Sheriff’s deputies perform the primary missions of process service, court security, and prisoner transport and custody. All Sheriff’s Deputies are required by Pennsylvania Law to complete training under Pennsylvania Legislation, Titled Act 2, which was passed into law in 1984. This law was passed so that all deputies would receive standardized training and education in the professional and lawful execution of their duties as law enforcement officials. When the first training school started, in 1985, the law required that all deputy candidates receive 160 hours of training.
This training and schooling required that deputies learn the history of the sheriff, process service, court security, prisoner transportation and custody, along with firearms qualification and safety, first aid and self-defense.
As a result of efforts on the part of the Pennsylvania Sheriffs’ Association, the school has been expanded from the originally mandated 160 hours of training to a total of 760 hours.
The original Deputy Training Program was taught at the Dickinson School of Law in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. The Academy has since moved to Pennsylvania State University at State College, Pennsylvania.
This schooling and training has been recognized by the State Supreme Court and the Pennsylvania State Attorney General’s Office as comparable to the Municipal Police Officers Education and Training Act (120).
In addition to the initial required schooling, certified deputies are required, semiannually, to complete 20 hours of continuing education on various subjects in order to maintain their state certification.
When vacancies occur in the Erie County Sheriff’s Office, potential candidates are required to take a general aptitude test and a physical agility test.
Candidates who pass the tests are interviewed, and from there the list of eligible candidates are selected to fill vacant positions.
Deputies are continually taking classes to enhance their profession in all facets of law enforcement and will continue to do so throughout their careers.