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News Community BLET graduates charged to ‘focus on winning’

Graduates of Southwestern Community College’s Basic Law Enforcement Training Class # 67 are, from left, Carrie Wade of Cherokee, Joshua Torrans and Anthony Coggins, both of Sylva, William Hawkins of Whittier, Eurico Ruffolo III and Taylor Rodes, both of Sylva, Kevin Breedlove and class Corporal Joshua Stewart, both of Franklin, class Sergeant Crystal Fox of Sylva, Richard Matthews of Highlands and Harold Nicholson of Cullowhee.In his charge to the graduates of Southwestern Community College’s Basic Law Enforcement Training Class #67 Mitch Boudrot, SCC training instructor, said, “You will experience the best of people in the worst of times and conversely, the worst of people in the best of times.”

“Second place with a law enforcement officer and an adversary does not win you a smaller trophy,” he told the class during their graduation ceremony Friday, Sept. 23, at the Jerry Sutton Public Safety Training Center in Franklin. “It could mean the difference between life and death. When you are confronted by an adversary it will not be just about winning, it’s about surviving. That’s why we train you to win.”

Boudrot went on to tell them that “it’s not just about fighting either, it’s about not giving up. In your profession, failure to perform your duty is not an option.”

To be a law enforcement officer you must be a warrior, he said. “You are not glorified social workers with guns.” The seven C’s of winning warriors, Boudrot reminded them, are courage, confidence, cognitive skills, control, concentration, cohesion and commitment.

He complimented the graduates for “freely choosing to embrace the life of a warrior. You have followed our philosophy of train hard or don’t train at all. You did not seek an easy path. That speaks a lot about the person you are.”

In their training at SCC, Boudrot said each member of the class “pushed beyond what you thought your limits were, academically, physically and mentally. We congratulate you on what you have achieved.”

As well as a warrior, the graduates will also be peace officers, and Boudrot said, “You must walk that thin blue line between the two.”

He said their willingness to serve and protect proves their interest in their respective communities. Curtis Dowdle, SCC director of training, urged the graduates to embrace their role in the community and to never forget the human element.

“You are charged with safeguarding your community; they have placed their trust in you to prevent crime and disorder,” Dowdle said.

“You are the ones in your community who can save or endanger a life,” Boudrot said in stressing their responsibility.

In closing, he told them, “There are times you will be afraid; accept that. But if you concentrate on fear of failure, your brain can’t focus on winning.”


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