By Holly Desrosier
The Veteran Enforcers Motorcycle Association (VEMA) of New Bern rolled onto campus on May 28 to present the Craven Community College (Craven CC) Foundation with a check for $4,000 for the Fallen Officer Memorial Scholarship to benefit the college’s Basic Law Enforcement Training (BLET) students. To date, this is the largest donation the college has received from VEMA.
The VEMA contributions are made in honor and memory of fallen officers who served the Craven County community in uniform with commitment and passion to ensure public safety. VEMA established the scholarship five years ago to memorialize New Bern police officer Alexander Thalmann, who was shot and killed in the line of duty on March 31, 2014.
More than 175 motorcycles participated in this year’s annual motorcycle ride, which was a 65-mile loop that began at Harley-Davidson of New Bern on March 30. The ride is held each year on a weekend near the date of Thalmann’s death.
This marks the fifth year VEMA’s New Bern chapter has held an event to raise funds for the Fallen Officer Memorial Scholarship. Events have alternated over the years to include memorial rides and poker runs. In total, the Craven CC Foundation has been able to offer $12,550 to BLET students because of scholarship funds raised by VEMA.
“VEMA’s commitment to future law enforcement officers through the Craven Community College BLET program creates a lasting legacy to the memory of Officer Thalmann,” said Charles Wethington, executive director of institutional advancement at Craven CC.
The college’s BLET program provides participants with the skills and knowledge needed to become an effective law enforcement officer with private enterprises or state, county or municipal governments. Admission requirements are based on the guidelines of the North Carolina Department of Justice, Criminal Justice Standards Division. The program utilizes state commission mandated topics and methods of instruction. Coursework includes juvenile, civil, traffic and alcoholic beverage laws; investigative, patrol, custody and court procedures; emergency responses; and ethics and community relations.
To receive the BLET certificate, students must successfully complete and pass all units of study, including the certification examination mandated by the North Carolina Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards Commission and the North Carolina Sheriff’s Education Training Standards Commission. Successful graduates of Craven CC’s BLET program are qualified for employment opportunities as a police officer, deputy sheriff, state trooper, correctional officer and company or private security.
For more information on Craven CC’s BLET program, contact Sarah Sawyer, executive director of career programs, at 252-638-7372 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
To find out about creating a scholarship or donating to Craven CC, contact Christa Baker at 252-638-7351. Additional information can be found at cravencc.edu/foundation.
This article also appeared in the Sun Journal.