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Angie Key - Alumni Spotlight

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Angie Key graduated from Surry Community College’s Criminal Justice Technology program with an associate’s degree in 1997 and completed SCC’s Basic Law Enforcement Training (BLET) program in 2000, and now she has an exciting career working with the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation. She also went onto to complete bachelor’s and master’s degrees. She is a 1995 Surry Central High School graduate.

“The BLET program at SCC has instructors from various law enforcement agencies, which allows the students to explore different agencies and what that particular agency can offer,” Key said. “Having diversity allows students to interact with instructors and ask questions about their particular agencies. My experience at SCC’s BLET has provided me with friendships and mentors that have helped me along my career path.”

Before joining law enforcement, Key remembers working in the payroll department at a local business when she realized her current career path just wasn’t what she wanted.

“I didn’t like being contained inside the office all day. I talked to a cousin who was in law enforcement, and he told me about the things he was doing with his job. I was taking computer programing classes at the time, so I switched my classes to Criminal Justice. Law enforcement just kind of clicked and came natural, and it sounded exciting.”

Key is currently the Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the Northwestern District at the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation. She covers 13 counties and is a certified fire investigator. She is also a certified explosive specialist on the bomb squad. She investigates clandestine laboratories, other criminal cases and crime scenes. She has been with the SBI since 2003.

“The best part of my job is solving cases. It makes you feel like you’ve done something good. I especially enjoy solving cold cases, and I work a lot of homicides. It’s fun and interesting to work cases to find out what happened. It’s also a challenge. With my job, it’s something new every day. You never know what people are going to do. I’ve seen some crazy stuff,” she said.

Key began her career in law enforcement at the Mount Airy Police Department in patrol where she enjoyed working the road from 2001 to 2003. However, she had a desire to do more investigative work. On the very first night of putting on her uniform, the MAPD had a homicide on their hands.

“I remember thinking what have I gotten myself into, but I learned that you can’t dwell on these situations. You just have to deal with it since it’s a part of the job,” she said.

Key attended Gardner Webb GOAL program through SCC and graduated in 2000 with a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice.In 2014, she obtained a master’s degree in Justice Administration from Methodist University. She is a certified instructor through the North Carolina Justice Academy, andas a BLET instructor at SCC, she teaches criminal investigation, domestic violence training, patrol techniques and interview skills. She also previously taught as an adjunct instructor for SCC’s Criminal Justice Technology program.

“I tell all my students that education is so important. It will help you get promoted and receive more pay. At the SBI, you have to have a four-year degree. If you are willing to do the work to get more education, it will only help you in the long run,” Key said. “Additional class work gives students an idea of what to expect and opens their eyes to different perspectives and more opportunities. Police work is not just riding around in the police car. You help people, but there’s more to it. Law enforcement is like a puzzle. You have to understand constitutional law and think on your feet.”

Surry Community College BLET graduates fill numerous roles in all aspects of law enforcement including federal, state and local officers who work in patrol, criminal investigation, K-9 handling, tactical teams, civil division, detention facilities, and administration including several police chiefs and sheriffs. Do you want to be a part of something big? Take that first step and enroll now!

BLET is a 726-hour course accredited by the N.C. Criminal Justice Training and Standards Commission. Tuition may be waived through a law enforcement agency sponsorship. Three classes are offered yearly: BLET Day Course I, January to June; BLET Night Class, May to December; and BLET Day Course II, July to December. The classes are taught at Surry Community College's Center for Public Safety in Mount Airy, N.C.

For an interview appointment and application packet, please contact James “Jim” McHone, Director of Law Enforcement Training, at (336) 386-3292 or mchonej@surry.edu. Watch an in-depth video on the BLET program.

#SurryCCAlumni #SurryCCBLET

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