PSU Only Venue for Deputy Sheriff Training in PA
The only place in the whole Commonwealth of Pennsylvania where deputy sheriffs can be certified is in University Park, at the Penn State Justice and Safety Institute (JASI). Three times each year, the 760-hour Deputy Sheriff Academy program takes place. Spread out over 19 weeks per session, it consists of the in-depth, unique training that such a job demands.
The Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency and the Deputy Sheriff’s Education and Training Board oversee the program, but the actual training is provided by Penn State JASI. The program began at Penn State in 2000 after a mandate from the Pennsylvania Supreme Court expanded the duties of deputy sheriffs.
JASI’s deputy sheriff training involves instruction across multiple law enforcement fields, ranging from lawyers and judges to State Police and parole officers. The program includes everything a police academy would offer, like firearms training and first aid, plus a few more unconventional activities, like yoga. The institute prides itself on providing more practical, hands-on learning techniques, “instead of just a PowerPoint and a lecture,” explains Dan Miltenberger, JASI Law Enforcement Training Specialist.
All county sheriffs’ offices must send their deputies who have not completed sufficient police training to Penn State for the JASI program. The institute and the Deputy Sheriff Academy continue to expand; soon they will be able to offer college credit for training, making a degree more accessible. Regardless, the training is of such a high quality that only Penn State’s program has been deemed sufficient for deputies statewide.
For a closer look at the Deputy Sheriff Academy program, check out this video by Penn State Outreach: