Chief juvenile probation officer retires

Published 4:30 pm Friday, November 9, 2012

M.L. “Red” Turnipseed is retiring from his professional role as chief juvenile probation officer on Nov. 30.

Turnipseed became a juvenile probation officer in Chilton County in February 1975. He was hired by Judge Robert Bowers and has worked for four different district judges. Although the judges have changed, the Juvenile Probation Office has remained the same. Turnipseed has supervised four different probation officers and supervised hundreds of kids and their parents.

While working as a juvenile probation officer, Turnipseed realized the need for a Department of Youth Services diversion program. Through his dedication, along with former District Judge Bill Speaks, the City Program became a reality. Although the program is now known as SPAN and has seen many changes over the years, it remains a viable resource for Chilton County. It is an excellent dropout prevention program for students and is highly regarded by the courts and the community. The program has enabled about 252 children to obtain their GED and has served more than 1,000 students and their families.

Turnipseed recently obtained funding to pay for an anger management program to assist children and their families in Chilton County. Hopefully, this resource will prevent juveniles from becoming delinquent and help them become more successful in school and later help them become productive members of society.

Turnipseed is legendary in the schools of Chilton County and across Alabama. He is known for his dedication to the children of this county and believes “there are no bad kids.”

In order to recognize and honor Turnipseed’s achievements as well as thank him for his dedication to the children and families of Chilton County, the Juvenile Court of Chilton County will hold a reception in Turnipseed’s honor on Nov. 15 from 2-4 p.m. in Courtroom No. 1 of the Chilton County Courthouse. Everyone is invited to attend and Turnipseed has requested no gifts. However, if anyone feels compelled to do so, he asks that you make a contribution to the Chilton County Department of Human Resources Foster Care.