GOLDSBORO - Five cadets recently completed the 79th Basic Law Enforcement Training academy at Wayne Community College.
The quintet who received certificates were Johnathan Roderick Buckrham of Goldsboro, Courtney Brock Craig of Dudley, Paige Kathleen Davis of Nahunta, Michael Jonathan Koh of Calypso, Adam Isaac Reyes of Mount Olive and Chase Michael Thompson of Pikeville.
Koh earned the Major J. Memmelaar Student Excellence Award, renamed in honor of Jay R. Memmelaar, Jr., an officer with the Goldsboro Police Department who died in the line of duty in 2017.
Craig received the Physical Fitness Award and Thompson garnered the “Top Gun” award for demonstrating the most overall proficiency in use of firearms.
Thompson and Buckrham were selected to speak during the ceremony on behalf of their classmates.
Each talked about the rigors of the academy, the dedication and sacrifices of their loved ones and friends that allowed them to complete it, and the respect they have for their instructors and their new profession.
“All of questions our sanity, questioned whether we wanted to be here or not. It is not easy,” Buckrham said. “I’ve grown as a person and I know I’ve seen everyone else grow.”
Beverly Deans, WCC public safety division dean, acknowledged the mental and physical challenges the cadets had faced during more than 700 hours of training covering a minimum of 39 aspects of law enforcement.
She congratulated them for the commitment that got them through it all.
“You have completed the transformation from citizen to law enforcement. You have passed all of the state-mandated segments, survived the physical and mental training of academy life, sacrificed a lot over the last four months, and successfully arrived at this new moment in your life,” Deans said.
WCC has graduated 1,191 cadets since the BLET program began in 1983. Currently, WCC alumni work for 53 different law enforcement agencies in North Carolina and elsewhere.