A-B Tech’s Basic Law Enforcement Training Class of Spring 2023 Graduates with Honors, Aces State Licensing Exam

Asheville, N.C. — A-B Tech’s Basic Law Enforcement Training (BLET) program presented certificates and awards on Thursday, June 8, to its Spring 2023 graduates. The 15 students, who range from age 20 to 65, also achieved a 100% passing rate on their state certification exams, the best performance in over a decade. Most of the graduates will immediately begin working for local law enforcement agencies that sponsored their BLET training.
“This is the best class I’ve had the privilege of directing,” said BLET Director Daryl Fisher, who returned to the director’s position last fall. “I feel renewed, and this class has been inspiring. Through them, we’re changing the future of law enforcement.”

Fisher also touted the graduates’ performance in the stringent BLET curriculum, which is comprised of academics, physical, and skills training required by the state, as well as additional training modules required by A-B Tech covering emotional intelligence, cultural diversity, and de-escalation. “A-B Tech added the extra training before the George Floyd incident in 2020 because we recognized that our society was changing,” Fisher said. “Change has to come from within.”

Associate BLET Director Jeff Augram, a former police chief who also returned to the BLET program last December, concurred. “I had stepped away from education, the Sheriff’s Office, and my position as board chair of the fire department for 10 years to regroup,” he said. “I had to pull myself up and reinvigorate my passion for the work. This class helped a lot – their energy, involvement, dedication, passion, and desire to learn really inspired me.”

Anna Green, who represented her class as the graduation speaker, also received the Trailblazer Leadership Award, its top honor. She moved to Asheville from Alabama to change her life and career last year and now has a job with the Asheville Police Department. Her previous career was professional sign language interpreter, and she signed her speech during the ceremony.

“Everyone of us brings something unique … the diversity of age, experience, backgrounds, and perceptions can only make us better,” said Green, who has been hired by the Asheville Police Department. “Now it’s time to get out there and do the job we were called to do.”

Other awards announced Thursday were:

  • Highest academic average for the class: Olivia Stewart
  • Highest State Exam Score: Olivia Stewart
  • Top Gun, Highest Firearms Average: Eric Tolson
  • Most improved physical fitness: Eric Tolson

Tolson is a paramedic who attended BLET as part of his new position as a medic for the Yancey County Sheriff’s Department SWAT Team. Stewart is headed to the Asheville Police Department.

Also among the class were:

  • Eric Junger, the oldest member of the class at 65, is a former police officer turned physician’s assistant who is now returning to law enforcement with the Laurel Park Police Department.
  • Devin Grant, who also graduated from A-B Tech with a Criminal Justice degree, is following her father into the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Department, where her mother also worked in a staff position.
  • Matt Gorman, who along with Green presented Fisher and Augram with a plaque signed by the graduates, is the son of Emergency Services Dean Clint Gorman. He also follows his brother into law enforcement, making it a true family affair.

A-B Tech President John Gossett, who gave the commencement address, praised the graduates for their extraordinary performance and acknowledged the faculty for instilling the desire for excellence in their students.

A-B Tech is now enrolling for the next BLET class, which begins July 21. Applications are due by July 14. To learn more, visit Basic Law Enforcement Training Overview or call (828) 398-7900. Prospective students also are invited to schedule tours of the Emergency Services campus at A-B Tech Woodfin.


About A-B Tech

Founded in 1959 in the heart of Asheville, A-B Tech is the largest higher education institution in Western North Carolina, serving approximately 23,000 students a year in Buncombe and Madison counties. One of 58 community colleges in the NC Community College System, A-B Tech offers 190 degrees, diplomas, and certificates, as well as a wide range of workforce training and continuing education programs. A-B Tech includes the main Asheville campus, A-B Tech Enka (home of the A-B Tech Small Business Center and Business Incubation Program, Craft Beverage Institute of the Southeast and N.C. BioNetwork), A-B Tech Madison, A-B Tech Woodfin, the Goodwill Center and the ABCCM Transformation Village in West Asheville, and a future location at Biltmore Park West. Learn more at abtech.edu.

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