Friday, 25 September 2020 12:12

7 BLET graduates ready for career in law enforcement

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The graduates of Richmond Community College’s Basic Law Enforcement Training program stand with the college president and the BLET training officers. Pictured are, from left, first row, Dylan Scherer, Amante Carswell, Trinity Jernigan and Dr. Dale McInnis; from left, second row, Rockingham Patrol Sergeant Ronnie Brigman, Haiden Evans, Calvin House, John A. Martin Jr. and Rockingham Police Chief Billy Kelly. Not pictured is BLET graduate Makenzie Davis. The graduates of Richmond Community College’s Basic Law Enforcement Training program stand with the college president and the BLET training officers. Pictured are, from left, first row, Dylan Scherer, Amante Carswell, Trinity Jernigan and Dr. Dale McInnis; from left, second row, Rockingham Patrol Sergeant Ronnie Brigman, Haiden Evans, Calvin House, John A. Martin Jr. and Rockingham Police Chief Billy Kelly. Not pictured is BLET graduate Makenzie Davis. RichmondCC

HAMLET — Richmond Community College recognized the seven cadets who graduated from the Basic Law Enforcement Training program during a ceremony Sept. 21 at the Cole Auditorium.


It was a long-awaited moment for the cadets because the class was paused for several weeks due to the governor’s orders at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to the interruption in their training, the students had to make up time loss by attending class on weekends.

Graduating from the program were Amante Carswell, Makenzie Davis, Haiden Evans, Calvin House, Trinity Jernigan, John Martin Jr. and Dylan Scherer. Receiving awards were John Martin Jr. for Best Firearms Qualification and Trinity Jernigan, who won Best POPAT Time, Highest GPA and Best Overall Cadet.

Dr. Dale McInnis, president of RichmondCC, recognized the cadets’ sacrifice and hard work in completing the lengthy and challenging program. McInnis also shared some thoughts with the graduates as they prepare to enter their career as law officers.

“There has been a lot of conversation in this country about law enforcement in recent months. We’ve seen examples of great police work that has been effective and reflects well on the profession. Unfortunately, there have also been examples of police work that does not reflect well on the profession,” McInnis said. “I am confident that it has been instilled in you what it takes to be great law enforcement officers through the hands-on instruction and classroom lectures you received from the BLET training officers.”

McInnis pointed to the training officers, Rockingham Police Chief Billy Kelly and Rockingham Patrol Sergeant Ronnie Brigman, as superb examples to follow who “recognize they that they are just human beings representing the law and that they are not bigger than the law.”

McInnis also encouraged the cadets to continue to educate themselves through professional development opportunities to become better officers. However, despite all the additional training, tools and equipment they will receive, he noted that none of those things will matter unless they use their head and their heart in this line of work.

“Your common sense and your compassion are your greatest tools that will protect you and protect the people you are serving. As long as your head is working and your heart is working at the right time in the right way, all the other tools won’t matter. Don’t make the mistake and forget this,” he said. 

The police chief also imparted some words of wisdom to the graduates.

“The scenarios that we put you through in the BLET program are now going to be real life scenarios. There are no redoes, no time-outs,” Kelly said. “Stay alert and stay safe.”

Brigman, who is also a product of RichmondCC’s BLET program, encouraged the cadets to continue their education. He explained how he returned to RichmondCC for his two-year associate degree and then continued on to get a bachelor’s and master’s degree. 

Brigman also touched on the dangers of stress that come with a career in law enforcement.

“In life we have our own problems, but when you come to work as a police officer, you are getting called to other people’s problems. So if you’re dealing with your problems and then you’re having to go deal with somebody else’s problems, that stress is building on you,” Brigman said. “You’ve got to find a way to let it go, because if you don’t, just like if your training stops, it’s going to hurt you.”

Also speaking at the ceremony was cadet Dylan Scherer, who congratulated his classmates for their accomplishments.

“We are the future in law enforcement. I hope all of us can come in and make a positive difference and help keep our communities safe,” he said.

Applications for the next BLET class are due Dec. 4. The class will run Jan. 18 through July 19. Applications can be picked up in the Lee Building on the Hamlet Campus or at the Honeycutt Center at the Scotland County Campus. 

The BLET program utilizes topics and methods of instruction mandated by the N.C. Criminal Justice Training and Standards Commission. 

For students who successfully complete BLET, RichmondCC will award them 13 college credit hours in the Criminal Justice Technology program. This is equal to one semester of the associate degree program.

For more information, call 910-410-1700 or visit www.richmondcc.edu/blet.