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BGPD

Police officers are trained to always expect the unexpected.  We avoid using the term “routine” because even the most common, everyday police interactions such as minor automobile accidents or simple traffic violations can result in the discovery of a crime or a wanted person.  Police officers are at a disadvantage in these situations because they never know who or what they will encounter.

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Sometimes police officers are perceived as uncaring or rude.  A vast majority of the time, officers want to help and are not trying to be rude or arrogant, but they are not robots.  They have emotions like everyone else.  Police officers work in a world where they must maintain their professionalism when regularly interacting with people who could be in pain, suffering, untruthful, disrespectful, or outright violent toward them.  Also consider an officer’s ever-present awareness of the serious consequences that may come from making a mistake on an arrest or use of force decision.

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Officers are trained to avoid being overly argumentative or disrespectful to people and they should never be demeaning to citizens by calling them names, belittling them or acting sarcastic but may need to raise their voice to be heard or to demand quick action for safety.  While we want officers to be friendly and approachable, officers are not generally trained to be overly cheerful or enthusiastic about taking enforcement action such as issuing citations or arresting people, as this can be insulting to the people on the receiving end of the action.

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In order to protect themselves and effectively detect signs of criminal activity, the law and the courts allow police officers to exercise reasonable control over a stop location including directing motorists where to stop; directing occupants to remain inside a vehicle or exit, etc.; to approach your vehicle from the passenger side to lessen the risk of being struck by a passing car; the authority to “pat down” for weapons if there is reasonable suspicion of a crime; the authority to compel the driver of a motor vehicle or a person being charged with a crime to identify themselves; and when reasonable suspicion of a crime exists, the authority to detain citizens for a short time in order to attempt to identify the person and conduct a brief investigation.

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Enforcing the law in the dark is more dangerous for officers because threats such as weapons are harder to see and easier to conceal.  The same holds true for evidence of a crime.  This is why police are equipped with powerful lights.  Do not feel apprehensive or embarrassed when an officer shines a spotlight or flashlight at you during a traffic stop.  Officers also appreciate it when citizens keep their hands visible and turn on the dome light so they can see what is happening in the vehicle.

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Even though police officers are granted reasonable measures by the law and courts, there may not randomly stop people or vehicles without reasonable suspicion or probable cause with the exception of sobriety checkpoints; they may not compel people to consent to searches by threatening arrest; and BGPD officers must thoroughly document their stops and investigations to provide the best possible evidence for a possible court case and to provide a check on the officer’s performance.

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We have very high expectations of our Bowling Green Police officers to treat people with dignity and respect.  However, if you ever feel that you have been treated unfairly, we would like to know about it so we can look into the matter.  Citizens are always welcome to come by or call the police station and speak with a police supervisor.  Or, if you do not wish to speak with anyone in person or over the phone, you may file a written complaint at City Hall.

Bermuda Grass Green-up

Spring is in full swing and golfers are starting to hit the links, baseball is starting up and soccer season has arrived. BG Parks has Bermuda grass fields at our municipal golf courses (CrossWinds, Walker, and RiverView) and Lover’s Lane Soccer Complex. We are commonly asked, “When will the Bermuda grass green?” The answer is, “Soon.”

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Bermudagrass is considered a warm season species of grass as opposed to Fescue, Ryegrass or Bentgrass which are cool season grasses. Bermuda functions best when it is warm and fescue functions best when it is cool. Fescue is the grass of choice for most homeowners here in Bowling Green, but during our hot humid summers, Fescue suffers from heat and drought stress, requiring lots of water and fungicide treatments. Bermudgrass on the other hand flourishes in the summer heat of Kentucky. In fact the hotter the better for Bermudagrass and it can handle drought stress very well and has very little disease issues. So, one of the main reasons why Bermudagrass is used on our golf courses and sports fields is cost. Bermuda requires less input than Fescue or other cool season grasses and it is in the best condition when most rounds of golf and sports are played; May through October.

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Another positive with Bermuda is it recovers very quickly from injury. Bermuda can regenerate itself via rhizomes (below ground stems) and stolons (above ground stems). When a divot is taken from Bermuda or some type of mechanical injury occurs it can recover very quickly usually within a week or two. Bermuda can also tolerate low mowing heights, usually 1 inch or lower. Due to this, a much more “level” or “quick” playing surface is the result. This is ideal for soccer and golf.

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The biggest negative of warm season grasses is that they go dormant during the late fall of the year and turn a light brown or straw color and remain that way throughout the winter. We call it entering a dormant state. As the soil and air temperatures cool in the fall, warm season grasses start to translocate carbohydrates produced in the leaves of the grass plant and move the carbohydrates into the roots to store for the winter. These carbohydrates act as reserves for the plant to survive in a dormant state throughout the winter and then in the spring the remaining carbohydrates allow the plant to come out of dormancy and start to produce green leaf tissue.

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Historically, we start to see our Bermuda green-up in early April and mow for the first time in early May. Last year our green-up was delayed because of the extreme winter we had. In fact, we had to replant several acres of fairways and soccer fields last summer due to winter kill. Winter kill occurs to Bermuda when the grass is exposed to sub-freezing temperatures for several consecutive days. We are very optimist about the recovery of our Bermuda this season. While we did have a tough winter in regards to snow fall we did not have low temperatures extremes for long periods of time.

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Turfgrass managers are always concerned about Bermuda recovery in the spring. We do all we can in the fall of the year to insure our grass has the best chance of surviving the winter. We insure that proper fertility levels are met, we raise our mowing heights to increase our root mass and depths and the list goes on. Soil temperatures, air temperatures, the angle of the sun and the day length are the major factors that dictate when our Bermuda will green-up.

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As of April 1, we should be three to four weeks behind normal Bermuda grass green-up this spring. Hopefully we will to continue to get 70 degree days and 50 degree nights and we will be off and running, playing and mowing and mowing and mowing. DSC01663

Hope to see you out playing golf, participating in sporting events and enjoying the beautiful recreational facilities our City has to offer.

How Government Works

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Bowling Green is a City Manager form of government as constituted under Kentucky Revised Statute 83A.150 and was established as such in 1969.

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All of the powers of the executive and legislative branches are vested in the Board of Commissioners (all judicial functions are under the jurisdiction of state government). The Board of Commissioners is made up of four Commissioners who serve two-year terms and a Mayor who serves a four-year term. The Board of Commissioners make public policy and focus the direction for the City of Bowling Green.

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The Mayor has the statutory responsibility to preside at Board meetings, recommend appointments to designated boards, and is the signatory of authorized documents on behalf of the City.

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The Board of Commissioners also appoints a City Manager as the chief administrative officer. The City Manager administers the policies, procedures and directives established by the Board of Commissioners. Oversight and coordination of the daily operations of the City’s nine departments and their divisions is the overall responsibility of this position.

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Board of Commissioners meetings occur on the first and third Tuesday of each month. Informational work sessions begin at 4 p.m.; while the regular voting sessions begin at 7 p.m. Proposals for action are placed on the agenda by the City Manager or members of the Board. At the meetings, members of the Board discuss and deliberate items on the agenda, then approve, modify, or reject the proposals by a majority vote. The City Manager then carries out the decisions of the Board.

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Meetings are open to the public. They are broadcast live on the local government cable access Channel 4 and streamed live on the internet through the City website.

 

Hills Bark Park

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Wanting to get out and do more with your dog?  Hills Bark Park at H.P. Thomas Park is a great way to implement socialization into your dog’s life and the perfect spot for your dog to make some new friends.  Dogs love to get outside on a beautiful sunny afternoon and play fetch and tug, and Hills Bark Park is the place to go.

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With two separate areas, one for small dogs (under 30 pounds) and one for large dogs, Hills Bark Park is a safe place for your pup to play.  Once your dog is inside the gated area of Hills Bark Park, they are free to roam without a leash, but please remember all dogs must be on a leash when not inside the gated area.  Hills Bark Park requires that all dogs be caught up on their immunizations before being allowed to play with other dogs.

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Need a break while playing with your dog?  No problem; there are multiple shade trees placed throughout the park with resting benches under them so you and your dog can rest after a long afternoon of playing.  There is also a dog fountain for your dog to get re-hydrated after an eventful day.

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With the entire park sitting on over 17 acres, H.P. Thomas Park has a wide variety of amenities for the whole family, so when you get done playing with your pup your little ones can enjoy the playground or your family can cookout on one of the two grills the park offers.  The park also offers two soccer fields, so there is enough space for your entire family to spend quality time together.

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H.P. Thomas Park is open from sunrise to sunset.  A new shelter opened in the park in mid-2014.  The shelter rents for $15 for four hours or $30 for the entire day and includes a grill, restrooms, electricity, and ceiling fans to keep cool.  The shelter is a great place to host a family reunion or birthday party, and you and your family members can bring your dogs along too.

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For more information on this or any other BGPR Park or Program, call us at (270) 393-3249.

Spring Break Camp for Kids

Spring Break was designed to give kids a break from school and to help them try new and exciting experiences while growing mentally, physically and socially. Let your child enjoy fun, games, arts & crafts, music, dance, and even a field trip at the F.O. Moxley Community Center Spring Break Camp.

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The F.O. Moxley Community Center is located at 225 East Third Avenue and facilities include a game room with billiard tables and video games, a TV room with board games, two wallybally/racquetball courts and two high school regulation basketball courts.

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Camp Dates are April 6 – 10 and children ages 5 to 13 are welcome (all 5 year olds must have attended kindergarten). Registration for camp is open now and will run through March 31, 2015. More information and registration forms are posted online at www2.bgky.org/bgpr/. Camp will be held daily from 7:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at F.O. Moxley Center.

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Space is limited for camp, and pre-registration is required. The regular weekly fee is $40 and payment is required at the time of registration. Lunch is not provided during Spring Break Camp.

If you are interested in being a Spring Break or Summer Camp Counselor for the City of Bowling Green, you can visit http://www.bgky.org/hr/jobs for more information.

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For more information about Spring Break Camp, Summer Camp, or any other Parks and Recreation programs, please call 270-393-3642.

Fairview Cemetery

Have you ever wondered why Fairview Cemetery has so many rules?  Maybe you haven’t unless you have loved ones buried there or you have purchased burial plots for you or your family members.  Some of the more common rules are often broken and we want to explain why we have them in place.

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One of the main rules that can be broken is the planting of unapproved landscaping.  Often times, people come into the cemetery on a weekend and plant items for their loved ones.  But we ask that before you plant, please check with the staff to make sure what you have planned is approved landscaping.  We have over 30,000 burial plots on 109 acres that we maintain on a weekly basis.  This includes mowing, weed eating, weed killing and general maintenance.

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Another rule at Fairview Cemetery is to keep all items off the ground during mowing season.  We do not want the mowers and weed eaters to accidentally destroy something that might be of sentimental value to the family member that placed it there.  If you want to place something at the head of the grave, please stop by the office and we will be happy to assist you with what is allowed. Many families and friends also place beautiful artificial flower arrangements at their loved ones grave.  Unfortunately, many times these arrangements come up missing.  There are many reasons for this.  The wind might blow them off during a storm or they weren’t placed tightly enough on the headstone or in the vases.  But unfortunately, the main reason for these arrangements to disappear is theft so we ask that you not place anything sentimental or valuable at a grave.

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Also, the second or third week of March every year we have our annual Spring Cleanup.  We advertise this event for several weeks before in the newspaper, through PSA’s, @ www.bgky.org, on social media and we post signs in all three of our cemeteries which include:  Fairview Cemetery #1 &# 2, Mount Moriah Cemetery and Pioneer Cemetery.  The Maintenance Supervisor goes through all cemeteries and picks up old and discolored arrangements, broken items and all past holiday decorations.  If you have any questions regarding our Spring Cleanup please call our office Monday through Friday between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. and we will be happy to answer any of your questions.

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In addition to the rules and regulations of our cemeteries, did you know we have a Veteran’s Section that is designated for burials of Warren County Veterans?  Its official name is the Brock E Beery Veteran’s Cemetery.  We sell memorial bricks for $50.00 that can be placed in the Veteran’s plaza for any Veteran.

Fairview Cemetery also has a beautiful grotto fountain that is surrounded by our cremation area.  We have a section in front of the fountain that is designated for in ground cremation burials and two cremation Niches with 48 doors in each one.  There is a beautiful scattering garden that borders this area.

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One additional part of our cemetery is the Bloch Chapel.  This chapel was built around 1938 in memory of the Bloch family by their children.  The chapel is available to rent for memorial services, church services and weddings.

The cemetery administration office is located at 1209 Fairview Avenue in front of cemetery #2.  Our office hours are Monday through Friday from 7:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.  If you have any questions about Fairview or any other cemetery, please contact us at (270) 393-3607.

Thank You

Record snow falls blanketed the City of Bowling Green this past week helping to coin the phrase #Snowmageddon2015. Nearly a foot of snow mixed with frigid temperatures made sure that this storm would go down in Bowling Green history. Facebook was full of pictures and status updates, while Twitter was constantly buzzing with more re-tweets of @joeimel than ever before.
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While Mother Nature was doing all that she could to keep the citizens of Bowling Green trapped in their homes, the City of Bowling Green Public Works crews (among many others) were out working in the elements to salt, plow and treat roads as the snow fell.

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Starting Sunday, February 15th, at 10 p.m. crews started working in 8 hour shifts to prepare the trucks and salt the roads. For the next week, these folks stayed out on the roads 24 hours per day in varying shifts. Many of these employees had to leave their homes and their families at all hours of the day or night in order to make the streets safer for the rest of us. During this time, 923 tons of deicer was used and miles upon miles of City streets were plowed (often times more than once as the snow fell at such a heavy rate).

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While Public Works crews did all that they could out in the field, Parks and Recreation staff worked to clear parking lots and Public Safety assisted travelers who were stuck or stranded and helped to push numerous vehicles out of dangerous situations. Again, these folks were working around the clock often times in negative temperatures.

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As someone who was able to work from my home and my office, I am so grateful for the work that was done. Updates were posted on social media as often as possible and it was clear that most of the citizens of Bowling Green agreed that these employees were doing an excellent and efficient job. Here are just a few of the things that were said:

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Shout out to all the first responders for keeping us safe this week

Appreciate all the work so that I can eventually feel safe leaving the house

Way to go James, Josh, Glenn, Kevin, Burris, Jeff, Allen, and Brawner

Thank you for your hard work. And thanks to your families for their sacrifice also. Prayers you all stay safe.

A huge shout out to the road crews who are clearing our roads. Thank you for everything you’ve done.

Thank you so much for your service to our community!!

Be careful out there ladies and/or gentlemen! We appreciate all you do.
You all have done an amazing job! Thank you.
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The work of not only City crews but County, State and many others helped to get people back on the roads quickly and safely. If you know someone who was working out during the storm, please take a moment to say thank you. Some of our Board of Commissioners wanted staff to know:

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Commissioner Rick Williams: A word of thanks to every team member who went above and beyond to help the citizens of Bowling Green during the recent weather crisis. Your dedication and determination to get the job done was simply outstanding! Great job everyone!!

Commissioner Melinda Hill: Thank you for the LONG hours you put in during the winter storm to make our City operable! I have heard nothing but good things about your efforts! Thank you so much.

Mayor Bruce Wilkerson: Thank you to our staff and crews in all departments who were working long hours around the clock to not only clear our roads but to help keep others safe. Your work did not go unnoticed and we are all appreciative.

Commissioner Joe Denning: A special thank you to everyone who was out on the streets of Bowling Green this past week working in the elements. Your dedication and efforts went above and beyond.

Commissioner Sue Parrigin – I cannot express the appreciation, admiration, and amazement for the work that was done by our public works, parks, police, fire, and other personnel on behalf of our community as a result of our severe weather event. All stayed the course and the dedication and commitment, sometimes at a cost to their own personal and family needs, did not go unnoticed by the citizens of Bowling Green and Warren County. A personal thank you for a job well done in helping to keep us all safe and sound under these extreme circumstances is certainly in order! Again, thank you for a job well done!
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There is no way that we can name everyone who worked around the clock this past week but thank you especially to the following Public Works crew:

Gary Hardin
Ryan Johnson
Allen Papp
Barry Basham
Brent Brawner
Cameron Carver
Cary Watt
David Wood
Derrick Sigdestad
Eric Joiner
Jacob Boose
Jeff Salings
Kevin Meredith
Derrick Sanders
Michael Spruill
Randy Rascoe
Shawn Whitlow
Tommy Burris
Tony Phelps
Wes Jackson
David Wilbert
Glenn Lamastus
James Craft
Jeff Walden
Josh Miller
Patrick Henderson
Roy Basham
Kevin Phelps
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One of the most important components for any emergency response is good communications.  Anytime you see an emergency vehicle responding with lights and sirens, they are doing so based on information provided to them by professional emergency communication dispatchers.

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Good dispatch operations are fundamental to successful Firefighting Operations.  Information relayed to fire crews while in route to a fire provides the basis for how the fire will be fought and defines various factors that need to be taken into consideration.  Is the structure occupied?  Is anyone trapped inside?  Where is the fire located in the structure?  If this type information is known, it is a big help to the Incident Commander and the responding crews to know this as soon as possible.

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Recently the Bowling Green Fire Department designed and implemented a Fire Operations learning program geared toward helping new emergency dispatchers gain a better understanding of how we respond and operate during an emergency, and the importance of their role in a successful outcome.

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Like most technical professions, firefighters operate with a language all their own.  Fire ground language includes acronyms, abbreviations and secondary word meanings specific to the profession.

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For example hearing the Incident Commander direct Engine 4 to “attack the fire with a 2-1/2 through the A side entrance” may leave you a little confused.  However, if you know that an engine carries different size hoses, and a 2-1/2 is a large diameter hand line capable of flowing 250 gallons per minute, and that the A side is usually the front of the structure where command is established, then that command directive takes on a different meaning and helps you paint a picture of what is happening on the fire ground.

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Ventilation, Search and Rescue, Loss Control, Water supply, exposure protection, etc. are all part of the dynamics of typical fire ground operations.  Our new dispatch orientation program provides dispatchers with a hands on opportunity to understand what those terms mean and actually participate in a mock exercise.

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During the training they will ride in a fire truck with lights and sirens engaged, try on an air pack, go up in an aerial truck, flow water through a fire hose, and experience a simulated smoke filled environment.  They get to observe and participate in a mock structure fire and see first-hand  what a coordinated structure fire response looks like and the importance of their role as professional communicators.  Likewise, firefighters learn about the challenges faced by dispatchers.   Gaining and sharing new perspectives and knowledge in these areas improves professionalism for all those  involved.

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We are fortunate to have a great team of dispatch communicators operating as an integral part of our emergency response effort.  They are on the point of the spear in a high stress environment and often don’t receive the recognition they deserve.  We look forward to continued professional improvement with them and believe this enhanced fire dispatch learning program is a step in the right direction.

Thanks, Chief Greg Johnson, BGFD

The 2015 Bowling Green Police Department Citizen Police Academy (CPA) is now accepting applications. This 11 week course begins March 5th and provides an opportunity to learn first-hand about police operations through a series of hands on demonstrations, interactive presenting and simulated activities. Participants will become better informed about the reality of police work and policing in our community.

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Classes meet one night per week from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Bowling Green Police Department Community room at 911 Kentucky Street with off-site visits made to other locations such as the Justice Center, Jail, and BGPD Firing Range.

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Any citizen interested in the City of Bowling Green and/or police operations who is 18 years or older with no prior felony convictions can apply for the CPA.

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Academy curriculum and topics will include an overview of the department’s operations and organization, firearms training, a police ride along, mock traffic stops, K-9 demonstrations, mock crime scene investigations, undercover drug operatives, dispatch operations and much more.

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All classes will be instructed by Bowling Green Police Department or other criminal justice personnel.

If you would like to apply for the 2015 Citizen’s Police Academy, please visit http://www.bgky.org/police/citizen-police-academy or contact Officer Ronnie Ward at 270-393-4596.

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We need YOU to be involved in the future of Parks and Recreation! The City of Bowling Green is currently seeking your input through the process of preparing a master plan to improve the parks and recreation system throughout our city.

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Public participation is an essential part of this plan and there are multiple ways that we are seeking your opinions.

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A public workshop will be held at 7 p.m. on Monday, February 9th at Bowling Green Jr. High School. This workshop will allow folks in our community to discuss what is important to them and how they would like to see our Parks programs grow.

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If you cannot attend the workshop but you would like to voice your opinion, you can always fill out our online survey at www.surveymonkey.com/s/BGParks. This survey asks a variety of questions about the parks and recreation services that you use as well as the services you would like to see offered in the future.

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Finally, if you’d like to stay involved throughout the entire master plan process, join us for continual online discussion and forums at www.OurBGParks.MindMixer.com. This site offers residents and park users the ability to provide feedback, input and discussion on a regular basis.

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Remember, this is your chance to help shape the future of our parks and recreation. Let us know what will benefit you and your family: more organized sports, an indoor pool, an ice rink, soft play for little ones, or anything else! Don’t miss this opportunity to get involved.
For more information about this process, please contact us at 270-393-3583.DSC_0079

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