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Sheriffs and Deputy Sheriffs must complete a 19 week long (760 hours) academy to be certified as a Sheriff or Deputy Sheriff pursuant to Act 1984-2, otherwise known as "Act 2". The training is conducted by the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency's Sheriff and Deputy Sheriffs' Education and Training Board. The academy is held in State College, Pennsylvania on Penn State's Main Campus grounds. Each Sheriff and Deputy Sheriff is required to stay in State College (with the exceptions being weekends) throughout the academy. Each Sheriff and Deputy Sheriff must pass a rigorous physical training program along with written exams, first aid, firearms, and defensive tactics.

Many of our Deputies (as well as our Sheriff) are Act 2 certified with the exception being to those who are Act 120 certified. Act 120 is the training police officers must take in order to be certified as a police officer in Pennsylvania. Even though a potential Deputy Sheriff may be Act 120 certified, he or she must still pass a written waiver exam and attend the Sheriff and Deputy Sheriffs' Academy for a period of two weeks to be trained in other aspects of the jobs of Sheriffs and Deputy Sheriffs. Unlike Act 120, before being permitted to attend the Sheriff and Deputy Sheriffs' Academy, you must first be hired as a Deputy Sheriff with a Sheriff's Office or Department in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

In addition to the Academy, each Sheriff and Deputy Sheriff must take 20 hours of continuing education training every two years. The purpose of this training is to keep Sheriffs and their Deputies up to date with the latest changes in laws and procedures.

Training topics currently include:

  • Introduction to Criminal Justice
  • Unified Court System of Pennsylvania
  • Crimes Code and Criminal Procedure
  • Vehicle Code
  • Civil Law and Procedure
  • Motor Vehicle Collision Investigation
  • Hazardous Material
  • Principles of Criminal Investigations
  • Patrol Procedures and Operations
  • Other Legal Issues
  • Court Security
  • Prisoner Transport
  • First Aid/CPR
  • Crisis Intervention
  • Families in Crisis
  • Firearms
  • Defensive Tactics
  • Less Than Lethal Weapons
  • Emergency Vehicle Operations
  • Communications
  • Ethics and Professional Development
  • Technology and Law Enforcement
  • Physical Conditioning
  • Cultural Diversity
  • State and Local Anti-Terrorism Training
  • Special Needs Groups