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​80-Hour Basic Training

All newly elected constables or appointed deputy constables are required, under Act 49-2009 §7142(a) to attend and successfully complete Basic Training in order to perform judicial duties and be paid.  Constables and appointed deputy constables must be registered with PCCD (by going to: PCCD CCETS Login ( and "Register as a New Keystone Login User").  A copy of your election certificate or appointment order must be forwarded to the Program to approve your registration.  You cannot attend Basic Training without your registration being approved.

Prior to Program Staff enrolling you into the 80-Hour Basic Training Course, payment (made payable to PCCD), an enrollment form, and a signed Statement of Understanding for the PA Constables' Training Code of Conduct (if not completed online) must be submitted to:

            BTS-Constables' Program
            PO Box 1167
            Harrisburg, PA 17108-1167

Refer to Title 37 Law, Chapter 431, for regulations relating to the certification of constables and deputy constables.  To successfully complete Basic Training, an individual must attend and participate in all training as scheduled during the same training year, achieve a passing score of at least 70% on each written examination administered during the Course, and successfully demonstrate practical skills during each proficiency examination.  Constables and deputy constables are tested in each of the subjects listed below.  An individual who receives less than 70% on any written exam will have only one opportunity to re-test in that subject.  If an individual fails the re-test, that individual has failed the Basic Training Course and will not be certified by the Board. 

Basic Training will consist of instruction in the following subjects:  Role of the Constable in the Justice System, Professional Development, Civil Law and Process, Criminal Law and Process, Use of Force, Mechanics of Arrest, Defensive Tactics, Prisoner Transport and Custody, Court Security, Crisis Intervention, Management of Aggressive Behavior (MOAB), Expandable Baton, and Oleoresin Capsicum (OC).

Role of the Constable in the Justice System (4-Hours): This block of instruction provides an overview of the evolutionary development of the constable in Pennsylvania. It clarifies the constable's legal responsibilities, as well as identifying civil liability issues that may affect the office of the constable.  In addition, constables are presented with a working knowledge of the Pennsylvania justice system.  This Course includes a written examination.

Professional Development I – Formal Communication (4-Hours): Formal communications are an important skill in any profession. Given the position of the constable in Pennsylvania's judicial system it is especially important for constables to understand the importance of formal communications and how it impacts their day-to-day operations.  The Course includes an introduction to basic interview skills along with the basic principles of report writing.  This Course includes a written examination.

Professional Development II – Professional Conduct (4-Hours): This Course was developed to facilitate constables' understanding of the issues of professional conduct and how they impact their day-to-day operations. The Course presents an introduction to the development of moral standards and the importance of ethics for constables.  Other specific areas that are discussed include individual responsibility and standards, relationships with the community and cultural diversity.  This Course includes a written examination.

Civil Law and Process (12-Hours): This instruction focuses on many of the constable's duties in the area of civil procedure, including service of process.  The topic considers procedural rules that are applicable throughout the Commonwealth under Title 246, Minor Court Civil Rules, while directing constables to be cognizant of local rules and customs.  Specific emphasis is placed on the citation of rules of Chapters 200, 300, 400, 500, 800, and 1200.  Additionally, Title 42. Chapter 62A.  Protection of Victims of Sexual Violence or Intimidation (Act 25 of 2014, which became effective July 1, 2015) will be reviewed.  This Course includes a written examination.

Criminal Law and Process (8-Hours): This Course introduces constables to the history and development of criminal law in Pennsylvania. Constables' specific duties within the criminal process are highlighted, as well as their authority and responsibilities in the areas of arrest, accountability for property and monies, and the most current law dealing with constable authority. This Course includes a written examination.

Use of Force (4-Hours): This training provides the constable with working knowledge in the areas of both lethal and non-lethal use of force. Recent case law pertinent to use-of-force issues is presented.  This Course includes a written examination.

Mechanics of Arrest (8-Hours): This Course is designed to provide the constable with proper techniques for the arrest of compliant and noncompliant persons.  These techniques utilize subject control holds and takedowns and direct the constable to perform the arrest from a position of advantage.  The constable will be provided proper handcuffing and searching techniques for compliant and non-compliant individuals.  This Course includes a written examination.

Defensive Tactics (10-Hours, 30-Minutes): This 10-hour and 30-minute block of instruction presents the constable with techniques for self-defense against armed and unarmed attackers.  The defensive techniques presented include basic patterns of movement, reactionary gap/interview stance, ground fighting (offensive and defensive), arm locks, defense against gun disarms, blocking techniques, hand and arm striking skills, and kicking skills.  Constables must come prepared for physical activity and dressed appropriately.  In addition, this session provides the constable with techniques for retaining the holstered handgun from attack.  These techniques will also provide the constable with the ability to prevent attacks on his/her holstered handgun.  Each constable must demonstrate a working knowledge of each technique.  The constable must supply his/her duty belt and holster.  This Course includes a written examination.

Prisoner Transport (4-Hours): This Course provides Pennsylvania's constables with the procedures to properly handle prisoners in correctional facilities, in the transport vehicle or van, during movement, and throughout escort into court.  The training also addresses numerous variables of prisoner transport, including constable safety, prisoner movement preparations, proper control and restraint, and special considerations such as pregnant or suicidal prisoners.  The Course includes discussion on movement and transportation issues based on several actual incidents that have occurred throughout the United States.  This segment provides constables with actions and precautions that they can employ to reduce the possibility that a prisoner will escape their custody or that a problem will occur during transport.  This Course includes a written examination.

Court Security (4-Hours): This block of instruction provides an overview for the constable's role in courtroom security.  The constable will review the preliminary aspects of security to heighten his/her awareness of the potential problems that may arise in the courtroom.  Issues to be discussed will include but are not limited to threatening behavior, searches, evaluation techniques, as well as responding to emergencies.  This Course includes a written examination.

Crisis Intervention (5-Hours, 30-Minutes): This course provides the constable with a review of how to de-escalate high-stress incidents that have the potential to evolve into a life-threatening situation.  Emphasis is placed on understanding the signs of aggression including interpreting body language as well as the recognition of other behavioral signals, so that the constable may be able to avoid potential harm to themselves or others. The Course also discusses the advantage of developing and maintaining acute listening skills as they relate to possible confrontational situations and de-escalation. This Course includes a written examination.

OCAT Oleoresin Capsicum (OC) (4 hours): This 4-hour block of instruction covers the practical applications of Oleoresin Capsicum (pepper) spray.  The class is divided into lectures and practical exercises.  Lectures cover the characteristics, effects, proper usage, and decontamination of OC spray, as well as a review of the use-of-force continuum.  Practical exercises review proper carrying and drawing techniques, body positioning, proxemics, patterns of movement, and spraying. Scenarios cover spraying a combative subject in a variety of settings, including single-constable, contact/cover, and constable-down situations.  This Course includes a written exam.

Monadnock® Expandable Baton (MEB) (4 hours): This course adds four subject-control techniques to the Monadnock Expandable Baton (MEB) Basic and is presented in a 4-hour block of instruction.  Successful completion of the instruction provides the constable with certification from the Monadnock Police Training Council, Inc.  Constables demonstrate their baton carries, blocks, strikes, and retention techniques.  They also demonstrate subject-control techniques, including baton arm locks, escorts, and handcuffing techniques.  Constables are able to discuss use of force issues and the Monadnock Baton Chart.  This Course includes a written exam.

Management of Aggressive Behavior (MOAB) (4 hours): MOAB presents principles, techniques, and skills for recognizing, reducing and managing violent and aggressive behavior.  The program also provides humane and compassionate methods for dealing with aggressive behavior. This Course includes a written exam.