Sheriff Eric J. Weaknecht has been a member of the Berks County Sheriff's Office since May of 1984. As a deputy sheriff, he was first assigned to the Court Division and then to service of civil process.
In 1996 Eric was promoted to the rank of Assistant Chief Deputy in charge of the Court Division. His duties included the direct supervision of 28 deputies as well as handling all out-of-county transports, juvenile transports/juvenile court and the maintenance of the Sheriff's office fleet of vehicles.
In 1999 Eric was promoted the rank of Chief Deputy Sheriff. His duties were to assist the Sheriff in the overall operation of the Berks County Sheriff's Office as well as maintaining the budget and all the purchasing for the office. He was also the direct supervisor of the four Assistant Chief Deputies and the Real Estate Administrator.
On November 7, 2007 Eric was elected Sheriff of Berks County and was sworn into office on December 31, 2007 to a four year term effective January 7, 2008. Eric was re-elected in 2011 and began his second four year term in January, 2012. In 2016, Eric was re-elected for a third term.
In June 2012, Eric was appointed by Governor Tom Corbett to the Deputy Sheriffs’ Education and Training Board. The Board advises the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency in the development, implementation and operation of legislatively mandated basic training and continuing education that serve as the basis for certification of deputy sheriffs within the Commonwealth’s 67 counties.
In July 2012, Eric was elected by Pennsylvania Sheriffs as Treasure of the Pennsylvania Sheriffs’ Association. The Pennsylvania Sheriffs’ Association works to crate and establish objectives to ensure on-going training for deputies and draft language to support legislation that clarifies the authority of the office of Sheriff.
In September 2019, Eric was appointed by Governor Tom Wolf to the Special Council on Gun Violence which will recommend to the Governor ways to reduce mass shootings, domestic violence, suicides and accidental shootings.
As Sheriff of Berks County, Eric developed the following:
This program helps to find Berks County citizens with cognitive disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease and Autism who have wandered away from home. Nationwide Project Lifesaver has safely recovered over 2,200 clients with an average recovery time of 30 minutes.
Law-abiding citizens of Berks County, if approved, can receive their Pennsylvania License to Carry Firearms on the same day they apply for one, reducing the wait time from 45 days to 0.
At this substation, citizens can apply for a Pennsylvania License to Carry Firearms and file and pick up Civil Process. Parking at the airport substation is free.
Sheriff Weaknecht opened remote locations in the following Berks County communities to make it more convenient for citizens to obtain a Pennsylvania License to Carry Firearms. These locations are open one day a month from 10 AM to 6 PM. Parking is free.
3rd Monday: Birdsboro Borough
3rd Tuesday: Hamburg Borough
3rd Wednesday: Wernersville Borough
3rd Thursday: Kutztown Borough
3rd Friday: Colebrookdale Township
In 2008, Sheriff Weaknecht established the office’s K-9 Division under a state grant. The Berks County Sheriff’s Office has two Narcotics-detection K9s, two Explosives-detection K9s, and one special-scent and location K-9. All K-9s are patrol-trained and assist other law enforcement agencies in Berks County.
In 2009, Sheriff Weaknecht changed the hiring standards of the office to create opportunities for a greater number of applicants and to ensure that the most qualified candidates are hired. These new standards include: Physical Agility Test, Written Test, Background Investigation, Oral Interview, Voice Stress Test, Psychological Test, Pennsylvania License to Carry Firearms.
Through Sheriff Weaknecht’s strong leadership and his dedicated deputies, the Berks County Sheriff’s Office Warrants Division is armed with additional resources to capture wanted persons through postings on the Sheriff’s Office App, on Facebook, Twitter, Reading Eagle, TV 69 News, The Merchandiser, Comcast On-Demand, BCTV, and The Berks County Sheriff’s Office Most Wanted publication insert in the Sunday Reading Eagle Newspaper.
The Berks County Sheriff's Office Chaplain program was established by Sheriff Weaknecht in January 2009. Its purpose is to make counseling and pastoral services available to deputies, their families, other departmental members and citizens of our community. The Chaplain has performed these functions within the office and has been requested by various families in Berks County.
The Honor Guard was established by Sheriff Weaknecht in January 2008. Its purpose is to honor fallen Berks County law enforcement officers both active and retired. The Honor Guard also represents the Sheriff's Office at special events such as the Washington DC National Police Week, Berks Law Enforcement Memorial Day, community parades, graduations, sporting events and award ceremonies. The Honor Guard is also available to and has served communities and police departments outside of Berks County.
In 2012, Sheriff Weaknecht began an Explorer Poster for young adults interested in a law enforcement career. Named after fallen Berks County Deputy Sheriff Kyle D. Pagerly, members meet once a month with deputies of the office who provide information and hands-on training in many areas of law enforcement.
* Pennsylvania Deputy Sheriffs’ Education and Training Board
* Berks County Chiefs of Police Association
* Pennsylvania Chiefs of Police Association
* International Association of Chiefs of Police
* Pennsylvania Sheriffs’ Association, Treasurer
* Berks County Emergency Response Team (BCERT) Board of Chiefs
* Berks County Criminal Justice Policy Group
* Berks County Prison Board
* Member, Animal Rescue League Board of Directors
Eric J. Weaknecht
Sheriff of Berks County
610.478.6240 Ext 3260