(DOVER, Del.) - WRDE sat down with Todd Mumford, President of Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 10, for an exclusive interview in which he mentioned that probation and parole officers are lacking in equipment and that they're underpaid given how dangerous their job can be. "Our officers are extremely dedicated. They're highly educated yet they're feeling extremely frustrated in not being fairly compensated and not given the proper tools needed to do their job," Mumford said.

Probation and parole officers in Delaware are responsible for monitoring 16,000 to 18,000 offenders on probation levels from level 1 unsupervised probation to level 4 home confinement.

Probation and parole officers make around $40,000 a year after hazardous duty pay. They believe they deserve a higher salary and the Department of Correction agrees because they recognize that these officers must wear a variety of hats on the job.

Jim Elder, bureau chief of the Bureau of Community Corrections says, "They're working with people coming out of prison, they're helping them to find jobs, they're helping them to get connected to drug treatment. In some instances they're sort of coaches to them and teachers to them and counselors to them, they work with their families and they go to great lengths to do things to help people to re-assimilate to society after incarceration. The fact that it's law enforcement and casework is what makes it a unique position and why I believe and everyone in this building believes they need more money."

Terra Taylor, Director of Probation and Parole provides input from a first-hand perspective. "As a former probation officer and the current Director of Probation and Parole, I absolutely agree that the job of probation and parole officers and others that work for the agency have an extremely difficult job, dangerous job, and they absolutely deserve more pay."

Mumford said they don't always have the necessary equipment to effectively monitor the people placed in their custody. "We struggle with getting radios for every officer. We don't have radios in our cars at all. We also are the only community-based law enforcement agency in the state that doesn't issue tasers."

All probation officers receive the following equipment once they've completed basic officer training: firearm/holster, 3 ammo magazines, sabre red OC spray/holder, expandable baton/holder, handcuffs/holder, duty belt, badge/holder, ballistic vest, and a tactical vest carrier.

Funding for tasers was just approved during this fiscal year and the DOC is currently scheduling training and purchasing equipment. The AXON Taser Training and Evidence Collection Couse is set for this November and all probation officers who wish to carry a taser must complete it.

In addition, the DOC recently purchased and issued 21 800 MHZ radios, replaced more than 50 older radios, and they plan to request an additional 12 radios in September.

Narcan, 300 tourniquets, and 40 flashlights for tactical flashlight training have been purchased as well. Each District Office is to receive a Chevy Tahoe and additional training opportunities have been offered to DOC staff, supporting its 100% ACA compliance.

The Department of Correction is working diligently to ensure that probation and parole officers are properly equipped and they want to partner with the Fraternal Order of Police to help them obtain a higher salary.