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VALPARAISO | Twenty-nine years after being hired by the Porter County adult probation department, Stephen Meyer has been appointed chief of the office.

The county's six judges named Meyer as the new chief probation officer to replace Neil Hannon, who left abruptly in November after 40 years of service.

Meyer, who has served as interim chief for the past four months and as assistant chief since 1989, said Monday he has not yet chosen an assistant and has no plans for any major changes in the department.

The department recently initiated a statewide effort of creating a new risk assessment system, he said. Those on probation will be ranked as posing a high, medium or low risk, determining how much oversight is needed.

"Success is no more victims," Meyer said.

Meyer's assignments with the office have included development and supervision of the home detention program and development of the Project Pro sex offender treatment program. He has extensive experience in preparing reports used during criminal sentencings, according to Porter Circuit Court Judge Mary Harper.

Meyer will supervise a staff of 30, including 24 probation officers. The office oversees 1,500 felony and 3,000 misdemeanor offenders on probation.

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