*Editor's note – Special thanks is extended to the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation for information contributing to this article.*
A local man recently graduated from the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation's 46th Academy. Len Hagaman III, along with fourteen other special agents, took part in a graduation ceremony on June 9th, 2017 at Aversboro Road Baptist Church in Garner.
Hagaman III, son of Watauga County Sheriff Len Hagaman, completed 19 weeks of training leading up to the graduation. During the ceremony the then soon-to-be graduates heard from SBI leaders and a Superior Court judge on expectations of their new SBI mission. “Hundreds tried out, but you prevailed,” SBI Director Bob Schurmeier said. “There is an ample opportunity for you all to make a difference in this state.” Schurmeier talked about integrity, doing the right thing, bringing the guilty to justice and exonerating the innocent.
Senior Resident Superior Court Judge Thomas Lock of the 11th Judicial District said, “Agents of the SBI are the best of the best. The Bureau’s reputation is sterling. The Blue Line may be thin, but it is strong. Your credibility is your best asset.” Lock said the agents may have to make profound decisions in split seconds. He said they should be brave, that it takes courage to do this job. Courage, he said, is not the absence of fear, but courage is “in the face of fear.”
Special Agent in Charge Carl Wall of the training section said the new agents were following in the footsteps of more than 1,200 agents. In addition to their undergraduate degrees, five of the agent trainees had master’s degrees and five had prior military service.
Sheriff Hagaman tells WataugaOnline.com that his son is also a graduate of Appalachian State, which the NCSBI requires a four year or higher degree, and served 10+ years with Boone Police.
Len Hagaman III is pictured far left second row. Photo courtesy of NCSBI