8 cadets graduate from BLET program

The Sandhills Community College Basic Law Enforcement Training (BLET) program recently graduated eight cadets. Family, friends, and law officers from multiple agencies were present as the College honored them on Tuesday, Aug. 9, on the lawn of Blue Hall.

The graduates included Kamau Fairley, Montae Johnson, Devan Krieger, Paige Mitchell, Zachary Pelland, Joshua Stephens, Charles Tedder, and Miranda Ward.

Welcoming attendees was Dr. John Dempsey, President of Sandhills Community College, and Dr. Rebecca Roush, Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs and Institutional Planning.

2021 BLET graduate and Deputy Steven Engle was the guest speaker. Engle offered graduates this advice, “Be in the right place, at the right time, in the right uniform.”

Candidates were then presented by the Director of BLET, Robert Kehoe. Public Services Department Chair Susan Wright and Dr. Roush awarded the certificates. Closing remarks were given by Wright, and Rev. David G. Coffey Jr. offered the benediction.

The BLET Program at Sandhills

Cadets undergo extensive physical and classroom training to qualify for employment immediately upon graduation. They utilize state-commission-mandated topics and instruction methods, including, but not limited to, criminal, juvenile, civil, traffic, and alcoholic beverage laws; investigative, patrol, custody, and court procedures; emergency responses; ethics and community relations.

Sandhills is one of the few BLET programs with a VirTra® simulator. The VirTra 300 is a state-of-the-art virtual simulator that contains five large screens for a 300-degree immersive training environment. This training environment recreates physiological stressors like an elevated heart rate and high adrenaline levels that officers experience during intense situations.

In addition, the system provides training in de-escalation, use of force, dealing with mentally ill or disabled people, and communication skills. Because of the demands on law enforcement to make critical decisions in tense, uncertain, and rapidly evolving situations, this training methodology is far above others.

The spring BLET session will begin in January. There is no cost to take the class, the State of North Carolina will pay tuition. There are out-of-pocket expenses for textbooks and uniforms, but the college may have resources to assist with such costs. All trainees must be 20 years of age at course completion. Applicants who are 19 years old may be accepted with a waiver.

Those interested in BLET should complete and submit their registration packet soon. For further information or to obtain registration material, contact Robert Kehoe at (910) 693-2666.

Courtesy photo/Contributed.

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