The Snyder County Sheriff is the chief law enforcement officer for the County of Snyder. He is the only elected law enforcement position and his term of office is for four years. The powers of the Sheriff date back quite far in history. While some historians maintain that the Office of Sheriff derives from either the Roman proconsul, or the Arab Sharif (nobleman), it is generally accepted that the Office goes back historically to Anglo-Saxon England, (A.D. 500-1066).
Sheriffs and Deputy Sheriffs must complete a 19 week long (760 hours) academy to be certified as a Sheriff or Deputy Sheriff pursuant to Act 1984-2, otherwise known as “Act 2”. The training is conducted by the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency’s Sheriff and Deputy Sheriffs’ Education and Training Board. The academy is held in State College, Pennsylvania on Penn State’s Main Campus grounds. Each Sheriff and Deputy Sheriff is required to stay in State College (with the exceptions being weekends) throughout the academy. Each Sheriff and Deputy Sheriff must pass a rigorous physical training program along with written exams, first aid, firearms, and defensive tactics.
Many of our Deputies (as well as our Sheriff) are Act 2 certified with the exception being to those who are Act 120 certified. Act 120 is the training police officers must take in order to be certified as a police officer in Pennsylvania. Even though a potential Deputy Sheriff may be Act 120 certified, he or she must still pass a written waiver exam and attend the Sheriff and Deputy Sheriffs’ Academy for a period of two weeks to be trained in other aspects of the jobs of Sheriffs and Deputy Sheriffs. Unlike Act 120, before being permitted to attend the Sheriff and Deputy Sheriffs’ Academy, you must first be hired as a Deputy Sheriff with a Sheriff’s Office or Department in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
In addition to the Academy, each Sheriff and Deputy Sheriff must take 20 hours of continuing education training every two years. The purpose of this training is to keep Sheriffs and their Deputies up to date with the latest changes in laws and procedures
Sheriff John Zechman is honored to announce that effective April 17, 2017 the Snyder County Sheriff’s Office’s first K-9 Unit has been placed into service. The newest deputy is a male German Shepherd named “Leo” that received his instruction and certification at Shallow Creek Kennels located in western Pennsylvania. Leo and his handler, Chief Deputy Lucas Bingman, have received intensive training in narcotics detection and human tracking.
The K-9 Unit has been funded through many generous donations from individuals, businesses, community organizations and school students. The K-9 Unit was formed because the Snyder County Sheriff’s Office wanted to take a proactive approach against the opioid epidemic in addition to expanding the Drug Take Back program and receiving Narcan training for overdose reversals at no additional cost to the taxpayers. Leo will be made available to law enforcement agencies in Snyder County and throughout the central Susquehanna Valley.
If you would like to donate to the K-9 Unit Fund, please send a check or money order to the “Snyder County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Unit Fund” at 9 West Market Street, PO Box 217, Middleburg, PA 17842. Cash donations will also be accepted, but in person only. A GoFundMe account has also been setup for people to make donations online via GoFundMe . Receipts for donations are available upon request. If you would like to know more about the K-9 Unit Fund or would like to speak to someone about making a donation, please contact Chief Deputy Lucas Bingman at 570-837-3311