HAMLET — Cpt. Steven Blakley of the Hoke County Sheriff’s Department said he went into law enforcement because he wanted to help people.
“In this job, you have the ability to help people in some of the worst times of their life,” he said.
Blakley is a 2012 graduate of Richmond Community College’s Basic Law Enforcement Training program. He was hired by the Hoke County Sheriff’s Department after graduating. He has worked his way up from deputy to captain over the past nine years and is now chief over detectives.
Blakley has also been an instructor for RichmondCC’s BLET program for the past four years, teaching on the topics of interviewing techniques and criminal investigations.
The six-month BLET program at RichmondCC uses N.C. Criminal Justice Training and Standards Commission mandated topics and methods of instruction. Besides classroom lecture, students participate in physical training, which culminates in a challenging test of strength, endurance and agility while maintaining mental alertness. Commonly referred to as the POPAT (Police Officers Physical Abilities Test), many of the exercises and obstacles involved relate to physical and mental tasks they might face on the job.
The next BLET class at RichmondCC will be Feb. 7 through Aug. 5. Classes will be held in the evening. Application packets are available in the Lee Building on the Hamlet Campus or the Honeycutt Center at the Scotland County Campus.
Blakley said working in law enforcement was something he always wanted to do. When he got out the Marines, he worked as a welder for a while before finally getting to a place to be able to make the career change.
Blakley said it takes honesty and integrity to be able to be a good law officer.
“Be more than just law enforcement. You are customer service for every person you interact with, be it at the convenience store getting a drink or being on a crime scene,” he said. “When you’re dealing with the public, you have to maintain your composure. You never look at the negative. Always try to find a positive in any situation.”
The BLET program at RichmondCC is normally priced at $1,663, but due to special funding from a federal grant, the course is being offered at a discounted price of $199 for a limited time.
For more information about the BLET program, contact Director of Program Development and Pre-Employment Services Holly Collins at 910-410-1704 or firstname.lastname@example.org.