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RCC’s Law Enforcement programs begin new semester in expanded space

This semester, as basic law enforcement and criminal justice students headed back to the classroom, they did so in a newly renovated space.

Building 11, officially named the Sammy Cox Law Enforcement Building in 2018, has gone through a major transformation. The new additions include a new classroom that can seat up to 40 students; a large storage room, a separate filing room; a breakroom for students, faculty and staff; new bathrooms and locker rooms; and space was allocated for the firearm and driving simulators, which were previously housed in the Workforce Development Center, Building 18.

“This was a much-needed addition for our law enforcement and criminal justice programs,” stated RCC President Melissa Singler. “This newly renovated training facility will greatly increase our capacity to develop our law enforcement officers to the highest standards as well as maintain the professional skills required through training of the current and future workforce.”

According to Matt Dimery, the director of law enforcement programs at RCC, the new classroom has two smart boards and power and network capability has been built into each of the desks.  

“The new features in our state-of-the-art classroom gives us more opportunities to train with technology, giving our cadets and law enforcement officers access to advanced training and simulations,” Dimery said. “This is an amazing space that will give us an opportunity to do so much more for our students and law enforcement officers in our community.”

The building has also become more welcoming to visitors and students.

“A sidewalk has been added to the side of the building to allow direct access from the BLET parking lot to the new classroom and to the front door,” stated Dimery. “The back patio was increased to allow for more students to utilize this area during breaks and allow it to be used for some outdoor training.”

During the ribbon cutting ceremony recently held in December, the Board of Trustees, faculty, staff, students, and members of the community, gathered together to celebrate this new milestone in the history of the college. 

“This is a wonderful space that will be utilized by police departments and other law enforcement agencies from across the State of North Carolina and beyond,” stated Singler. “When the college first opened, BLET training was held in a single classroom, and more recently, training had to be divided between several buildings and campuses, and now today, there is a building dedicated just to this program.”

The expansion program was funded through tax-payer funds, totaling $2,408,513.99. The source of funding was a mixture of SCIF (State Capital Infrastructure Funds) in the amount of $2,062,332 and local funds from the county in the amount of $346,181.99. SCIF funding was generated from the Connect NC Bond Referendum passed by North Carolina Voters in 2016. 

“We are thankful to the taxpayers for the funding made available to complete this project,” stated Singler. “This program teaches our students to serve our community with courage and valor, as they take an oath to uphold the laws of our county and state.”

Before construction, the law enforcement center consisted of 7,880 square feet. The building now stands at 11,675 square feet, having added almost an extra 4,000 square feet. Now with an even larger space to train, officials hope that the law enforcement programs will continue to grow and thrive.

“We are very fortunate to have the support that we do for our law enforcement programs from our Trustees and our community,” stated Executive Vice President Eric Freeman. “These programs are so very vital to protecting and serving the citizens of Robeson County and beyond as many of our students become police officers, detectives, investigators, and agents.”

 

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