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PA Bulletin, Doc. No. 03-86


Title 37--LAW


[37 PA. CODE CH. 421]

Deputy Sheriffs' Education and Training Board

[33 Pa.B. 353]

   The Deputy Sheriffs' Education and Training Board (Board), an advisory board within the Commission on Crime and Delinquency (Commission), amends Chapter 421 (relating to Deputy Sheriffs' Education and Training Board) to read as set forth in Annex A.

A.  Effective Date

   The final-form rulemaking will be effective upon publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.

B.  Statutory Authority

   The final-form rulemaking is authorized under the Deputy Sheriffs' Education and Training Act (act) (71 P. S. §§ 2101--2109). Section 4(10) of the act (71 P. S. § 2104(10)) empowers the Board, with the review and approval of the Commission, to ''make rules and regulations and perform other duties as may be reasonably necessary or appropriate to administer the education and training program for deputy sheriffs.''

C.  Background and Purpose

   Legislation enacted in 1984 established the Board as an advisory board to the Commission. See section 3(a) of the act (71 P. S. § 2103(a)). Among other things, the act mandates that a deputy sheriff be certified by the Board as having met all of the act's requirements to receive compensation for performing duties as a deputy sheriff. See section 7(c) of the act (71 P. S. § 2107(c)). The act originally directed the Board to set up a training program consisting of a total of 160 hours, to be determined by regulation. However, in 1998, the act was amended to direct the Board to set up a program of ''not less than 160 hours, which content and hours of instruction shall be determined by the board subject to the review and approval of the commission.'' See section 5 of the act (71 P. S. § 2105). On July 8, 2000, the Board as an interim step published a statement of policy at 30 Pa.B. 3472 (July 8, 2000) that set the number of hours of basic training at 560 hours. With this rulemaking, the Board is setting the number of hours at no more than 760 hours, an expansion that will allow for the inclusion of additional topics to the basic training curriculum, including motor vehicle code and enforcement.

D.  Summary of Comments and Responses on Proposed Rulemaking

   Notice of proposed rulemaking was published at 31 Pa.B. 788 (February 10, 2001). Publication was followed by a 30-day public comment period during which the Board received comments from the Independent Regulatory Review Commission (IRRC) and three public commentators: the Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors (PSATS); Thomas Speers, Esquire, Solicitor for the Montgomery County Sheriff; and the Sheriffs' Association of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (Sheriffs' Association).

General Comments

   The Sheriffs' Association submitted a comment in full support of the proposed rulemaking.

   Comments from the PSATS and the Montgomery County Sheriff both challenged the statutory authority of the Board to promulgate a rulemaking of this scope. The PSATS noted that the Board was attempting to expand the authority of deputy sheriffs by regulation instead of legislation. According to the PSATS, this training could result in deputy sheriffs acting as municipal police officers without specific statutory authority to do so. Notwithstanding these comments, the Board is confident that section 4(10) of the act provides suitable statutory authority to expand the basic training curriculum to include the listed topics. The Board also notes that the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania has held that a deputy sheriff who has received training equivalent to that of a municipal police officer with respect to the motor vehicle code may make a valid arrest for a vehicle code charge. Commonwealth v. Kline, 741 A2d 1281 (Pa. 1999).

   The Montgomery County Sheriff commented that the expanded training as proposed by the Board would burden counties financially because it would require new deputy sheriffs from all counties to undergo the expanded training, even those from counties that do not intend to use deputy sheriffs for vehicle patrol duties. The commentator suggested that the expanded training be made optional at the choice of the individual county or sheriff, rather than mandatory as proposed by the Board.

   The Board acknowledges the added cost factors that would result from expanded basic training. However, it notes that the training itself and most related expenses are being paid completely by the Board. Moreover, section 9 of the act (71 P. S. § 2109) requires the Commission to reimburse counties for the regular salary of deputy sheriffs in training at a 50% rate. Finally, due to other training certifications held, a large percentage of new deputies seeking Board certification are able to obtain required training through the abbreviated waiver course rather than the full basic training course. However, in response to the concerns raised, the Board asked the Commission to undertake a feasibility study regarding whether projected revenues from surcharges assessed under section 8 of the act (71 P. S. § 2108) could accommodate an increase of the 50% salary reimbursement rate. That study culminated in action taken by the Commission at its September 2001 meeting to endorse legislative action to raise the reimbursement rate to 100%.

   In response to these comments, the Board reexamined its position on the issue of mandatory versus optional training. Among other things, the Board conducted a meeting on July 10, 2001, with the associations that had submitted comments on the proposed rulemaking. With its approval of this final-form rulemaking, the Board signals its continuing commitment to the concept of uniform training for all new deputies. A uniform standard of training will generate a cadre of professionals who, having undergone the expanded training, will share the same set of enhanced skills. These enhanced skills will provide each deputy with increased employment opportunities, allowing a deputy to move to a county that uses deputies for vehicle patrol even if the current employer does not do so.

   The Montgomery County Sheriff also noted concern about the Board's practices regarding newly-hired deputies who were eligible for a partial waiver of basic training based on previous completion of a municipal public officers training program. At the time that the proposed rulemaking was published, the Board was requiring candidates for partial waiver to pass a Board waiver test to be able to forego full basic training and take an abbreviated waiver course instead. The commentator pointed out that the additional 200 hours training would be a particular burden for counties whose deputies did not pass the Board's waiver test and, consequently, would be required to take a 760 hour course instead of a waiver course of approximately 100 hours. The sheriff's concerns are no longer pertinent, however, because subsequent to the publication of the proposed rulemaking the Board eliminated the test requirement as a condition for entry into the waiver course.

Specific comments of IRRC

   The Board received several comments from IRRC. The Board will address IRRC's comments in the order in which the regulatory sections appear.

§ 421.1.  Definitions

   In the proposed definition of ''continuing education,'' IRRC considered the term ''periodically'' too vague to describe the frequency of required training, and suggested it be replaced with ''2-years.'' The Board sees merit in this suggestion. However, rather than specifying the time frame, the Board has chosen to redraft the definition by making reference to the applicable statutory cite. The same approach is being taken with the definition of ''basic training.'' The proposed definitions of ''school'' and ''waiver'' are being deleted for stylistic purposes and, in the case of ''school,'' a substantive provision is added to § 421.31(c) (relating to reimbursement to counties) that accomplishes the purpose the Board had intended by the definition in the proposed rulemaking.

§ 421.3.  Training required.

Subsection (a)

   The Board had increased the basic training requirement from its original 160 hours to its current level of 560 hours by publishing a statement of policy at 30 Pa.B. 3472. In the preamble for the proposed rulemaking, the Board set forth its plan to add an additional 200 hours of law enforcement-related topics, for a total of 760 hours, but did not specify the number of hours in the proposed Annex A. The Board's intention had been to publish an updated statement of policy setting forth the new total at 760 hours. IRRC suggested that the Board reconsider and specify the number of hours in the final-form rulemaking. (The PSATS also referenced the hours' issue in its comment.) IRRC stated that use of a statement of policy might subject the 760-hour program to legal challenge, whereas use of a regulation would set a binding norm with the full force and effect of law. In response to these comments, the Board adds language to this subsection setting the course of study at ''no more than 760 hours.'' This terminology will signify that the Board has no intention to further expand the hours of basic training, and will allow downward adjustment of the total number of hours if necessary. Enactment of this final-form rulemaking will result in the deletion of § 421.102 (relating to basic training).

Subsection (b)

   Using the same rationale as in subsection (a), IRRC suggested that the Board include a specific number of hours in the final-form rulemaking with respect to required continuing education. The 1998 amendment to the act allowed the Board to set the number of hours at ''not less than 20 hours.'' Although the Board sees merit in using a more specific hourly reference than that contained in the proposed rulemaking, it is reluctant to be more specific than the phrase used in the 1998 amendment. Accordingly, the Board is deleting the term ''as required by the act and by this chapter in the amount of hours established by the Board'' and adding the phrase ''of not less than 20 hours every 2 years.'' Enactment of this final-form rulemaking will result in the deletion of § 421.104 (relating to continuing education).

Subsection (c)

   The Board did not specify in the proposed rulemaking the minimum scores that must be attained on tests to complete training courses. IRRC suggested that it do so. However, this specificity would prevent the Board from making adjustments as needed to what constitutes a passing grade. Furthermore, the training incorporates certain tests from outside entities, the passing scores for which are beyond the Board's control. The test for the module on cardio-pulmonary resuscitation is one example. Because the outside entities might change the passing scores for these tests without consulting the Board, a regulation setting forth a specific passing score would be problematical. Finally, the existing regulation contains no reference to a specific numerical score. For all of these reasons, the Board declines to implement IRRC's suggestion. However, the Board will notify trainees at the beginning of each course what constitutes a passing score, and has added language to the subsection to reflect this change.

§ 421.4.  Waiver of training.

Subsection (a)

   The Board adopts IRRC's suggestion that the phrase ''for cause shown'' is vague and could benefit from specific examples of what would constitute a reason for additional time to be granted for a newly hired deputy sheriff to fulfill the basic training requirements of the act. Moreover, the Board accepts IRRC's suggestion to insert a maximum time period for a time extension.

Subsection (b)

   IRRC suggested that the Board be specific about the criteria to be used to make a determination whether prior training and experience warrants a candidate to forego full basic training. Accordingly, the Board sets forth in the final-form rulemaking criteria relating to the waiver program. Also, the Board adds language regarding the number of hours of waiver training. Similar to language added to § 421.3(c), the Board sets forth a mechanism to notify the waiver trainee in advance of what constitutes a passing score on a test. Enactment of this final-form rulemaking will result in deletion of § 421.103 (relating to waiver of basic training).

§ 421.5.  Code of conduct.

   The Board received no comments about this new section. However, the Board sees a need to amend this section to set forth that it will make the attendance and conduct rules available to trainees prior to the start of the course. Enactment of this final-form rulemaking will result in deletion of § 421.102 (relating to basic training).

§ 421.12.  Continuing education.

   IRRC commented that the Board's proposal to determine the topics of continuing education ''periodically'' is vague. The Board agrees with this comment and has replaced that term with the phrase ''every 2 years.'' IRRC also suggested that the Board provide additional explanation in this preamble about the development and availability of continuing education. Accordingly, the Board notes that it has implemented the requirements of the act by requiring deputy sheriffs every 2 years to complete a standard curriculum of courses of ''not less than 20 hours'' in schools that contract with the Commission to provide uniform training. Course content is reviewed every 2 years and, if necessary, adjusted to reflect changing needs and emerging issues. IRRC also suggested that the rulemaking would benefit from more specificity as to where deputy sheriffs may obtain information on adjustments to continuing education curriculum. Accordingly, the Board has included language in this section stating that, at least 14 days prior to the initial class in the current cycle of continuing education, the Board will make available to the public the list of topics to be taught in the course.

§ 421.31.  Reimbursement to counties.

Subsection (a)

   The Board has made a style change.

Subsection (c)

   IRRC suggested that the Board reword the cross-reference to the definition of ''school.'' Instead, the Board deletes the definition and adds substantive language to this subsection to make clear that the Board will provide reimbursement only for attendance at schools authorized by the Board.

Subsection (d)

   IRRC suggested a language change to improve clarity. The Board has adopted IRRC's suggestion.

Subsection (f)

   The Board has adopted IRRC's suggestion that it specify a time period for notifying the county about a reimbursement request that does not meet the necessary requirements. The Board also adopts the suggestion to specify the mode of delivery of the notice.

E.  Affected Persons

   Those directly affected by the final-form rulemaking will be the newly-hired deputy sheriffs who are required to undergo mandated training. As of August 2002, the Board had initially certified a total of 3,288 deputies as having completed either basic training or waiver training during the Board's 18 year existence. During the calendar year 2001, the Board trained a total of 275 new deputies. Also affected will be the sheriffs' offices and county governments in each of the 67 counties, which send new deputies to Board training and which, under section 9 of the act, are responsible for half of the regular salary of the applicable participants during the training.

F.  Compliance with Executive Order 1996-1, ''Regulatory Review and Promulgation''

   The Board reviewed this final-form rulemaking and considered its purpose and likely impact upon the public and the regulated population under the directives of Executive Order 1996-1. The final-form rulemaking addresses a compelling public interest as described in this Preamble and otherwise complies with Executive Order 1996-1.

G.  Fiscal Impact and Paperwork Requirements

   The final-form rulemaking will impose no additional paperwork requirements upon the Commonwealth, political subdivisions or the private sector. The final-form rulemaking would have some fiscal impact on the Commonwealth and its political subdivisions. It will increase training costs borne by the Commission. Moreover, it will increase the number of hours that new deputies who take full basic training will spend in that course. Although section 9 of the act requires the Commission to reimburse each county for all of the living and travel expenses incurred by deputies at training, it requires Commission reimbursement of 50% of the deputies' regular salaries while attending school. It is anticipated that some counties will need to incur additional overtime expenses to cover for deputies away at training during the additional 200 hours. However, all of these fiscal impacts will be lessened by the fact that a large proportion of the new deputies certified each year by the Board obtain required training through the abbreviated waiver course. In 2001, 136 deputies graduated from the full 560 hour basic training course and 138 graduated from the waiver course, which is less than 100 hours in duration.

H.  Sunset Date

   The Board continually monitors the effectiveness of its regulations through communications with the regulated population. Therefore, no sunset date has been set.

I.  Regulatory Review

   Under section 5(a) of the Regulatory Review Act (71 P. S. § 745.5(a)), on February 13, 2001, the Board submitted a copy of the notice of proposed rulemaking, published at 31 Pa.B. 788, to IRRC and to the Chairpersons of the House Judiciary and the Senate Local Government Committees for review and comment.

   Under section 5(c) of the Regulatory Review Act, IRRC and the Committees were provided with copies of the comments received during the public comment period, as well as other documents when requested. In preparing this final-form rulemaking, the Board has considered the comments received from IRRC, the Committees and the public.

   Under section 5.1(d) of the Regulatory Review Act (71 P. S. § 745.5a(d)), on November 27, 2002, this final-form rulemaking was deemed approved by the House and Senate Committees. Under section 5.1(e) of the Regulatory Review Act, IRRC met on December 12, 2002, and approved the final-form rulemaking.

J.  Contact Person

   Further information may be obtained by contacting Gerard M. Mackarevich, Chief Counsel, PCCD, P. O. Box 1167, Harrisburg, PA 17108-1167, (717) 705-0888 X 3034, fax (717) 214-9585,

K.  Findings

   The Board finds that:

   (1)  Public notice of proposed rulemaking was given under sections 201 and 202 of the act of July 31, 1968 (P. L. 769, No. 240) (45 P. S. §§ 1201 and 1202) and the regulations thereunder, 1 Pa. Code §§ 7.1 and 7.2.

   (2)  A public comment period was provided as required by law and all comments were considered.

   (3)  This final-form rulemaking does not enlarge the purpose of the proposed rulemaking published at 31 Pa.B. 788.

   (4)  This final-form rulemaking is necessary and appropriate for administration of the Board's authorizing statute.

L.  Order

   The Board, acting under its authorizing statute, and with the approval of the Commission, orders that:

   (1)  The regulations of the Board, 37 Pa. Code Chapter 421, are amended by amending §§ 421.1, 421.3, 421.4, 421.11, 421.31 and 421.32; by adding §§ 421.5 and 421.12; and by deleting §§ 421.101--421.104 to read as set forth in Annex A.

   (2)  The Board shall submit this order and Annex A to the Office of General Counsel and to the Office of the Attorney General as required by law.

   (3)  The Board will certify this order and Annex A and deposit them with the Legislative Reference Bureau as required by law.

   (4)  This order shall take effect upon publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.

THOMAS W. CORBETT, Jr., Esq.,   
Commission on Crime and Delinquency

Deputy Sheriffs' Education and Training Board

   (Editor's Note: For the text of the order of the Independent Regulatory Review Commission, relating to this document, see 32 Pa.B. 6428 (December 28, 2002).)

   Fiscal Note: 35-28. (1) General Fund; (2) Implementing Year 2001-02 is $0; (3) 1st Succeeding Year 2002-03 is $702,199; 2nd Succeeding Year 2003-04 is $716,243; 3rd Succeeding Year 2004-05 is $730,568; 4th Succeeding Year 2005-06 is $745,179; 5th Succeeding Year 2006-07 is $760,083; (4) Fiscal Year 2001-02 $2,733,535; Fiscal Year 2000-01 $1,035,204; Fiscal Year 1999-00 $1,176,836; (7) Deputy Sheriffs' Education and Training Account; (8) recommends adoption.

Annex A





§ 421.1.  Definitions.

   The following words and terms, when used in this chapter, have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

   Act--The Deputy Sheriffs' Education and Training Act (71 P. S. §§ 2101--2109).

   Basic training--A course of training administered by the Deputy Sheriffs' Education and Training Board under section 5 of the act (71 P. S. § 2105).

   Board--The Deputy Sheriffs' Education and Training Board.

   Continuing education--A course of training administered by the Board under section 6 of the act (71 P. S. § 2106).

   Deputy sheriff--A person, whether full-time or part-time, who is titled, sworn-in or authorized to act as a deputy sheriff or who performs the duties of a deputy sheriff.

§ 421.3.  Training required.

   (a)  A newly-hired deputy sheriff is required to undergo basic training of not more than 760 hours.

   (b)  A deputy sheriff holding Board certification is required to undergo continuing education of at least 20 hours every 2 years.

   (c)  To successfully complete basic training or continuing education, a deputy sheriff shall attain at least a minimum score established by the Board on each written test and shall demonstrate proficiency in all practical skills. Prior to the commencement of instruction for which a test will be administered, the Board will notify the deputy sheriff of the minimum score required.

§ 421.4.  Waiver of training.

   (a)  The Board upon request and for cause shown may extend the time up to 1 year for a newly-hired deputy sheriff to fulfill the basic training requirements of the act. Examples of good cause are:

   (1)  A medical problem.

   (2)  A family crisis or obligation.

   (3)  A conflict with other employment.

   (b)  The Board upon request may grant a deputy sheriff a reduction in the hours of basic training generally required. The determination will be based upon the Board's evaluation of the prior education, training or experience of the deputy sheriff under the following criteria:

   (1)  The Board will grant a full waiver of basic training upon application by a deputy sheriff who has served a full, 4-year term as sheriff within this Commonwealth.

   (2)  A deputy sheriff in one or more of the following categories may apply for a partial waiver of basic training:

   (i)  Trained by the State Police and previously employed as a member of the State Police.

   (ii)  Certified as a municipal police officer in this Commonwealth.

   (iii)  Graduated from a course of basic training approved by the Municipal Police Officers' Education and Training Commission.

   (3)  The Board will grant a partial waiver of basic training to a deputy sheriff in one or more of the categories in paragraph (2) who holds current certifications in basic first aid or its equivalent, adult/child/infant cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and police firearms range qualification.

   (4)  A deputy sheriff who has been granted a partial waiver of basic training shall be required to attend a waiver course of not more than 100 hours administered by the Board, attain at least a minimum score established by the Board on each written test and demonstrate proficiency in all practical skills. Prior to the commencement of instruction for which a test will be administered, the Board will notify the deputy sheriff of the minimum score required.

§ 421.5.  Code of conduct.

   (a)  The Board or school may establish reasonable rules governing attendance and conduct expected of a deputy sheriff who is attending training required under the act. The Board will provide each deputy sheriff with a copy of any rules of attendance and conduct no later than 14 days prior to the start of instruction.

   (b)  Violations of attendance policy or departures from the expected standards of conduct may result in the Board's imposition of disciplinary sanctions, which may include expulsion from the training or denying or withdrawing certification.


§ 421.11.  Basic training.

   The Board will determine the curriculum for basic training, which will include at least the following topics:

   (1)  Civil law and procedure.

   (2)  Communications.

   (3)  Control and defensive tactics.

   (4)  Courtroom security.

   (5)  Crimes Code and criminal procedure.

   (6)  Criminal investigation.

   (7)  Criminal justice system and law enforcement.

   (8)  Crisis intervention.

   (9)  Cultural diversity and ethnic intimidation.

   (10)  Emergency management.

   (11)  Emergency vehicle operation.

   (12)  Ethics and professional development.

   (13)  Families in crisis and domestic violence.

   (14)  Firearms.

   (15)  First aid and cardio-pulmonary resuscitation.

   (16)  Motor vehicle code and enforcement.

   (17)  Patrol procedures and operations.

   (18)  Physical conditioning.

   (19)  Physical and judicial security.

   (20)  Prisoner transportation.

   (21)  Related social sciences.

   (22)  Related legal issues.

   (23)  Special needs groups.

   (24)  Unified court system.

§ 421.12.  Continuing education.

   Continuing education will consist of topics to be determined every 2 years by the Board. The Board will make available to the public the list of course topics no later than 14 days prior to the commencement of course instruction.


§ 421.31.  Reimbursement to counties.

   (a)  A county shall initially pay the deputy sheriff's ordinary and necessary living and travel expenses in connection with training, except for those items that the Board provides directly to a deputy sheriff.

   (b)  Upon application by a county, the Commission will provide reimbursement as set forth in section 9 of the act (71 P. S. § 2109) for items paid by the county.

   (c)  The Commission will provide reimbursement only in connection with a deputy sheriff's attendance at a school authorized by the Board to provide basic training or continuing education.

   (d)  The county may apply to the Commission for reimbursement, on a form to be supplied by the Commission, at the conclusion of the required training for each deputy sheriff who has attended basic training or continuing education.

   (e)  Reimbursement will be limited to the following:

   (1)  Tuition. Tuition will be provided by the Board.

   (2)  Living expenses. Allowable subsistence and lodging shall be provided for a deputy sheriff who is not commuting to and from school. A deputy sheriff who is commuting will be allowed reimbursement only for lunch.

   (3)  Travel expenses. A commuter is entitled to claim mileage costs for each day the commuter is required to attend the approved training course. The mileage allowance, whether commuter or noncommuter, will only be allowed to the training school from the deputy sheriff's place of employment.

   (4)  Determination of expenses. The determination of ordinary and necessary living and travel expenses will be governed by 4 Pa. Code Chapter 40 (relating to travel and subsistence).

   (f)  If the Commission determines that the application and request for reimbursement do not meet the requirements of the act and this chapter, the Commission's Executive Director or a designee will send written notification within 10 business days to the county by regular mail and, if feasible, electronic mail. The notification will set forth the reasons upon which the adverse determination is based.

§ 421.32.  Restrictions on reimbursement.

   (a)  If a deputy sheriff has successfully completed the certified basic training course and if reimbursement for the deputy is claimed by or paid to a county, the deputy may not again be claimed for reimbursement for repetition of the basic training course regardless of reemployment by another county.

   (b)  If a deputy sheriff does not successfully complete the certified basic training course and if reimbursement for the deputy is claimed by or paid to a county, the county is not eligible for further reimbursement on behalf of the deputy in the event that the deputy subsequently attends another basic training course.

   (c)  A county will be reimbursed once, for each deputy sheriff attending a certified continuing education course within a 2-year period.

§§ 421.101--421.104.  (Reserved).

[Pa.B. Doc. No. 03-86. Filed for public inspection January 17, 2003, 9:00 a.m.]

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