§ 256. Local probation departments. 1. Each county shall maintain or provide for a probation agency or agencies to perform probation services therein, including intake, investigation, pre-sentence reports, supervision, conciliation, social treatment and such other functions as are assigned to probation agencies pursuant to law.

2. The board of supervisors or county legislatures of a county may establish a county probation department in which there may be merged and consolidated the responsibility for carrying out the probation work for all matters under the jurisdiction of the family court, the superior courts and the local criminal courts in and for the county. In any county where the board of supervisors or county legislatures does not establish a probation department to perform all probation work in the county, as hereinabove provided, separate probation departments to carry out the probation work for matters under the jurisdiction of particular courts may be established and there may be merged and consolidated therein the probation work for matters under the jurisdiction of two or more courts. Any probation department that does not perform all probation work in the county shall be known as the probation department for the court or courts it is to serve.

3. Two or more counties may by agreement between the local governing bodies thereof provide for the establishment, operation and maintenance of a joint county probation department. Any probation department so established shall have charge of all probation work in and for all the courts in said counties. If any such county or court therein included in the agreement shall already have a probation service, such agreement shall provide that all officers and employees in such service shall retain their civil service status and be transferred to the joint county probation service without further examination or qualification, provided however that, subject to the civil service law, such agreement may provide for the abolition of existing unnecessary offices or positions and the transfer of officers and employees to comparable positions. Any such agreement shall provide for the proportionate cost, including but not limited to salaries and employer’s retirement contributions, of such joint county probation service to be borne by each county and may provide that the treasurer of one county participating in such agreement shall be the custodian of the moneys made available for expenditure for the purposes of such joint county probation service and that such treasurer may make payments from such moneys for such purposes upon audit of the appropriate auditing officer or body of such county. Such agreement may provide for such other matters as are necessary and proper to effectuate the purposes of this subdivision.

4. A probation department established pursuant to this section shall consist of a director of probation and such deputies, supervisors, probation officers and other employees as may be appointed pursuant to the provisions of this section and the provisions of section two hundred fifty-seven of this chapter.

5. The director of each probation department, other than a joint county department, shall be appointed by the chief executive officer of the county. The director of a joint county probation department shall be appointed by agreement between the chief executive officers of the counties participating in such agreement or a majority of them and in the event of a deadlock the director of the office of probation and correctional alternatives shall participate in the making of the decision. Where a county has no chief executive officer, the appointment of, or agreement to appoint, the director shall be made by the chairman of the board of supervisors or county legislatures. The director of a probation department shall have the power to appoint all deputies, supervisors, probation officers and other employees in such department