Captain, Aberdeen Police Department, Aberdeen, North Carolina
Todd Weaver served in the U.S. Army for six years, and he always knew that he wanted to work in law enforcement. After he completed his service to his country, he returned home to Florida and worked in the Suwannee County Sheriff’s Office. His friends, who lived in Moore County, enticed him back to North Carolina.
“Sandhills Community College had just started the BLET program,” he remembered. “I believe that I was part of the second class that completed the program. When I attended SCC, we had to handwrite our reports; today, we use computers.”
However, the core of the program remains the same. “This training is challenging and demanding and requires a lot of self-discipline,” he said. “It also is a tremendous commitment – 620 hours of required training.”
He particularly found the self-defense, defensive driving and traffic stop classes to be the most true-to-life. “The BLET classes are a reality check; they really make you think. The instructors do a great job with preparing you for your career in law enforcement.”
After graduating from the program, he started working as a deputy for the Moore County Sheriff’s Office. In 1999, he became a patrol officer for the Aberdeen Police Department. He was promoted to sergeant and then lieutenant before becoming captain in 2007.
Weaver also earned his associate’s degree in Criminal Justice Technology from Sandhills in 2008. In 2009, he was selected to attend the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia. Less than two percent of the officers who apply from throughout the world are accepted into this prestigious advanced law enforcement techniques training program, which is taught by FBI agents in conjunction with the University of Virginia. Even the application process was arduous – generally taking two to five years. He found out two years after applying that he would be attending this three-month training.
“People are so used to watching television programs about cops, but there’s a lot more to law enforcement,” he says. While he admits that they can’t always solve a crime in an hour’s time minus commercials, he also stresses that they are dedicated to serve and protect the citizens in our community.”
For the past seven years, Weaver also has been serving as the lead instructor for physical fitness for the college’s BLET program. “Physical fitness is a vital aspect to survival in law enforcement. I do this to teach them how to survive.”
The BLET program at Sandhills Community College provides an opportunity to acquire essential skills required for entry-level employment as law enforcement officers with state, county or municipal governments or with private enterprise. It utilizes State-Commission-mandated topics and methods of instruction. General subjects include, but are not limited to, criminal, juvenile, civil, traffic, and alcoholic beverage laws; investigative, patrol, custody, and court procedures; emergency responses; and ethics and community relations.
BLET candidates must be at least 20 years of age, have a high school diploma or GED, possess a valid operator’s license and have no felony convictions. Students must successfully complete all units of study and pass the certification examination mandated by the North Carolina Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards Commission to receive a certificate.
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