The Bowling Green Police Department has a saying that goes, "Hire for character, train for skill." By expanding the application pool to include those with only a high school or equivalent diploma, the department hopes to do just that.
"What I want to do is, I want people to compete for those positions that demonstrate that they are qualified for the position and we'll train them for the skills we need them to have," Police Chief Doug Hawkins said.
Hawkins also said when the application standard was changed a few years back, it excluded those without a college education or military experience from applying. That move began to hurt recruiting numbers and made hiring new recruits difficult.
"In a hiring process in the past, we've seen one or 200 people apply for police officer positions. Over the last several hiring processes those numbers have been from in the mid-40's to 60's," Hawkins said.
Any officer who is hired will be required to go through police training in Richmond, Ky.
In addition, Hawkins said that the city offers full-time employees the chance to take up to six hours of college courses if they so choose.
He also said he doesn't want those who went straight from high school into the workforce to be left out if they have the character and ability to protect and serve their community.
Hawkins noted, while the pool may be getting bigger, "Its important to stress that the application standards do not translate into lower hiring standards. We still expect a higher, very high quality people to fill positions at the Bowling Green Police Department."