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Black River Technical College holds law enforcement training graduation


Black River Technical College’s (BRTC) Law Enforcement Training Academy (LETA) in Pocahontas, Ark., held its Fall 2023 graduation ceremony Nov. 9 for the 33 officers who completed the Basic Police Training Course, including a cadet from Cherokee Village, Ark., who earned special recognition.

The Jonesboro Firefighters Pipes and Drums, Korley Martin, played as the LETA graduates entered the auditorium.

BRTC President Martin Eggensperger congratulated the cadets “on this considerable accomplishment” as he wished them well in their future endeavors in the opening address.

Matthew Richardson of the Cleburne County Sheriff’s Office was chosen by his peers to act as class speaker. He commented that the class 2023-B started with 38 and ended with 33, making the class the smallest ever to graduate from BRTC’s LETA, “but the best B class of the academy.”

District 40 Arkansas State Rep. Shad Pearce was the keynote speaker. He reminisced about his days in law enforcement and promised the LETA graduates he would fight for them as long as he was in a position to do so.

“You will always be in my heart, always. You have embarked on a challenging and noble profession that demands unwavering commitment, integrity, and the highest level of responsibility,” said Pearce. “You are now the protectors of our communities. You are the thin blue line that separates order from chaos, justice from injustice, and safety from harm.”

The top LETA cadets from class 2023-B were recognized, with several awards presented. William A. French, of the Cherokee Village Police Department, was presented with the Top Physical Fitness award.

For more information about the LETA program at BRTC, visit blackrivertech.org/academics/service-programs/leta or contact Jared Bassham at 870-248-4193 or email at jared.bassham@blackrivertech.edu.