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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: June 20, 2018 04:39 PM
From: Representative Thomas R. Caltagirone
To: All House members
Subject: Urgent need to Provide Training and Education to Elected Constables
I will soon introducing legislation to meet an urgent need in the Commonwealth. If we do not act now the Constables’ Education Training Program will no longer be able to carry out its mission of providing education and training to Pennsylvania’s approximately 1,400 elected constables.

This bill includes three basic concepts: First, the bill will prohibit anyone with a felony conviction or who is or ever was registered as a sex offender from serving as Pennsylvania State Constables; second, the bill will increase the surcharge fee in each case before a magisterial district judge from $5 to $10 and third, the bill will move CETA and server fees up on the priority collection list. It should be noted that CETA funds are entirely born by the plaintiff in civil matters and the defendants in criminal matters and not the taxpayers.

Under Act 49 of 2009, the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD) is required to house the Constables’ Education and Training Board to train and certify constables and deputy constables through its Constables’ Education Training Program. PCCD provides oversight and staff support to the Constables’ Education and Training Board. Despite the Board’s best efforts to conserve and for reasons beyond its control, the expenditures to train constables in the Commonwealth have exceeded the revenue collected over the past decade.

Unless action is taken now, the Fund will exhaust itself. Once exhausted, Constables will no longer be able to be certified or re-certified, and more than likely this will result in counties being forced to hire significantly more staff to somehow cover the duties at a great cost to taxpayers. The fee to fund professional education and training for constables has not been increased in over 20 years.

I understand the office of constable has become controversial in recent years and there are efforts afoot to rectify some of these issues; but until or if that legislation is ever advanced, we need to make sure our Constables are meeting the training and education standards mandated by the legislature. With that in mind, I invite you to join me and cosponsoring this important legislation.