EL Probation Department announces changes

East Liverpool Municipal Court Judge Melissa Byers-Emmerling (second, from left) stands with the Adult Probation Department team of (from left) Dustin Higgins, probation officer/department services coordinator; Sara Norris, chief probation officer; and Shawn Dunn, intensive supervision officer. (Submitted)

EAST LIVERPOOL — East Liverpool Municipal Court’s Probation Department has made changes within the past few months, allowing for more opportunities to partner with local law enforcement, community agencies, and local leaders to “continue improving the positive changes” being made within the court’s three local jurisdictions.

The Adult Probation Department currently employees three full-time probation officers: Sara Norris, chief probation officer; Dustin Higgins, probation officer/department services coordinator; and the newest addition, Shawn Dunn, intensive supervision officer. According to a press release, the changes will allow the department to partner with police departments in East Liverpool, St. Clair Township and Liverpool Township, as well as Judge Melissa Byers-Emmerling and the staff of the East Liverpool Municipal Court “on collaborating to go into the community, serve bench warrants that have been issued on individuals, and transport them to the Court for their pending violations and/or new charges.”

Members of the Probation Department have been meeting with city officials, in conjunction with the city’s Street Department, to improve the community service program for individuals who are approved for community service through Municipal Court, and to help those individuals complete their required hours “while giving back to the city and the surrounding townships.”

The Probation Department also is “committed to partnering with local counseling facilities to ensure the success and rehabilitation of each individual who is placed on probation with the East Liverpool Municipal Court,” the release reads.

For many years, the department has been working with the Columbiana County Counseling Center, Family Recovery Center, Family Care Ministries, Restoring Brokenness, and others “to provide knowledge, treatment, and support for offenders in areas such as employment, financial budgeting, removing negative peer associations, increasing family support, and re-enforcing positive attitudes and behavioral patterns.”

For more information on different services, job postings, community service locations, success stories, and other updates you can check us out on Facebook @ELMCProbation or East Liverpool Probation Department.