Penn State Intercom......March
Deputy sheriffs learn the
expanded training class at University Park
By Bill Campbell
Special to Intercom
a new sheriff in town. Actually, there are a lot of them. Deputy sheriffs
from Pennsylvania's 67 counties are undergoing intensive law enforcement
training on the University Parkcampus, provided by Penn State's Justice
and Safety Institute.
the duties of sheriff deputies in Pennsylvania were largely court-related
-- providing courtroom security, processing and serving court documents,
enforcing court orders and transporting criminals. Recent Pennsylvania
Supreme Court rulings have affirmed they have law enforcement powers,
but provided that they must complete training comparable to other Pennsylvania
law enforcement officers.
"In effect, the
court decisions increased basic training for deputies from four to 14
weeks," Donald Zettlemoyer, institute director, said. "The new training
program basically is a law enforcement academy. It covers a range of topics,
including civil law, criminal law, firearms, defense tactics, first aid,
physical training, crisis intervention and emergency vehicle operation."
that even though the deputy training is now 14 weeks in length, most of
those involved thus far have been pleased with it.
the opportunity to professionalize the status of Pennsylvania deputy sheriffs,"
institute associate director, coordinates the training program. He said
two groups have completed the training and a third class is under way.
Classes are limited to a maximum of 40 students, with four classes to
be offered annually. The institute also is providing four, three-week
waiver classes annually for deputies who have had previous law enforcement
experience and have passed a required exam.
undergo training Monday through Friday and are housed at the Ramada Inn
in State College, near the University Park campus. They have access to
Penn State Dining Services for meals. Classes are held in the HUB-Robeson
Center, while other activities are conducted at the IM Building, White
Building, the Pennsylvania Traffic Institute Test Track and the Pennsylvania
Game Commission's Scotia Range.
goal is that the increased training will professionalize the office and
improve the service and quality of the people who come into the profession,"
Stonis said. "We are providing blocks on which they can continue building
and practice what they learned. Our hope is they will discover different
ways of doing things, and, by doing so, become better deputy sheriffs."
a deputy in the Lebanon County Sheriff's Office, sees the training program
as a real challenge.
"It is challenging,
but I believe that's what we need in our lives," he said. "I consider
the training another important step in advancing my law enforcement career.
I want to achieve all I can in the profession so that I can do my job
to the best of my ability.
"It is very difficult
being away from home. I'm married and the weekends are not long enough.
But my wife is very understanding. She knows I'm here to accomplish something
that will make our lives better in the long run."
a deputy in the Berks County Sheriff's Office, observed her first wedding
anniversary while away from home.
"That was not
the easiest thing to do," she said. "But I'm learning a great deal that
will help me in terms of my career. The class is giving me a basic understanding
of every division of a sheriff's department. I'll be more confident knowing
that I've had training in a wide range of areas."
and Safety Institute has been awarded a $2 million contract to provide
the training from the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency
(PCCD). Funding comes from court fees managed by the PCCD.
the program would have a significant economic impact on the University
and the community. He estimated the annual impact to the University, including
salaries, facilities, dining services and transportation services, at
some $622,000 and to the community of more than $800,000.
has a 30-year history and a national reputation of providing management
and executive level police training programs.
"Being the sole
provider of basic training for sheriff's deputies in Pennsylvania is a
major undertaking for us," Zettlemoyer said. "It is a different step for
the institute. With the deputy program, we are now engaged in training
from the beginning to the executive level of an officer's career. This
fuller perspective will benefit both programs."
can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.