Submitted by Mike Goldsby
A photo of Damiano when he was a young probation officer, in 1988.
Bill Damiano, one of Humboldt County’s longest-serving public servants, has announced he will retire in April of next year. The county's chief probation officer, Damiano first began working in the department Oct. 1, 1988.
“I’ve spent more than half my life here,” Damiano told the Journal
in a phone interview. “It’s time for a new leader to come in and see what they can do for the department.”
Damiano, who saw the probation department through the challenges of juvenile and adult realignment, led the office to renewed state incentive funding after meeting goals related to probationer progress, and has been a consistent voice in favor of improved substance abuse treatment and mental health resources. Damiano graduated with a psychology degree from San Diego State and worked in mental health befor beginning his current career. For a long-read about the impact of realignment and Damiano’s thoughts on rehabilitation, here’s a link
to a 2012 cover story on the subject.
Damiano says he tends to “focus on the positive” and that he’s excited abo
Damiano in more recent times.
ut the next chapter in his life, which will include volunteer work, possibly with the incarcerated.
“I’ve always had a personal commitment to helping people try and change their lives,” Damiano said. “I’m really happy for this career. This agency has been a really forward-
thinking department. It’s not afraid to try new and innovative practices.”
He added that, after 30 years, the department has been “like his family.”
“It’s kind of a curiosity to me, what that looks like on the other side of being here,” he said.