Retired FBI Agent Speaks To Criminal Justice Students | Eastern North Carolina Now

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Students learn from retired FBI agent

Retired FBI Agent Al Powell speaks to students about careers in criminal justice and principles of law enforcement.
 WASHINGTON, N.C. — Criminal Justice students at Beaufort County Community College had an opportunity this week to learn from Al Powell, a 30-year veteran of the Federal Bureau of Investigations.

 Powell, now retired from the FBI, serves as president of the Beaufort County Police Activities League and as an instructor in BCCC's Basic Law Enforcement Training program. In the FBI, he performed a variety of roles including working as a unit chief in the counterterrorism division. He spoke to students in CJC 221 — Investigative Principles about his road to the FBI and careers in the field of criminal justice.

 There are many different types of careers in law enforcement, he pointed out, touching on examples such as intelligence agents and forensics experts, as well as the traditional law enforcement officers and field agents.

"Don't underestimate where you might go," Powell said. "You never know where the road might lead you if you're qualified."

 Powell also gave overviews of the role of the FBI, constitutional law, the challenges of gathering evidence, and the importance of physical fitness.

 BCCC's Criminal Justice Technology curriculum is designed to provide knowledge of criminal justice systems and operations, focusing on local, state, and federal law enforcement, judicial processes, corrections, and security services. Employment opportunities exist in a variety of local, state, and federal law enforcement, corrections, and security fields.

"Our students have an advantage when they apply for jobs," says Criminal Justice Technology Instructor Crystal Watts. "It's a stable job market, and there are directors who are really looking for new hires to have this kind of educational background."

 Some students become correctional officers or wildlife officers, while others go on to BLET programs to become police officers.

 In addition to the Associate in Applied Science degree in Criminal Justice Technology, BCCC offers a Bachelor's Degree through an articulation agreement with Norwich University. There is also a program through which students at high schools in BCCC's service area can earn 16 credit hours toward their diploma during their junior and senior years of high school.

For more information about the Criminal Justice Technology curriculum at BCCC, contact Watts at 252-940-6268 or

Beaufort County Community College is a public comprehensive community college committed to accessible and affordable quality education, effective teaching, relevant training, and lifelong learning opportunities for the people served by the College.
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