News 12 11pm/ Sunday August 11, 2013
Augusta, GA (WRDW)--- CSRA Probation Services is just a couple of blocks away from where a deadly shooting took place last month, at a state probation office in Downtown Augusta.
"From what I know about what happened they did everything properly. They did it from the book; they had the numbers, they had the isolation," said Mike Popplewell.
Popplewell is a former state probation officer and now runs a private probation company. He says the training and procedures over at the state probation office helped minimize the tragedy, but the deadly shooting also sped up planned upgrades at his office.
"I call it a security door, but it's really just a barrier between the reception area and the rest of the general offices," he told News12.
Popplewell says before building a separating wall probationers could freely access back offices without being stopped. He says the door won't stop bullets, but will serve as a boundary--letting criminals know his office is in control and not them. The wall is the only upgrade, Popplewell is also installing cameras--all in the name of safety.
"We can observe what's going on. We can tell by body language if somebody maybe upset or impatient, or seem to have some type of problem. From the probation officers stand point it helps the officer be better prepared for the meeting with that person," he said.
Popplewell says safety at probation offices is important and everyone should care about it for one reason.
"The more effective that we can be in doing our job, I think the safer the citizens of a community should feel," he told News12.
The upgrades to the CSRA probation office will be complete by next week.