Law Enforcement/BLET


Next academy begins October 2024.
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Edgecombe Community College’s Basic Law Enforcement Training (BLET) Academy prepares students for entry-level employment as a law enforcement officer with state, county, or municipal governments.

Basic Law Enforcement Training is an accredited program of the North Carolina Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards Commission and the North Carolina Sheriffs’ Education and Training Standards Commission.

The Academy is a full-time program lasting 22 weeks and consisting of 768 hours of training. Class sessions are held Monday through Friday with the schedule varying depending upon the training. Some nighttime training is mandatory.

Rigorous hands-on training introduces students to the handling of firearms, driving a police vehicle, and subject control. A stringent physical fitness training regimen also is included.

Upon successful completion of the program, students may take the Basic Law Enforcement comprehensive state examination administered by the North Carolina Criminal Justice Training and Standards Division. Upon successfully passing the state comprehensive examination, graduates may be eligible for employment as a sworn law enforcement officer.

Some programs at Edgecombe Community College lead to a license and/or certification in North Carolina. Beginning July 1, 2020, the U.S. Department of Education regulations require disclosures for all programs leading to a license or certification. Disclosures will be provided for all states and will indicate whether the program meets licensure requirements, does not meet licensure requirements or has not yet been determined for each state.

BLET Disclosure

Admission Requirements

In order to be eligible for admission to the program, you must:

  • Be at least 20 years of age
  • Have a high school diploma from a public or private high school, a registered/accredited home school, a GED, or Adult High School Diploma. Correspondence schools do not meet requirements established by the North Carolina Department of Justice Law Enforcement Training and Standards.
  • Be a United States citizen
  • Hold a valid North Carolina driver license
  • Demonstrate ability to read at or above the 10th grade level
  • Be of good moral character
  • Be sponsored or hired by a law enforcement agency
  • Be examined by a certified N.C. licensed physician as being capable of performing the duties of a law enforcement officer
  • Have a background free of disqualifying criminal offenses

Application Process

Step 1

Complete the TABE Reading Assessment Examination. A tenth-grade reading comprehension proficiency is required. Edgecombe Community College accepts TABE Reading Assessment scores from another North Carolina institution provided they are issued by the testing agency in a sealed envelope. The TABE Reading Assessment must be completed within ONE calendar year before the Academy start date.

To schedule the assessment, call BLET School Director, Bernie Taylor, at (252) 618-6613. There is no registration fee or charge for taking the TABE Reading Assessment.

Step 2

Contact BLET School Director Bernie Taylor to schedule a meeting. At the meeting you will need to provide a photo ID – preferably your NC driver’s license – your social security card, birth certificate, and a copy of your high school diploma or GED certificate.

Additional forms included in the packet must be completed and documents submitted by the deadline for which you are applying.

Acceptance into the Program

Students are admitted through an interview process.

Applicants who have completed all application requirements are notified of admission to the program approximately four (4) to six (6) weeks before class begins. Students admitted to the program participate in a closed registration session approximately three to four weeks before class begins.


Physical Expectations for BLET

The North Carolina Criminal Justice Training and Standards Commission, which accredits Basic Law Enforcement Training programs across the state, requires the cadets attend the first day of class in order to remain in the program.

Attendance is mandatory throughout the entire academy. If for some reason students are absent, all of that time must be made up. Under no circumstances can a cadet miss more than 10% of the total hours for his or her current BLET Academy, even if that time can be made up.

The Academy is very demanding physically as well as mentally. BLET candidates participate in strenuous physical fitness training at least four days per week to prepare for the Police Officer’s Physical Ability Test (POPAT). The POPAT includes but is not limited to running, clearing a four-foot broad jump, scaling a four-foot fence, maneuvering a two-foot low crawl obstacle, push-ups, grappling/rolling with a 100 pound grappling bag, dragging a 175 pound dummy, and traversing a step box.

Prior to the first day of class, future cadets should be engaged in fitness training that combines strength, endurance, and aerobic activities, and they should be able to do at least the following:

  • 30 push-ups in one minute
  • 30 sit-ups in one minute
  • 1.5 mile run (without stopping) in 20 minutes
  • Run 300 meters at a sprinting pace (without stopping)
  • Perform a three-minute step test at a moderate rate (without stopping)

NOTE: Edgecombe Community College cannot guarantee that the Basic Law Enforcement Training Academy is safe or appropriate for everyone. Any liability, loss, or damage occurring in connection with the exercises, instruction, or advice given in the Academy is expressly disclaimed. Future cadets should consult their doctors prior to embarking on this exercise routine. Cadets should never force or strain during exercises and should stop exercising and seek medical attention if they experience pain or discomfort during workouts.

Performance and Behavior Expectations for BLET

Basic Law Enforcement Training prepares cadets for employment as law enforcement officers. Consequently, cadets are expected to meet the highest standards of performance and personal behavior. (Standards are covered in detail at Academy Orientation). Acceptance into the Academy is contingent upon meeting admission requirements, providing health certification, and verifying that all standards of the North Carolina Criminal Justice and Training Standards Commission and the North Carolina Sheriffs’ Education and Standards Commission have been met.

Bernie Taylor
School Director, Basic Law Enforcement Training
Coordinator, Law Enforcement Training
Office 456, Havens Building, Tarboro Campus
(252) 618-6613

In January 2013, Bernie Taylor helped to launch the process to bring Basic Law Enforcement Training to Edgecombe Community College. In June 2013, he was asked to serve on an interim status as the coordinator of Law Enforcement Training at the college.

In January 2015, he was hired full time as school director for Basic Law Enforcement Training and coordinator of Law Enforcement Training.

Bernie Taylor retired from law enforcement in September 2014 from the Edgecombe County Sheriff’s Office where he served as lieutenant for the last eight years. As lieutenant, he was the director of in-service training and school director for the Detention Officer Certification Course at ECC.

He is a certified general instructor for both the Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards Commission and the North Carolina Sheriffs’ Training and Standards Commission. He also is a specialized instructor in law enforcement firearms, explosive & hazardous materials, fire emergencies, and first aid & CPR.

In addition, Bernie is a certified rapid deployment/active shooter instructor. He has more than 4,000 hours of law enforcement training. As the director of training, he regularly taught in excess of 600 hours each year.