On July 8, the Asheville Police Department swore in five new officers. These officers were the most recent graduates of the Basic Law Enforcement Training (BLET) course. The 620-hour course is spread over 16 weeks. Training is comprised of 36 separate blocks of instruction to include topics such as firearms, driver training, motor vehicle law, and arrest, search and seizure. The BLET course is filled with practical exercises and an extensive ethics section that is woven throughout the training experience.
Please join us in congratulating our newest officers:
- Peter Balthrop Jr. – Balthrop is from Macon, Ga., and holds a bachelor of science in criminology and criminal justice, with a minor in psychology, from Western Carolina University. He is the son of Peter and Donna Balthrop and has two siblings.
- Juan Gonzalez – Gonzalez is a native of Fairview. He serves as a Staff Sergeant in the North Carolina National Guard where he has been involved in several combat deployments over the past nine years. He is currently finishing an associate degree in supply chain management. He and his wife, Danielle, have three children.
- Daniel Johnson – Johnson is a native of Western North Carolina. He holds an associate degree and served with the United States Marine Corps from 2003-2007. He and his wife, Mayumi, have two children.
- Keith Sanders – Sanders is a graduate of Ball State University with a bachelor of science in criminal justice and criminology. He has over eleven years of service in the United States Army, United States Army Reserve, and the North Carolina National Guard as a Field Artillery Officer and currently serves as a Major. He was awarded the Bronze Star during combat operations in Iraq in 2003. He graduated with honors from the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy. He is married to Dr. Sarah Dohse.
- Nathaniel Smith – Smith is from Georgetown, S.C. He holds a bachelor of arts in graphic design from Mars Hill College, where he also played as a linebacker for the first all-conference team. He is the son of Susie and Nathaniel Smith and is married to Kristie.
Photo: From left to right are Officers Peter Balthrop, Nathaniel Smith, Daniel Johnson, Juan Gonzalez, Keith Sanders and Deputy Chief Wade Wood.