Former employee: Kern County probation officers overstepping their authority

A woman contacted 23ABC after she was allegedly pulled over by a Kern County probation officer.

"The officer followed me for several miles before using his forward facing lights, indicating an emergency stop," said Nadine Escalante.

Escalante, who said she used to work for the department, said probation officers don't have the authority to pull people over.

Escalante said she filed a verbal and written complaint with the department.

David M. Kuge, Chief Probation Officer, met with 23ABC and disclosed as much as he could about the incident.

Kuge said there was an investigation based on the complaint, but the allegations were not sustained. He said they take these allegations seriously, but were unfounded and no action was taken.

"I'm upset because they are denying that this happened but yet you are going to retrain your whole armed unit. If there was no merit to my complaint, why would you shut them down," said Escalante.

The probation department did say officers were recently pulled off the streets for retraining, but the retraining had to do with AB 109 and nothing to do with the complaint.

A source close to the department spoke to 23ABC about the alleged incident. The unidentified individual did not want their name to be mentioned for fear of retaliation, but did say probation officers have overstepped their authority at times in their job description, especially when it comes to using their forward facing lights to intimidate the public.

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