progress. Hall managers are considered “less than” by upper management and field bureau chiefs and are often stuck in the halls for many years, as opposed to all managers being afforded assignments through the halls and/or camps to bring in fresh eyes and to break the empire building. So, they keep their mouth shut and go along to get along. Not saying some haven’t tried but they can only do so much.

    Now add on caring for some of the most troubled minors in the nation. Not surprisingly, they lie and manipulate freely and will openly threaten staff both physically or with the filing of a complaint. Given the pro-youth climate of the past few years and the poor job done by some investigators, staff become intimidated about being under investigation as it seems that are guilty until proven innocent. So the goal becomes to just “do time” at the halls or camps until they can get to a field assignment and away from the madness. The inmates are running the asylum and don’t think they don’t know it.

    There has to be a balance between professional conduct and holding these youth accountable. At every single institution, there should be staff assigned that do nothing but file new cases against kids that attack staff physically or by gassing, bring in weapons, are caught with drugs, etc. Refiling on kids is discouraged by management but it’s long overdue and might help to build a safer environment for all.

    I don’t agree with beating kids up (aside from the fact that it’s illegal) and good staff have always been better than that – but at some point, upper management and the unions need to seriously address working conditions. At present, both appear basically useless in terms of this issue. If they don’t and staff continue to throw their hands up and refuse to use necessary force (comment made by McDonald), it’s only a matter of time before a kid’s killed. Well past time to get serious on a lot of fronts.

  • Old & jaded thumbs up buddy I forgot about all the new booties that quit lmfao!!!!!!!!
    Trust me when I tell you these ppl up top are reading these comments I gotta another comment I’ll post up later just for them lol

  • Let’s face it, the department is corrupt and good officers are being treated like trash. Our union is a joke. How can we expect them to have our best interest at heart when they themselves are at the mercy of the same department that we expect them to go to war with.
    OD’s, supervisors, directors and the supers are all out for themselves and their “cliques”.
    Race is also a big issue in Central. If you’re not the right skin color, you have no shot at being treated fairly. We are constantly be forced to go against policy shit, OD’s don’t even know policy..
    Yet, these are the idiots they have leading us. We are treated like we’re the criminals. Days off request are constantly denied. Injured staff are treated like they are the criminals even the ones that have a legitimate injury.
    As long as race and politics are the reason for promoting and hiring staff, it will never end!

    HEY UNION, DO YOUR DAMN JOBS AND DEFEND THE OFFICERS!!
    The union lawyer is an overweight useless man. He can careless if your case is won. He’s buddies with the ones attacking you!

  • So your answer to Celeste for her inaccurate or so called biased publications is to negatively criticize her in a manner that makes you yourself seem unintelligent? To suggest that she put on a uniform and do the job of an Officer to prove how ineffective she would be when many of the individuals responding would be just as ineffective as a writer/columnist, which is evident by the plethora of grammatical and spelling errors in many of the responses. It works both ways but I digress because that’s not the major issue at hand. The problem lies in Officers not working together. Yes, there are a few exceptions to the rule where both veteran and new Officers work cohesively to accomplish the number one goal of ensuring the safety of themselves as well as the youth in their care at the end of the day. However, as many of you are aware, the culture around many Probation facilities is extremely negative and borderline toxic. Officers are disgruntled over the promotion process, upset at being relieved late or held over due to staff shortages, which is partially due to both legitimate and fraudulent claims of injury, and lack of support from peers, supervisory, and administrative staff.

    So let’s look at the promotional process. It was requested that the math portion be removed from the exam because it had nothing to do with the job. Granted, it was removed. Then the request for seniority and AP scores not to be the determining factors being that cronyism ran rampant and those who were employed for 10 years but were on IA or light duty for 8 of them were able to promote before someone who had remained in the trenches for 5 years straight. Granted, it was changed. Then it was requested that an investigation nor poor attendance automatically disqualify a staff from promoting for a period of 3-5 years as we all make mistakes. Granted, the policy was changed. But still, there are complaints and rightfully so to some extent but the truth is you can’t please everyone so let’s move on to the next issue.

    It was mentioned that there is no focus on assaults on staff. True, those incidents are not widely publicized because the majority of the job is confidential to the general public; however, there is someone specifically assigned to address this issue. They are known as DOR (Detention Observation Report) Coordinators and they are assigned to all 3 halls. Whether or not they are effective at their job is another matter. But if a staff is assaulted and they feel as if administration is dragging their feet there is nothing prohibiting the victim of the assault from going to the local precinct and filing the charges themselves. Is it right that one should have to go through that extra step or two for justice? Hell no but it’s better than doing nothing but complaining.

    How often do you encounter negativity and resentment at your place of employment? Not from the youth but from the very people who are assigned to have your back at ALL levels. Officers are divided based on the very cliques, racial and even moral issues that landed the Officers mentioned in the article in their current predicament. NJ wasn’t the only individual bullying other staff at all levels. Somewhere along the way we stopped focusing on standing strong and together against volatile, recalcitrant, disrespectful, physically aggressive youth and started targeting one another. Who was weak, who was strong, who was useless, who was screwing who for special favors, who got that special assignment and why, who’s under investigation and why? Are they guilty or innocent? Are they on light duty faking an injury because they can’t cut it working in a building? Pathetic and just plain sad. We’ve lost our way. I don’t care how good you are, no one can do the job alone.

    Probation has and is still changing. It is not the no nonsense rough and tumble disrespect or assault a staff at your own peril place that it used to be because that’s what caused DOJ intervention/oversight in the first place. Do you have to agree with the direction Probation is headed? No, but if you’re not going their way then you’re in their way and you WILL be “dealt with” as anyone who intentionally uses excessive force, intimidation, physical and/or mental brutality should be. You don’t have to be a staff or youth advocate to survive. You simply need to be a civil rights and common sense advocate. We are all adults. It’s not that difficult. Put personal hang ups and biases aside, try to do the best job you can and when you see an opportunity to guide a new staff in the right direction, do it. Yes, some who have landed in this profession are not cut out for it. It’s not for everyone and unfortunately many are allowed to float through on the backs and hard work of others more suited to the positions. It’s not right and it understandably breeds resentment and the overwhelming temptation to become disgruntled as we continue to show up to collect that reward on the 15th and 30th of every month, also known as a paycheck.

    So stop worrying about the accuracy of comprehensive reporting of Celeste’s next publication and start worrying about your future and that of your fellow coworkers. Look out for one another so that other staff won’t feel the need to gravitate toward people like NJ only to have to explain to their husbands, wives, significant others and/or kids and family why Christmas will be coming late, if at all this year. Oh, and if you get a moment away from reading these comments, maybe reach out to those DSOs who no longer have a job and see if you can do something constructive for them other than posting comments about how unfortunate and unfair their situation is.

  • Teamwork….your comments sound like the typical top-down management BS that executives all seem to learn to shovel to the masses, in the hopes of distracting them from the real issues that are out their control and make them feel powerless. The idea about making the positive changes within your own space and domain is valid, however when other negative forces outside of your control encroach and spill into your happy space your screwed. Upper level management does not care about line staff or first level supervisors. They look at them merely as pawns/suckers to lay blame on and as people to scapegoat and offer up as sacrifice when the BOS and public want blood.

    Keep spouting the platitudes, but people are more astute know and less likely to fall in lock step to their “superiors”, a term I use dubiously.

    “Walk a mile in someone else’s shoes before judging them.” I’m sure there are many volunteers who would be interested in doing a job swap between WLA and LACPD. That way each one could develop a deeper appreciation and respect for each other’s perspective.

    Oh, If you don’t think the reporting on the cite is biased and often slanted, I would like to sell you some ocean front property in Iowa.

  • Teamwork,

    I respect your opinion and agree that people should work professionally and as a team. As other agencies, we have certainly hired some people that need to find another line of work. Obviously, lying, fraud, etc. are wrong. The “come walk in our shoes” attitude however, comes from years of trying to make a lot of inefficient systems (including our computer programs) and ever increasing demands somehow work, along with a host of other problems, including leadership instability and the Board’s tendency to bring in one outsider after another that stays long enough to collect a second pension and is then out the door.

    A former LASD Sheriff made a point of occasionally suiting up and working a patrol car. Now mind you that same guy is now looking at Federal custody time but the point is that it is NOT unrealistic to ask the heads of the Department from Superintendents/Bureau Chiefs up, to come work a day on the line (in supervision – not hiding in an office) once a month. They should better understand the current realities of the job from the ground up for a whole host of reasons.

    Re your comment, “It is not the no nonsense rough and tumble disrespect or assault a staff at your own peril place that it used to be…”not everyone behaved that way but yes, there was more force used – consistent with the norms of the time. Law enforcement across the board looked at the use of force a lot differently. I have yet to hear anyone beg to return to that part of the old days. What I have heard is a clear cry for workload balance and to not be punching bags for youth that are not held properly accountable.

    At present, many sanctions employed are not meaningful to the youth – and if they don’t matter to them, they are ineffective. Are you aware that years and years ago there were very few fights? I worked at a camp back in the day where a fight was a big deal and if your shift had a fight, you were considered the “weak” shift. There were no assaults on staff – none. If we listen to the “experts,” the kids we have now are not much different from the ones we had then. With more stringent screening for detention, camp, etc. I happen to disagree but if that is true, we have to ask what has changed? The answer is we changed – too busy with paperwork to just stop and form a relationship with a few kids (a strong key to safety) and imposing sanctions that are pointless. They don’t feel safe and have allied with each other. Until we get back in balance and they view us as in charge, our work locations will continue to be needlessly violent and kids and staff alike will be hurt. With you totally re the fools that claim to be hurt that aren’t. They add more work on to everyone else too but those numbers have gone way down.

    Yes, there is a DOR Coordinator at each hall. Do you have any stats on how many of the petitions they file are rejected for filing or ultimately sustained in court? Some of those folks have tried to file things that a three year old could have prepared better – facts to sustain the charge are missing, no witness list, incomplete, poor grammar. I could go on but you get the idea. We lose credibility when staff that don’t know how to properly prepare a case, don’t care, or can’t write present a filing to the District Attorney’s office. The staff that are victims deserve better than that. An outside agency should not be expected to handle our business. They have enough of their own.

    I encourage you to read the report on the Probation website re our current state of affairs. There are some meaningful comments there. I think one thing we can all agree on is the hope that 2018 brings much positive change.

  • Wow TEAMWORK that was well put together bravo!!!!!! Come I clap for you lol TEAMWORK huh what team are you talking about seems like the team up top your defending shit from up top and defending Celeste pretty hard too are you the one feeding info to her on behalf of the upper ppl lol you know why we will never have true team work at time lets say person A is hard working smashes does everything right but one day the department hires person B person B is a complete moron but person A is told from up top to watch out for person B and take them under there wing person A say fine because hey their hardworking and does everything right well person B gets better and is able to stand on there two feet will better than day one Person B will likely get certain days off get picked for special assignment promoted more quickly etc etc but keep in mind that person A has been there longer and has way more under their belt than person B but because person A can control an entire unit person A is left in place because of that special skill but keep in mind person A is starting not to care anymore because they get over looked for there hard work and training persons B’s but person B’s get all the breaks what does person A begin to do not care not want to train any more ppl and not come in as much just because they were over looked and it sucks when that happens to you you either leave or just say fuck it go on iA for the fuck of it everyone is watching keep in mind and what everyone sees is that what’s the point of being person A if person B is just a scary bitch who gets everything because person A gave them courage the halls are going to be filled up with person B’s lol but hey you must know about TEAMWORK why else would you name yourself that lol teamwork in an office is nothing like teamwork in a unit keep that in mind that’s like saying a cook in the military who does nothing but cook and never been in boots in battle is actually doing the same teamwork as the guys in the military on ground fighting sweating and bleeding with each other I mean the cooks doing his part and the other guys appreciate that shit but what is a person cooking and only does that have anything to really say about how it’s like to be in a fight or battle lol or how it should be down lol most ppl I’ve met that made statements like yours about teamwork were ones who were person B and had there ass saved more than once by person A but there you go fucking with person A lol ppl up top be acting like person A don’t matter but I bet if there were a BLUE FLU and all of person A’s weren’t there what would happen lol would the ppl up top just mess with person A or address the fact that there is something wrong lol we all know the answer it’s not like they’ll report to the halls or camps to help out lol after all they’ve done to make it what it is now lol it’s all a comedy show right now lets see what up stairs says when the shit hits the fan who will get thrown under the bus the department has more drama than a daytime soap opera lol keep it up we at the bottom get a kick out of it lol

  • Rampart…

    You described and summarized the “County Way” so perfectly. This system of cronyism and “buddy hook-ups” is pervasive throughout. Even with centralized testing, which is “supposedly” a way to get rid of the “fingers tipping the scales”, it still goes on. Whether it be an executive pressuring a subordinate to “pick that guy or girl ” or the non posting of positions….it routinely happens.

    Whether it be someone in a position of authority imposing their will by protecting their child, friend, special interest group (race, sexual orientation, sex buddy, black mailer, shameless ass kisser) the outcome is the same. Those who work hard and tow the line are left in career stagnation while those who have connections or “kiss up…move up”.

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