Vincent Piro named new Chief Probation Officer by court

WOBURN - Long-time Woburn District Court Probation Officer Vincent Piro has been named the Chief Probation officer for the local court.

The court includes the communities of Burlington, Reading, Woburn, Winchester, Stoneham, North Reading and Wilmington.

Piro, the Assistant Chief Probation Officer at the Woburn Court, was named the Acting Chief Probation Officer on March 30, 2007, when Chief Probation Officer Charles Winchester, 79, stepped down after 41 years on the job. He became the Chief Probation Officer on February 12.

Piro is a native of Somerville and a long-time resident of Medford.

The naming of Piro comes as only the second person to hold the job since September 1966.

The announcement of Piro came through the office of the Massachusetts Trial Court, Office of the Commissioner of Probation. The final sign-off came from Chief Justice for Administration and Management, the Honorable Robert Mulligan.

Piro has been on the job for two weeks but is no stranger to the Probation Department, having worked in the local court and with local police in the Probation Department for 15 years.

The other approval necessary came from Commissioner John L. O'Brien.

Since taking over the Acting Chief Probation Officer's duties, Piro said, "I've had great support from all the staff all through my career as well as great support from Justice Phyllis Broker."

Counting Piro, there are 8 individuals in the Woburn District Court Probation Office. Piro, who is on Step #1 on the pay scale will go to Step #2 in April ($83,000) in a job that ranges from $76,000 to $103,400).

And, Piro only smiles when told the last change was in 1966. "I wasn't even born," he laughed!

A logical next step is to get an Assistant Probation Officer's slot filled and an effort to increase the Probation Officers by 2 or 3. Traditionally, 15 have been in the Probation Office in Woburn that now includes just 8 with an increase in case loads in recent years.

"I'm looking forward to serving the people in the communities where the Woburn District Court has jurisdiction," added Piro.

Piro is a graduate of Matignon High School in Cambridge and has a Bachelor's degree from the University of Lowell as well as a Masters Degree from Anna Maria College.

He's married with a young daughter.

In addition to the Probation Officer duties, he's been associated as a co-founder with Michael Higgins with the H.E.A.T. (Heroin Education Awareness Task Force) at the local court - a much-heralded awareness program that has gained East Coast and national attention. The program has been in effect for over two years and has included some major conferences at hotels and locales in the Woburn area.

"The transition has been nice," he reflects of his temporary appointment and permanent appointment. "What's happening seems to come with the territory."

In addition to his 15 years at the Woburn Court, he also served some three years with the sheriff's department prior to his coming to Woburn.

© 2000 Woburn Daily Times Inc.