BLET graduates prepare for career in law enforcement

By: Special to the Exchange

HAMLET – Fourteen cadets graduated Monday from the Basic Law Enforcement Training program at Richmond Community College and committed themselves to a career in law enforcement.

Family and friends, as well as law officers from multiple agencies, attended the graduation ceremony that recognizes these cadets for completing the five-month program, which includes training in firearms, driving, motor vehicle law, and arrest, search and seizure.

The BLET course is also filled with practical exercises and an extensive ethics section that is woven throughout the training experience.

“I want to welcome you all on behalf of the Board of Trustees, all of our employees and students and the friends and families of the graduates,” said Dale McInnis, president of RichmondCC. “This is a difficult and rigorous class; it takes a lot of support and love from the families and friends of these students to succeed. I also want to welcome all the law enforcement officers attending this ceremony and to thank you for your service.”

Robbie Taylor, vice president of Workforce & Economic Development division at RichmondCC, introduced the guest speaker for the graduation ceremony, North Carolina State Highway Patrolman Lt. Andreas Dietrich.

“I have worked many times with this gentleman, and you will not find a better officer more knowledgeable,” Taylor said about Dietrich. “I would like to thank him personally for everything he has done for the BLET program.”

Dietrich graduated from the 94th class of the North Carolina State Highway Patrol Basic School in May 1995 and was promoted to lieutenant in 2013. He shared with the graduating cadets the history of law enforcement and the strong morals an officer of the law must have.

“I want to thank the family and friends of the cadets, not only for being here today but for supporting them through the program and for your continued support as they start their career as law enforcement officers,” Dietrich said. “It has been truly an honor to help instruct these cadets as they went through this journey and to address you all tonight.

“Congratulations graduates, you have completed countless hours of hard work. I hope you will decide to make law enforcement a career as I did. It is truly rewarding, and it is one of the most noble professions out there,” Dietrich added.

The 2018 BLET graduates include Kaylon Alford, Jatique Barnes, Jerry Bell, Hailey Clark, Stephen Currie, Taylor Davis, Walter Gordon, Michael Johnson, Caleb Neeley, Tyler Strickland, Dustin Strickland, Jonathan Williams, Tyler Williams and Kendra York.

Receiving awards for BLET achievements were Michael Johnson for physical fitness, Dustin Williams for firearms and Taylor Davis for academics. Walter Gordon was named the top overall cadet for the class.

BLET graduate Walter Gordon also provided remarks during the ceremony about his classmates and the friendships that developed during the last several months of training.

Special to the Exchange