Amend Title 18 Chapter 5 Sec 501 definitions “Peace officer”

If elected, I plan to amend Title 18 Chapter 5 Sec 501 definitions “Peace officer” to read,

Individuals or members of:

  1. Any person who by virtue of his office or public employment is vested by law with a duty to maintain public order or to make arrests for offenses,
  2. Pennsylvania state police.
  3. Any member of a municipal or local police department.
  4. Pennsylvania Capitol Police.
  5. Pennsylvania State Constable’s Office.
  6. Pennsylvania State Forest Rangers.
  7. Pennsylvania State Park Rangers.
  8. Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission Conservation Officers.
  9. Pennsylvania Game Commission Game Wardens.
  10. Any member of a College or University Police Department.
  11. Allegheny County Port Authority Police Department.
  12. SEPTA Transit Police Department.
  13. Any County Sheriff’s Department.
  14. The investigators of the department of attorney general.
  15. Any federal law enforcement officer.
  16. Correctional Investigators, Correctional Officers, Parole Enforcement and Parole Board Agents of the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections.
  17. The witness protection coordinator of the department of attorney general.
  18. Fire department arson investigators provided, that the arson investigator is a graduate of a police-training academy.
  19. Any member of any park police department of any county of the third class.
  20. Any person on active State duty pursuant to 51 Pa.C.S. § 508 (relating to active duty for emergency);

Any of the previously mentioned agencies whose officers were not required to obtain Act 120 Certification to be hired will have to complete the following courses (based on the Act 120 curriculum):

  • Laws and Procedures
  • Motor Vehicle Law/Enforcement/Accident Investigation
  • Motor Vehicle Collision Investigation
  • Patrol Procedures and Operations
  • Principles of Criminal Investigation
  • Crisis Management 
  • Families in Crisis
  • Basic Firearms
  • Operation of Patrol Vehicles
  • Report Writing
  • Case Presentation
  • First Aid and CPR
  • Handling Arrested Persons

For currently employed officers, these courses must be completed within four years to obtain their peace officer status and maintain employment (exemptions/extensions may be provided within Collective Bargaining Agreements). Once these courses are completed, the officer will be granted an Act 120 Certification. The Commonwealth will cover costs for the training of existing officers.

All new hires to the listed agencies above will have to complete Act 120 while in the academy to be hired. The Commonwealth will cover the cost of obtaining the Act 120 certification. 

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