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Students get a boost for career in law enforcement


Students receive James Buie Scholarship to pursue career in law enforcement


Two students in Gaston County Schools who have always envisioned having a career in law enforcement are one step closer to making their dream a reality.  Thanks to a partnership with the Gaston County Police Department, Belmont Abbey College, and Gaston County Schools, the graduating seniors are receiving a full-tuition scholarship to study criminal justice.

Luiz Baldizon Montejo of Hunter Huss High School and Mariah Jones of Highland School of Technology are the recipients of the James Buie Scholarship, which provides full tuition to study criminal justice at Belmont Abbey College.  Upon completion of their degree and other requirements, Balizon Montejo and Jones will be offered full-time employment with the Gaston County Police Department for at least five years.

Superintendent W. Jeffrey Booker stated, “We are extremely proud to partner with the Gaston County Police Department and Belmont Abbey College to make this important scholarship opportunity available to students.  This scholarship program is another way for us to provide assistance for students to attend college and promote the importance of careers in public service such as law enforcement.”

Balizon Montejo became interested in police work at a young age when he would see officers patrolling his neighborhood.  As a young boy, he enjoyed playing detective and talking to the officers. He’s always had an interest in what he could do to make his community safe.

Jones said her father’s law enforcement career and her internship with the Gaston County Police Department sparked her interested in pursuing this opportunity as a full-time career.

The James Buie Scholarship is named in honor of the department’s first African American police chief.  The scholarship is funded with drug forfeiture money and will provide 16 students with college scholarships and career opportunities over an eight-year period.

The scholarship recipients were announced during a ceremony on April 30 at the Gaston County Police Department.