State Representative Jim Marshall / press photo

State Representative Jim Marshall (R-Beaver/Butler) has issued a co-sponsorship memorandum seeking support in Harrisburg for a proposal to give Sheriffs and their Deputies full law enforcement powers.

Representative Marshall — whose brother-in-law is part-time Beaver County Sheriff’s Deputy Steven Montani — issued the following memorandum to his colleagues in the State House on January 25th:

“I plan to introduce legislation to amend Title 42 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statues, the Judicial Code, to vest Sheriffs and Deputy Sheriffs with the same power to enforce the laws of the Commonwealth as currently possessed by municipal police officers.

“For many years and through numerous court cases, the authority, powers and duties of the Sheriffs and Deputy Sheriffs of Pennsylvania have been questioned and challenged. This proposal will delineate those issues.

“Please join me in co-sponsoring this legislation. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.”

The proposal by Representative Marshall comes at a time when Beaver County Sheriff Tony Guy has been facing budget constraints and criticisms from the Board of Commissioners, who say Guy has been attempting to overreach his statutory authority by inserting himself and his Deputies into functions that are outside the scope of his office.

Under the Pennsylvania County Code, the Sheriff’s Office is considered an arm of the courts, and unlike police officers, Sheriff’s Deputies do not have any investigative powers. The job functions for Sheriff’s Offices in Pennsylvania include providing courtroom security, transporting prisoners, serving civil papers for the court and executing warrants.

Prior proposals to give Sheriffs full law enforcement powers have been met with wide-spread resistance. Statewide law enforcement organizations have previously released statements against the initiative, including the Pennsylvania State Troopers Association, the Chiefs of Police and District Attorneys Associations.

The Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association has previously taken a position that it would be more beneficial to have local police departments consolidate into regional forces than to authorize Sheriff’s Offices as additional law enforcement agencies.

Back in 2013, Representative Jim Marshall proposed legislation which would have allowed Sheriff’s Deputies to contract out their official services to private corporations. Marshall’s proposal came at a time when the Board of Commissioners was engaged in litigation against then-Sheriff George David, who was found to have violated provisions of the Pennsylvania County Code by ordering his Deputies to provide security to companies like Cinemark and industrial properties owned by local real estate tycoon CJ Betters. Marshall’s measure failed to garner support.

An attempt by Sheriff Tony Guy to promote Deputy Steven Montani to full-time status was blocked last year by County Commissioners, who refused to sign paperwork approving payment for the move, and then voted as members of the County Salary Board to eliminate the office’s vacant full-time positions.

See Also: Editorial: Sheriff Tony Guy Will Ruin The Republican Party The Same Way Sheriff George David Destroyed The Democrats

John Paul
John Paul is the founder of the Beaver Countian. He reports full-time for the site, specializing in investigative journalism with an emphasis on public corruption.

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Chris Kurtz
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Chris Kurtz

Are all Sheriff Departments as corrupt as the one’s locally? If not then I fully support this. They should be able to do their job to the fullest capacity.

arealregularguy
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arealregularguy

Their job is to serve warrants, provide transportation for the jail and security for the Courthouse….Where does it say that the deputies have powers of the real police?

kathy
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kathy

In AZ deputies are real police—they have the same power in the counties that the police dept has in the city limits. I don’t why its such a big deal here.

CodyJana Perich
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CodyJana Perich

I heard the same thing about out sheriffs dept. And I’m sure they are all the same bro. Sadly.

Chris Kurtz
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Chris Kurtz

Most likely. It seems to be a particular mindset among that field.

Icanread
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Icanread

They aren’t as highly skilled and vetted as the State Police, so I vote no and am disappointed in Marshall for floating this plan. We should be recruiting someone to run against him.

buzzkill
Member
buzzkill

Did this idiot do any type of study as to what this would cost the citizens of Pennsylvania ? You would have a bunch of yahoo deputies out there running up overtime and performing overlapping duties with the police. Not to mention the cost in additional equipment and wear and tear on current equipment and vehicles. This is just a flat-out stupid idea and a costly one at that.

jay eric
Member
jay eric

I have to agree Buzzkill, clearly if given an enigma this guys brains would leak out. Every major agency for law enforcement listed says that its not a viable shift in powers. Aside from that as you stated the resulting taxes would be horrific. Why not simply as a legislature put in a motion to examine existing departments and reiterate to them what their budgets and duties presently allow.

Mungo Jerry
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Mungo Jerry

@Mr Eric…….Mungo is “puzzled” as to what enigma is made of that allows it to leak? It’s no mystery that this fella is lacking in grey matter! But the conundrum that presents itself here is no riddle, only to Mungo perhaps! Simple clarification would clear things right up! Thanks in advance…

jay eric
Member
jay eric

My apologies Mungo. My proofreading after spell check seemingly needs work. Allow me to clarify now. Enema not enigma. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enema

BC Player
Member
BC Player

This idiot is obviously being bullied by his close friends and relatives EMPLOYED by the Sheriff’s Office. He needs to bury is empty head back in the ass he popped it out of. The Sheriff does not need any more authority than what he has now. I’m so tired of these fucking retards finding ways to take more of our money. This piece of shit needs replaced

Disgruntled
Member
Disgruntled

This is almost moot at this point anyway. DA Lozier already managed to get a resolution passed that allows him to deputize whoever he wants to be part of his drug task force, essentially giving those ‘deputies’ the power to investigate and arrest. They’re going to keep pushing this either through the front door or the back door. At least Marshall is has the decency to try the front door. Meanwhile, our back doors are already being violated, so to speak.

Dan Dan Is Tony's Man
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Dan Dan Is Tony's Man

YUP Dan Camp blew Tony Guy hard when he voted to approve that mess.

Disgruntled
Member
Disgruntled

In case the DA is reading this, moot means irrelevant. I realize that ‘moot’ is often used in terms of the law and the law doesn’t seem to be the DA’s strength. Mr. Lozier, you’re welcome.

Lindsey Ribar
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Lindsey Ribar

I mean they’re knocking down 100 grand here in Beaver County… they should have to work a little harder for their money?

Ted Fessides
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Ted Fessides

Yes and working 96 hr weeks. The county isn’t just handing the money over

Kimberly Allen
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Kimberly Allen

Ted Fessides Yea gonna need to see some proof of that. What are they doing that requires 96 hour work weeks? Sounds fishy.

Shane Robert
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Shane Robert

96 hours isn’t so bad when 8 a day is devoted to sleep.

arealregularguy
Member
arealregularguy

OMG….Can you imagine the damage these ‘wannabes’ will cause….Most of them are political cronies of the Sheriff and have no or very little training. The Courts will be overwhelmed with lawsuits for illegal arrests being made by the undertrained deputies. When will these people understand that this is not Allegheny County, which actually has a County Police force? The Sheriff’s office has defined duties…..leave it at that. If they want to be cops, then get trained as a Police Officer and get an actual Police job.