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Hundreds of probationers required to report to Salem office Wednesday

By David Kaplan, dkaplan@wdbj7.com
Published On: Jul 24 2013 06:00:00 PM EDT

Six-hundred probationers received letters asking them to report to the probation office Wednesday in Salem.

SALEM, Va. -

Hundreds of people on probation got a big surprise Wednesday.

600 people from the Roanoke Valley got a letter in the mail last week asking them to check in with their probation officer Wednesday. What they didn't know was that their cars would be searched.

The probation and parole office is near Lakeside Plaza in Salem. The people who came there Wednesday are on probation because they're deemed high-risk or are part of the state's random drug testing program.

A Department of Corrections spokeswoman in Richmond called Wednesday’s roundup a "Public Safety Operation”; one that districts across the state do from time to time. She also said that the Salem office has never done one before.

People parked and waited to go inside for drug screenings and warrant checks.

While that was happening many of their cars were sniffed by K-9 units and searched by officers.

We don't know exactly how many people were arrested.

Roanoke City, Roanoke County, the City of Salem, State Police and a few sheriffs’ offices assisted the Department of Corrections in the operation.

The more high risk people on probation are deemed determines how often they are required to check in. Some of them are required to check in multiple times a week, others have to check in once a month – or even less.
People on probation normally have to check in

What made Wednesday different is that everyone on probation had to come, and their cars were searched.