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Seven Cadets Complete Forty-Second BLET



March 20, 2024

Joseph "Joey" Patterson, Johnita Mitchell, Christopher "Chris" Gardner, and Michael Davis were recognized on March 14, 2024, for successfully completing MCC's 670-hour (6 months) BLET (Basic Law Enforcement Training) program. They completed their training in early March and already have jobs.

This year's ceremony was kicked off with a posting of the colors by the Martin County Sheriff's Office Honor Guard, a recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance, and the singing of the National Anthem by MCC's Human Resources Development Director, Candance Bryant-Whitehurst. Martin County Sheriff's Office Chaplain, Jay Hardison, gave the invocation and MCC's Executive Vice President of Continuing Education, Nathan Mizelle, welcomed everyone. MCC's Qualified Assistant for its BLET program, Tamesha Woolard, then introduced the guest speaker, Colonel Walter Whitfield USMC, Ret.

Whitfield, a 27-year Marine Corps Veteran, encouraged the cadets to "remain committed to justice" and to remember that they are the "Guardian Angels of the communities they serve." He also reminded them they are "role models" and are tasked with "protecting the weak and standing up to the strong."

The cadets then received their certificates from Mizell, Jackson, and Woolard. Special awards were presented to three cadets who excelled in various aspects of the training. Patterson was awarded a plaque for his scores on the firing range. Mitchell was recognized for improving the most in their physical fitness training. Gardner was recognized for the highest academic scores.

Class President, cadet Mitchell, followed up with remarks from the student perspective. Mitchell was elected to the position by her classmates. She thanked the instructors and staff for their hard work and then presented Director Davis with a plaque commissioned by the class.

The NC BLET program covers 670 hours of study within 36 total blocks of instruction including, Physical Fitness, Firearms, Law Enforcement Driving Training, Laws of Arrest, Search and Seizure, Motor Vehicle Law, Techniques of Traffic Enforcement, Patrol Techniques, Sheriff's Responsibilities, and Rapid Deployment. The course contains the most current law enforcement information available and is filled with practical exercises and an extensive ethics section that is woven throughout the training experience. It takes approximately 16 weeks to complete and concludes with a comprehensive written exam and skills testing. This course of study is mandated by the state for all certified law enforcement officers.

The 43rd BLET class will be starting on June 10 and is one of the few BLET programs in Northeastern NC available at night. Those interested in applying for admission into the next class must complete and submit a packet of information and forms prior to the starting date. To obtain a packet or more information about MCC's BLET program, contact Davis at md10722@martincc.edu or 252-789-0267. Packets are also available online at www.martincc.edu/blet.