The failure of Governor Blanco`s proposed pay raise was a serious blow to many Louisiana state employees. However, it was particularly tough for one agency already battling a shortage: the Office of Probation and Parole. They keep tabs on some of the toughest criminals on the street. But, now, the Office of Probation and Parole is facing a tough challenge: how to hire qualified probation officers without a competitive salary to do so. In Caddo and Bossier, probation officers supervise nearly 5500 convicted felons, yet, there are only 36 officers on staff. District Administrator Louis Stacks says it all comes down to pay. The starting salary for Louisiana probation officers is $25,000; that`s more than $5,000 less than starting salary at local law enforcement agencies such as the Shreveport Police Department. Yet, probation officers undergo the same training as police officers. A pay raise for probation officers was lumped into Gov. Kathleen Blanco`s recent pay raise proposal for state employees during the state special session. However, that bill failed. Now, many officers are wondering whether that pay raise will ever come. A representative for Gov. Blanco tells KTAL she will re-introduce the bill during the regular session in spring 2007.