On Saturday night, as news that Newton Grove Police Officer, Brent Hall, had been in a car crash that resulted in his death, Sampson County began to mourn the loss. Included was the Sampson Community College Basic Law Enforcement Training program and several former recruits and instructors, who remembered Hall. Hall, a graduate of the 2015 Fall Night Academy, has been remembered by instructors and classmates as a smiling face and a ball of energy.

From the moment he stepped on campus to begin the BLET program, instructors and classmates share the same memory — Hall was excited to serve his community. Classmates say he was the type of friend and officer to go out of his way to help.

Hall photographed with his Basic Law Enforcement Training class around 2015. (Courtesy Photo)

Detective Cardiellea Barksdale with the Wilmington Police Department, Hall’s BLET classmate, remembered what Hall called “the good ole’ days.”

“It’s crazy to think that it only took eight months for a group of strangers to become brothers and sisters for a lifetime…When I think of the laughs, joking, bickering, and stressing we all did, I can’t help but smile,” Barksdale shared.

(Courtesy Photo)

To his instructors, Hall’s desire to serve the community he loved was evident from day one of his training until well after he graduated from the program. Jennifer Wiley, Former Department Chair of Criminal Justice Technology at SCC, says Hall was a determined student.

Other instructors, like BLET Director Anthony Davis, trained Hall as a BLET recruit, then went on to watch him grow as an officer at the Clinton Police Department. Davis believed Hall would encourage his fellow officers to be selfless and put others first; he says that’s who Hall was.

“Brent touched so many lives in Sampson County and was truly the definition of a public servant. He would go out of his way to serve those within the community because he truly cared about them. Brent simply loved being a police officer,” Davis shared.

Corporal Tyler Williams of the Clinton Police Department worked with Hall at the Clinton Police Department and completed BLET with him before that. Williams not only worked with Williams at Clinton, but they were members of the same squad, meaning they worked together nearly every day.

“Brent was always smiling and full of joy and was always there if you needed anything. He was the type of person that if I called him at any time and needed something, he would drop what he was doing and be on his way to help me,” Williams remembered. “He always made each shift at work fun and if any of us were in a bad mood it wouldn’t take long, and he would have us laughing.”

It is obvious that to the friends, instructors, and classmates that he encountered during his time as a Basic Law Enforcement recruit at Sampson Community College, Officer Brent Hall lit up any room he entered. He will be remembered as a willing servant and an energetic companion.

“Words simply can’t describe the pain, anger, and frustration as we all search for understanding of such a tragic loss. As we move forward, I believe that Brent would tell us the following: put others before yourself, have a big heart, extend kindness to everyone you encounter, and love unconditionally. Because that is who Brent was and will continue to be for so many that he touched throughout his life and career as a law enforcement officer”, BLET Director Anthony Davis. 

About Sampson Community College: Sampson Community College is a member of the North Carolina Community College System, located in Clinton, NC in Sampson County. The college offers many programs to include two-year degrees, college transfer, continuing education and workforce development options, and early college education.