2010-09-09 / Letters

Seeks Support Of House Bill 2585

To The Editor:

Throughout history, sheriffs and deputy sheriffs have always had the common law authority to enforce the laws of this commonwealth, yet over the past 30 years, that authority has come into question time and time again.

We are seeking support of House Bill 2585, that would statutorily define the authority of more than 2,000 law enforcement offices across the commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Deputy sheriffs have taken an oath to protect and serve the same as any other law enforcement officer of this commonwealth. They know that at any time their life could be put on the line in that service.

Deputies are now unsure, though, if and when they can act in the event of criminal activity. Hesitation to act could result in a dangerous situation for not only citizens, but the deputies and other law enforcement offices.

Every day federal, state and local law enforcement call upon the sheriffs for assistance. While we are an arm of the court, our ability to protect the public is hindered due to the lack of statutory authority. In all counties except Allegheny, if there is an incident in the courthouse, which historically has been under the sheriff’s jurisdiction, the sheriff is now forced to call the local police to conduct an investigation.

House Bill 2585 will statutorily establish (not expand) the authority of more than 2,000 certified law enforcement officers. In the interest of public safety, we strongly urge you to contact your legislators to support this bill.

Please do not hesitate to contact your county Sheriff Keith B. Stains at 717-485- 4221 if you have any questions or concerns. We welcome the opportunity to speak with you.

Sheriff Keith Stains


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