Police Department at Full Staff

By: Ryan Dearbone
By: Ryan Dearbone

"It seems that you always have people that are leaving the profession either through retirement or they decide that policing is not for them. But what we've hired last night brings us to full capacity in terms of what we're authorized for sworn strength."

Lieutenant Colonel Jerry Wells says the City Commission's appointment of the 8 new officers and 1 new dispatcher shows both sides' commitment to excellence on the force despite recent issues the two had over the pay plan.

"Previous commissions and the current commission and city manager are very committed to having a quality product and basically compensating people when they come to work for the city of Bowling Green."

Being at full staff is something that the police department believes will be just one step towards improving the safety and public service to the community.

"Get up to capacity and to also increase the number of people in the police department along with fire in regards for public safety to come up and handle all of the items that you're looking for in both the police and fire departments."

Wells notes that while new officers have been hired, it will be a while before they hit the streets due to weeks of basic academy schooling and field training.

"So we're talking approximately 34 weeks before a person even gets out on their own and then of course as we always contend, it takes at least 2 or 3 years to make a good police officer in terms of experience."
And even though current Police Chief Bill Waltrip will be retired by the time these new officers begin their beats, Lieutenant Wells says this type of growth will be part of his legacy.

"Chief has always said we hire for character and train for skills and core values are exactly that. Core values do not change. We want people who are honest. People who will do the job, give a full day's work for the money."

According to the police department, it is always looking for new recruits.

The department will begin the second of its bi-annual police recruits search in june.

Anyone interested should call the police department at 393-42-44.


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