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COMMENDEE 2013-14: Senior Probation Officer: for contributions to public protection, including in relation to terrorism and domestic extremism.
Jo Tierney has been recognised through a Butler Trust Commendation for her work as the Probation Counter Terrorism and Domestic Extremism lead for the South East. Based within SE Counter-Terrorism Unit (SECTU) staff, she works alongside specialist police teams, including Special Branch and the Security Services, and is at the heart of high-level meetings that share intelligence in planning for the release of very dangerous offenders.
Jo’s considerable skills in collaborative working have been central to her success in sharing intelligence and coordinating information between a number of agencies, including Police, Children’s Services, Forensic Mental Health Services and Local Authority Housing Departments. According to Andrea Saunders, Director of Public Protection, she has been able to ‘generate a real feeling of comradeship between probation and police colleagues to work together in a much more effective and mutually supportive environment.’
Information in respect of licence conditions must be thorough and specific relating to this dangerous group of offenders, and Jo has enhanced her own skills and those of her Probation colleagues through training and visits between Counter Terrorism and Probation teams.
Known for her commitment, energy and effective working relationship with Police colleagues, she is cited as the ‘model Probation Officer’ by Valerie Watkins, Director of Quality and Corporate Services, who says that ‘her knowledge of both procedure and the individuals within her care is second to none,’ adding that ‘probably more importantly, she demonstrates compassion for the victims, her staff and colleagues.’
Alongside these excellent working relationships, Jo has also not been afraid to speak up about issues that have caused her concern around risks to public protection, using her diplomatic skills to achieve constructive interventions and earning great respect from her team.
Sue Cart, Head of Safeguarding at West Sussex County Council spoke on behalf of many of Jo’s colleagues when she described her as ‘tenacious, utterly professional and passionate about protecting people.’