Sampson Community College’s Basic Law Enforcement Training program has been producing some of the finest officers for more than 30 years.
Following the graduation ceremony Wednesday night, 14 new names have been added to the list and are now in the process of seeking employment at various agencies.
“Several of the students are in the hiring process at various agencies,” Jennifer Wiley, Criminal Justice Department Chair and Basic Law Enforcement Training Director, said. “Which is exciting. Some will be entering the field of law enforcement in neighboring jurisdictions and some will be entering the field right here in Sampson County.”
According to Wiley, the BLET program at the local community college has been offered for 30 years. Many of the students who graduate through the program ultimately end up working for local agencies, which, she says, benefits the community. The majority of the BLET instructors are graduates of the program and have risen through the ranks in their agencies.
Lt. Robbie King and officer Kimberly Gore with the Clinton Police Department are two of the many who have gone through the local BLET program and acquired jobs locally with an agency.
Both King and Gore say the program and the instructors in the program are among the best in the state and they would highly recommend those interested in pursuing a career in law enforcement to look into attending SCC.
“The BLET program at SCC is ideal for anyone interested in joining law enforcement,” Gore said. “From the application process to graduation, the instructors and staff are there to assist you every step of the way. Sampson Community College provides their BLET students with the training, skills, and knowledge needed to become an officer in today’s law enforcement world.”
Speaker at this year’s graduation was Det. Chris Godwin, of the Sampson County Sheriff’s Department, who covered topics such as leadership and ethics in his address to the students. Sgt Wayne Dienhart of the Sampson Sheriff’s Department offered closing statements before leading the graduates, their families and instructors to the dinner sponsored by the Sampson Community College Foundation.
As the BLET program continues to be instrumental in the education and training of law enforcement, Sampson Community College is offering both an evening and day academy this fall. As these classes are first come first serve, interested individuals are encouraged to complete an application packet by July 25, or sooner.
“The day class that is coming up offers the students eight hours of training a day, rather than four hours as with the night program,” Wiley shared. “This means that the day program completes much faster for the student. They are then able to complete it sooner and be on their way to a career in law enforcement. The night program and day program cover the same material but with the night program being part time, it takes just a little longer to complete.”
There are only 24 seats per academy, so Wiley suggests completing the admissions process and submitting the BLET packet as soon as possible to secure a seat. The day program will begin Aug. 14 and the night program will begin Aug. 28.
“I am very proud of the hard work of our students and instructors who invested in their success,” Wiley said. “I look forward to seeing them serve in our local communities.”
This year, the academy recognized Jeff Gray and Sgt. Robert Stroud as the best all around instructor, Chris Cantrell and Scott Grantham for best humor, Dienhart and Lt. Lawrence Dixon for most encouraging and Dienhart again as the most supportive.
For more information about BLET opportunities at Sampson Community College, visit sampsoncc.edu or contact Sharon West at 910-592-8081.
Reach Kristy D. Carter at 910-592-8137, ext. 2588. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd. Like us on Facebook.