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February 26, 2020

SCC, WCU Collaborate To Deliver Basic Law Enforcement Training In Jackson County

SYLVA – Southwestern Community College and Western Carolina University officials have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that provides the opportunity for SCC to deliver portions of the North Carolina – Basic Law Enforcement Training (NC-BLET) program at WCU in conjunction with the university’s Criminal Justice Program.

The NC-BLET course is designed to prepare individuals with the prerequisite cognitive and physical skills required for certification as entry-level police officers and deputy sheriffs in North Carolina.

“SCC has a long history of working together with WCU to benefit our students and the residents of Jackson, Macon, Swain Counties and the Qualla Boundary,” said Dr. Don Tomas, SCC President. “This agreement will help aspiring law enforcement students by expanding access to the training they need. The increased opportunities created by this agreement will result in greater numbers of highly-trained professionals ready to protect our communities.”

Although a component of the program will be offered through the WCU training venue, entry is not exclusive to WCU students. Eligible applicants who are sponsored by a North Carolina law enforcement agency, and who meet the requirements to attend a law enforcement training program, may apply to the training session. Sponsorship ensures that an applicant’s character is appropriate for the law enforcement profession, inclusive of personal history inquiries and a criminal background check.

The WCU Police Department will sponsor a select group of students to enter the program. Upon successful completion of their training, those students will be eligible for employment as part-time WCU Police Officers during their senior years.

Most lecture components of the program will be delivered at WCU while laboratories and practical exercises will be offered at SCC’s Public Safety Training Center in Macon County. 

“There is a great need for qualified law enforcement officers, not just in Western North Carolina, but across the entire state,” said Curtis Dowdle, SCC’s Dean of Public Safety Training. “There are plenty of job openings, and these programs will prepare you to enter the field with the knowledge and confidence to succeed.”

For more information on any of the programs offered by SCC’s Public Safety Training Center, or for more information on the MOU, please contact Dowdle at 828.306.7040 or cdowdle@southwesterncc.edu.  

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