The Rockingham Police Department added a new officer to the ranks last month.
Justin Chance is 21-years-old and was sworn in as a police officer on Dec. 27. Chance was born and raised in Rockingham, and graduated from Richmond Senior High School. He went on to pursue his Associates Degree in Criminal Justice from Richmond Community College.
At RCC, he also graduated from the Basic Law Enforcement Training (BLET) program. The hardest part about the BLET program is time management, Chance said.
According to the RCC website, the BLET program gives students skills that are required for entry-level employment as law enforcement officers with state, county, or municipal government, or with private enterprises.
The program utilizes N.C. Criminal Justice Training and Standards 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.
Chance said that he decided to take the BLET program instead of joining a traditional police academy because the BLET program would fit around his schedule.
He will be riding with field training officer Ronnie Brigman for 13 weeks before going out on his own.
Chance said that his days as a police officer have been “good so far. I love it.”
He said he wants to be a police officer to help people and give back to the community.
Rockingham Police Chief Billy Kelly said he was the coordinator for the BLET program during the time that Chance went through the program. “I was real impressed with the way Chance conducted himself in and out of the program,” he said.
“I thought he’d make a good addition to the officers we already have,” said Kelly.
— Staff Writer Laura Edington can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 18, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.