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BLET Graduates with instructors

Six students graduate from Basic Law Enforcement Training

By: Mike Gavin
Published: May 23, 2023

SPINDALE (May 23, 2023) – Six students graduated from the Basic Law Enforcement Training (BLET) program at Isothermal Community College on Monday evening after completing nearly ten months of training.

The BLET program is the state-mandated course of study for anyone interested in becoming a certified law enforcement officer. The students who completed the program were trained in 35 topics including criminal law, arrest, search, and seizure, driver training, defense tactics, firearms, and other related law enforcement topics.

The students who earned a graduation certificate for the 660-hour training program are Dylan Coggins, Joseph Conner, Patrick Damato Jr., Randall Greenway, Michael Fortenberry, and Dylan Knighton.

The students were honored in a ceremony that began with an invocation and the national anthem, led by Stephen Matheny, Isothermal’s chief operating officer. President Margaret Annunziata welcomed the audience.

Rutherford County Sheriff Aaron Ellenburg delivered the commencement address to the students.

Then, Philip Bailey, the BLET program director, and instructor Chris Francis presented certificates and awards.

Ava Yamouti, dean of Health and Public Services, made the closing remarks.

Both graduates earned certificates in Basic Law Enforcement Training, ASP/Baton, Taser and Pepper Spray.

Joseph Conner earned the award for the Highest State Exam and Most Improved PE, Michael Fortenberry earned the Top Academic Award and Top Firearms Award, and Dillon Knighton won the award for the Top Police Officer Physical Aptitude Test (POPAT).

This is the 84th BLET class to graduate from Isothermal Community College since it began conducting the training in the late 1970s.

The next BLET class begins soon. Many local law enforcement agencies are providing financial assistance for student. For information, contact Brenda McFarland at 828-395-1668 or Bailey at 828-395-1644.