Sheriffs fulfill lifelong dreams with graduation from Penn State academy

Penn State Justice and Safety Institute administers Pennsylvania's Sheriff and Deputy Sheriff Education and Training Program
Penn State JASI sheriff's academy graduation

Penn State JASI administers Pennsylvania’s Sheriff and Deputy Sheriff Education and Training Program.

Credit: Matt Caracappa

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Chelsea Anderson wanted to follow in her family’s footsteps. Darryl Hadley hoped to become a positive role model in his community. Both will be one step closer to fulfilling their dreams following graduation from Pennsylvania’s sheriff’s academy run by Penn State.

The Penn State Justice and Safety Institute (JASI) is the lone administrator for Pennsylvania’s Sheriff and Deputy Sheriff Education and Training Program, which all sheriffs and deputy sheriffs from Pennsylvania’s 67 counties must complete before beginning active duty. The academy graduated 29 deputies, who were recognized during a graduation ceremony on Friday, Nov. 16, at the University Park campus.

Hadley, 28, who grew up in Harrisburg and will serve York County, said he wanted to help people in need.

“I just wanted to make a difference in people’s lives, be a positive role model, and set positive examples for my peers,” Hadley said. “It’s important for me based on growing up in Harrisburg. Being a law enforcement officer as a minority can help me relate to others. It’s key for society.”

For Anderson, 22, who will serve as a sheriff’s deputy in Adams County, she said working in a sheriff’s department is a family affair.

“It’s definitely a family calling,” said Anderson, whose father is the sheriff for Cumberland County and whose grandfather served as a deputy sheriff for more than three decades. “I’ve been around it my whole life, and seeing how they helped people made me get into it.”

The 19-week sheriff’s academy, held in State College, provides expertise in several law enforcement areas, including Pennsylvania crime codes and civil procedures, cultural diversity, ethics, firearms, first responder/first aid, defensive tactics, courtroom security, and physical training.

Penn State JASI utilizes judges, attorneys, and local, state and federal law enforcement officers to help deliver the training.

Hadley said the Penn State instructors have been integral in preparing him for the job.

“The instructors have been outstanding,” he said. “They do everything they can for me and for the other deputies to be the best officers we can be. They’ve been on the job for years and are able to relate and tie everything together for us to be better when we go back to our departments.”

Anderson agreed that having instructors with field experience has been key to their learning.

“Hearing our instructors and leaders give us real-life examples gives us some perspective of how real it will be and what we can and cannot do,” she said. “We use technology and do situational scenarios with other classmates and actors. We’ve learned a lot about ethics and community relations, and just about everything you can think of.”

The current class of deputy sheriffs will be the 55th to graduate since 2000, when the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency selected Penn State JASI as the academy’s administrator.

Visit the Penn State JASI website for more information. Penn State JASI partners with Penn State Harrisburg’s School of Public Affairs.