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ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT: Steve Engle

SCC graduate Steve Engle poses at night, in police uniform, in front of his police car.

Timothy Hale Photography.

In his words, “the stars aligned” when Steve Engle decided to pursue a police officer career. One week after completing the Basic Law Enforcement Training (BLET) program at Sandhills, Steve started his job as a Southern Pines patrol officer.

 

The evening class perfectly fit with his work schedule while serving on active duty at Fort Bragg. “I had an amazingly supportive leadership group. I could get off work by 4:30 p.m. each afternoon and attend the evening classes at 6 p.m. This allowed me to have a stable income while working toward a new career.”

 

Steve’s decision to become a police officer was easy for him – it’s a path he’d always wanted to pursue. His father had a career in law enforcement. Growing up, Steve was always ready with a helping hand, like keeping jumper cables in his car if someone needed a jumpstart. “I have always felt that if you can give back, by all means, do it,” he explained.

 

“As a law enforcement officer, you have the opportunity to be somebody’s light in their darkest hour. To be that person, there is no greater privilege,” Steve said.

 

Working in public service isn’t new for Steve. He has nearly 16 years of military service in the U. S. Army between active duty, Guard, and Reserves. Steve worked as a broadcast journalist when on active duty. Currently, he serves in the Army Reserve with the 210th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment.

 

“I’ve served all over the world and had the privilege of telling the Army story,” he said. “My most remarkable experience was a USO tour in Iraq. I was lucky enough to spend the evening with and interview Robin Williams, Lewis Black, Kathleen Madigan, Kix Brooks, and Lance Armstrong. I’ve been a fan of Robin’s work my entire life and always thought an interview with him would be memorable; he certainly didn’t disappoint. I walked away from the interview feeling as if I had made a new friend.”

 

Steve commuted from Fayetteville to take the BLET class, choosing it over others in the area. “Everything was top-notch,” he said. “Every instructor was a seasoned or senior law enforcement professional. It was great to learn from those who were in the field. They shared life experiences; you can’t put a price on that.” One of his instructors, Nick Polidori, Chief of Southern Pines Police Department, is now his boss.

 

He offered a word of advice to students: “Every day is an interview. Look your best, and be your best.”

 

 Basic Law Enforcement Training

 

The Basic Law Enforcement Training (BLET) program is designed to give students the essential skills required for entry-level employment as law enforcement officers with a state, county, municipal agency, or in the private sector.

 

The next class session begins on January 11 on the Pinehurst campus. The evening classes will be held on an alternating week schedule with one week from 6–11 p.m. Monday-Friday and the other held 6–11 p.m. Monday-Thursday and 8 a.m.-5 p.m. on Saturdays. Successful graduates will receive a certificate in July.

 

To learn more, go to www.sandhills.edu/blet. Contact Bob Kehoe to register or to discuss employment opportunities available upon completion at kehoer@sandhills.edu or (910) 693-2667.

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