County’s probation leader leaves behind hard-to-top legacy

For 32 years, Scott Metzger has been serving as one of the “peace officers” – his term – of Lycoming County’s Adult Probation Office.

All of the jobs in the office are thankless.

They are also necessary.

And, when done right, the result for the community, while not noticeable to most, is beyond valuable.

The personnel are taking people who are there for negative reasons. They have done something wrong.

First as an agent and later as deputy probation chief, Metzger’s job revolved around two goals: Keeping people safe and helping individuals who had committed crimes turn their lives around.

There is nothing easy about the work required to achieve those two goals.

But Metzger – who retired recently – did it well enough to be one of eight probation officers in Pennsylvania chosen to assist in the development of the curriculum for parole officer training statewide.

“My No. 1 job was to serve the people,” Metzger said. “We’re peace officers and with that comes great responsibility.”

Fitting for these times, he quoted a prayer from the late President George H.W. Bush’s inaugural address: “There is just one use of power and it is to serve our people.”

How well did Scott Metzger take that message and run with it.

In the words of Ed McCoy, county adult probation officer chief, Metzger devised and executed programs that have assisted “several thousand participants in making positive changes in their individual lives.”

It’s hard to top a legacy of that volume and value to the community.