Mike Coley served as interim chief of probation for approximately three months following the departure of former Chief of Probation Allison Giannini and was appointed chief of Siskiyou County Probation last week by the Siskiyou County Board of Supervisors.
Siskiyou County Probation officially has a new chief. Mike Coley served as interim chief of probation for approximately three months following the departure of former Chief of Probation Allison Giannini and was appointed chief of Siskiyou County Probation last week by the Siskiyou County Board of Supervisors. Prior to that appointment, Coley had served as deputy chief of Tehama County Probation.
Coley said he grew up east of Los Angeles and graduated from high school there but eventually settled in Tehama County because he thought it would be a good area to raise children. He shared that he has two biological children, one step child, and two adopted children, all of whom are now grown.
Coley put himself through the police academy at Butte College and graduated in the early 2000s. He noted that getting into law enforcement had been his aspiration since he was a kid.
He started his career with the patrol division of the Red Bluff Police Department and went on to work as a school resource officer and a detective. He began working for the Tehama County Probation Department in 2011 and eventually worked his way to the deputy chief position.
As youths who are in the Siskiyou County Probation system are often housed in Tehama County since Siskiyou County’s former juvenile hall has been repurposed, Coley had some contact with Siskiyou County Court staff prior to his appointment as chief of probation here.
Coley met Siskiyou County Public Defender Lael Kayfetz and Siskiyou County Judge Karen Dixon when they toured Tehama County’s juvenile facility to be sure it was fit for Siskiyou County’s purposes.
Asked if he knew why he was ultimately chosen for the chief role, Coley said he could only speculate, but was confident he was “a well-qualified candidate who possesses the skills necessary to manage the [probation] department.”
He posited that Siskiyou and Tehama are “comparable counties” and that their funding and clients are quite similar. Both counties’ budgets are relatively on the same scale, too, he said.
Coley is only in his second week as the permanent chief of probation for Siskiyou County but did note that he plans to work on “maintaining and improving employee relations and retention” in the probation department.
As chief, Coley said he sees his role as one that “provides support and guidance to staff, enabling them to effect change in our community.”
Coley related that he wasn’t planning to move to Siskiyou County when he accepted the interim chief position but found an appreciation for the local community and the community partnerships he developed while in the interim position.
He has since made the move and said, “Siskiyou County offers a way of life that’s meaningful to me, and the members of the [sheriff’s] department are a great team with amazing talent.”