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BLET class readies students for NC Highway Patrol school

By: Mike Gavin
Published: December 07, 2022

SPINDALE (Dec. 7, 2022) -- A new daytime Basic Law Enforcement Training (BLET) program will prepare students for an upcoming North Carolina Highway Patrol school.

The class will begin in January 2023 at Isothermal Community College.  

Graduates will be able to attend the 12-week State Highway Patrol "Fast Track" Basic School in Black Mountain. That course will start in August.

"Jobs with the North Carolina Highway Patrol are great," said Philip Bailey, director of Isothermal's BLET program. "The starting pay is just over $46,000 while you are in the basic school, then it gets up over $72,000 in six years. It's important work."

BLET is accredited by the North Carolina Justice Training and Standards Commission and is the required entry-level training program for anyone wishing to become a law enforcement officer in North Carolina. BLET consists of more than 660 classroom hours of training that provides the skill training to become a rookie law enforcement officer.  

“Law enforcement officers are in very high demand,” said Bailey. “All of the departments in the area and across the state are experiencing personnel shortages. There are a lot of reasons for that – retirements and the fact that it can be a challenging job that’s not for everyone.” 

BLET covers 35 topics including criminal law, ABC law, juvenile law, and laws of arrest, search, and seizure, driver training, firearms, defensive tactics, and vehicle stops. A topic recently added is human trafficking, reflecting the growing problem of human slavery for sexual purposes. 

Admission requirements for BLET include a minimum age of 20 years old. Applicants must also possess a high school diploma or GED, and be a U.S. Citizen. In addition, students must take a reading test scoring at least a 10th grade reading level, and obtain sponsorship from a local or area law enforcement agency. Students must also be in good physical condition and obtain a physical exam from a medical doctor. 

Students who enter BLET must also have a background free of any felony violations or serious misdemeanor offenses. A review of past convictions, both criminal and traffic, is conducted for each student who applies to enter BLET.  It is not necessary that a student have a clean or “unblemished” record. Some offenses may be on a student’s record but still make them eligible for admission.  

An application packet is available for pick-up or mailing. Anyone wishing more information may call Brenda McFarland at (828) 395-1668 or by email at or Director Philip Bailey at 828-395-1448 or by email at . Enrollment is limited, and an application packet is required to be completed and returned prior to the start of training.