Released by Alameda County's Board of Supervisors
The Alameda County Board of Supervisors has appointed LaDonna Harris as Acting Chief Probation Officer effective March 19, 2012. Ms. Harris, a longtime employee of the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office who retired last year, will replace Acting Chief Dennis Handis. Mr. Handis assumed interim responsibility for the department for a short term based on his limited availability, and the Board extends its appreciation to him for his ongoing assistance and commitment to Alameda County.
Ms. Harris worked for the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office for 29 years and retired last year as a Division Commander. In 2003, she served as an assistant to Acting Alameda County Chief Probation Officer Wayne Tucker for several months during a prior change in departmental leadership. Mr. Handis will assist Ms. Harris with the interim leadership transition and be available to provide ongoing support.
The need for an Acting Chief Probation Officer arose out of the Board’s decision to place Chief Probation Officer David Muhammad on administrative leave in February. No new information is available regarding Chief Muhammad’s status.
Nate Miley, President of the Alameda County Board of Supervisors, announced Ms. Harris’ appointment in a memo to department employees this morning. In the memo, Miley states, “The Board of Supervisors understands that the last month has been a challenging time for the leadership and employees of the Probation Department.’’
Miley stated his appreciation to department employees for their active roles in helping Alameda County respond to the State’s public safety realignment program, which shifts more law enforcement responsibility to the counties.
In his memo, Miley concludes, “The Board of Supervisors is committed to the mission of the Probation Department and the dynamic changes necessary to implement new State-mandated programs. Acting Chief Harris is ready to assume the interim leadership role and ensure continuity and support for the initiatives now underway.’’