Public safety cadet program in Bertie County Schools first in the state

A new program at Bertie County High School will help lead students to a career path in criminal justice.

Checks from three corporate sponsors -- Republic Services, JBA Management and Perdue Farms -- were presented at Bertie High School Wednesday afternoon in support of the public safety cadet program.

NC Department of Corrections officials say the program allows high school students to take community college classes starting their junior year.

Successful completion of the high school course work in this cadet program will result in credit toward an associate's degree in criminal justice at Roanoke-Chowan Community College or Martin Community College.

Not only is this program new to Bertie County, but Gwen Norville with NCDOC says it's also the first of its kind in the entire state.

Norville says, "We hope, upon graduation, from one of our community colleges in North Carolina or one of our universities, they will have majored in criminal justice, and then we can hire them in the workforce."

Norville says this program -- which is set to begin in January -- also encourages students to stay and work in Bertie County, where there is a need for more people working in the criminal justice system.