Rutherford County, NC, Western North Carolina, News,arrests, RC Catalyst, Judicial District 29A Seven students graduate from Basic Law Enforcement Training – Foothills Catalyst

Seven students graduate from Basic Law Enforcement Training






Isothermal’s 83rd BLET class graduated earlier this week. Pictured are Rutherford County Sheriff Chris Francis(left to right),Matthew Mann, Caitlin Condrey, Samantha Mandolin, Jacob Poteat, Steven Crowder Jr., Jonathan Barnette, Kelby Trejo, Ava Yamouti, dean of Health and Public Services, and BLET Director Philip Bailey.


Seven students graduate from Basic Law Enforcement Training

SPINDALE (Sept. 21, 2022) – Seven students graduated from the Basic Law Enforcement Training (BLET) program at Isothermal Community College on Wednesday evening after completing nearly ten months of training.

This class had a great distinction of a 100 percent pass rate on the state law enforcement certification exam.

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 Jonathan W. Barnette, Caitlin Marie Condrey, Steven Crowder Jr., Samantha Josephine Mandolin, Matthew Scott Mann, Jacob Thomas Poteat, and Kelby Trejo.

The students were honored in a ceremony that began with an invocation by Rutherford County Sheriff Chris Francis and the national anthem, led by graduate Samantha Mandolin.  Dr. Greg Thomas, vice president of Student and Academic Affairs, welcomed the audience.

Sheriff Francis, who will soon be the program’s qualified assistant, delivered the commencement address to the students.

Then, Philip Bailey, the BLET program director, 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.

Samantha Mandolin earned the Top Firearms Award and the Top State Exam Award. Matthew Mann was named Most Improved PT. Caitlin Condrey received the Top Academic Award.

Jacob Poteat earned the Standard of Excellence Award. Poteat, who lost a leg below the knee due to a rare bone cancer several years ago, overcame his great physical challenge to meet the requirements of the program. He has long dreamed of serving as a law enforcement officer and was featured in an Isothermal story earlier this year.

This is the 83rd BLET class to graduate from Isothermal Community College since it began conducting the training in the late 1970s.

The next BLET class begins in mid-October. 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.