For the past seven years, Bernie Taylor has led Edgecombe Community College’s Basic Law Enforcement Training program in a classroom on the Tarboro campus.
That all changed in late 2021 when the academy moved on campus from the Fleming Building to the Havens Building, expanding program facilities to include showers, lockers, and a new multipurpose space for training and hands-on scenarios.
“We’ve come a long way,” Taylor said.
Taylor, a retired Edgecombe County deputy, took over as school principal of the BLET program in 2014. The program soon outgrew a small classroom in the Fleming building and the academy moved to a hall higher class in the same building.
“But that’s all we had,” Taylor said.
To conduct training scenarios and administer the academy police physical aptitude test, which is required to pass the course, Edgecombe Community College had to rent space in local gymnasiums, churches and buildings. empty.
“By expanding the Havens building, we’re saving money,” Taylor said. “The classroom is better located, there is more office and storage space, and we also have a larger room for physical training and subject control instruction, batting practice and taser training.
“Also, we have showers so we can do physical training in the morning instead of the afternoon.”
Taylor and the newest academy cadets began the move to their new home in October. When the next academy begins in February, the BLET program will be fully established in the Havens Building.
Although Edgecombe Community College’s BLET program already provides more hours of training than the state requires, Taylor said the new facilities will allow cadets to receive this training more efficiently.
The minimum state requirement for BLET is 640 hours, and ECC offers a 768-hour program. The extra hours include more physical training, more high-risk call training, and more time for individualized training.
“We also brought shotgun training back to the academy,” Taylor said. “Towards the end of the academy, we offer training in expandable baton techniques, pepper spray and Taser.
“Law enforcement agencies often send their new recruits for this training. But when cadets graduate from our academy, they are proficient in all of these areas and will not need further training.
BLET graduates also receive 18 hours of college credit toward an associate’s degree in criminal justice.
“The new facilities are great,” Taylor said. “We are in our new location and we can pass on so many more opportunities to our cadets.
The next Middle School Core Academy for BLET begins on February 14. For more information, contact [email protected] or call 252-618-6613.