Every year POPAI provides a scholarship in memory of probation officer Donald “Charley” Knepple. Charley lost his life on April 28, 1997, while performing his probation officer duties in Allen County, Indiana. In an effort to honor an outstanding professional and to promote further professionalism, POPAI selected a scholarship that would encourage continued education and advanced degrees for probation officers in our state.
This year Patrick Hillenburg from Greene County was selected as the recipient. Patrick has been a probation officer and a member of POPAI for ten years. Patrick is pursuing a Master of Science in Criminal Justice at Bowling Green State University and is maintaining a 4.0 GPA.
Judge Erik “Chip” Allen of the Greene County Circuit Court stated “Throughout his employment with the Greene County Probation Department Patrick has displayed the integrity, discipline, and good character that is demanded of probation officers. I have observed that Patrick is personable, diligent in his duties, uses common sense, is timely, and has solid work ethic.”
Judge Dena A. Martin of the Greene County Superior Court stated “He is always eager to assist the court in any area and I’m impressed with his willingness to go the extra mile while supervising his probationers. I have witnessed his dedication to his work and attention to detail. Patrick is a highly motivated individual who strives for excellence in all his endeavors.”
Patrick stated “I believe furthering my education will help me be more effective in my diverse role as a Probation Officer. Often, the role of community corrections is a thankless job with success stories few and far between. The rare success stories are such a powerful human experience to be a part of, that the failures are quickly forgotten. One motivation for continuing my education is to help facilitate more success stories.”