HAMLET — A ceremony was held Nov. 1 for six graduates of the 2016 Detention Officer Certification Course offered through Richmond Community College.
Individuals who take employment at a detention facility have a year to earn their state certification through the Detention Officer Certification Course. This is the first time RichmondCC has offered this 174-hour course.
Graduates and their place of employment include:
• David Wayne Howard of Anson — Anson County Sheriff’s Office
• Emmanuel Lucas Crank of Hamlet — Anson County Sheriff’s Office
• Amalia Marie Romero of Ellerbe — Richmond County Sheriff’s Office
• Meyer Jermaine McDonald of Rockingham — Scotland County Sheriff’s Office
• Pamela Suzette Hill of Rockingham — Richmond County Sheriff’s Office
• Dalton Timothy Burr of Rockingham — Anson County Sheriff’s Office
Dr. Dale McInnis, president of RichmondCC, provided welcoming remarks and recognized the graduates for their successful completion of the course. He also thanked the families in attendance for supporting the students and thanked all law enforcement present for accepting the call to public service.
“This is definitely a calling and not a job, as not everyone can do this,” said Capt. Mitch Johnson of the Scotland County Sheriff’s Department, who challenged the officers to set good examples for those they encounter in adverse situations.
“When you’re encountering individuals at these crossroads in their lives, be there to encourage them to do better,” Johnson said. “That’s the challenge of this job, staying optimistic and seeing those trying times as opportunities.”
Dr. Robert Taylor, vice president of Workforce and Economic Development, and Neil Parrisher, director of public safety at RichmondCC, each thanked the participating law enforcement agencies for their support of the Detention Officer Certification Course.
Taylor then introduced guest speaker Capt. Sandra Miller, who serves as jail administrator of the Scotland County Sheriff’s Office and assisted in teaching the class this year.
“Remember as you leave here that valor is a very important part of this profession,” Miller said. “A lot of people don’t know what goes on behind those jailhouse doors, but our job is to take care of those inside.”
Following Miller’s remarks, two awards were presented to graduates of the course. Burr was recognized for graduating with the highest grade-point average, while Howard was recognized as Most Outstanding Student. The graduates then presented plaques to their instructors, including program coordinator Capt. Earl Haywood of the Scotland County Sheriff’s Office.
“We gained a lot of knowledge going through this program, as well as some sore muscles and bruised egos, but it was worth all the work to get to the finish line,” said Howard. “We leave here tonight with a personal value system that is going to drive us to continue looking for ways to do better and continue to help those around us.”
Wylie D. Bell is director of marketing and communications for Richmond Community College.