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Neighborhoods are the places where the everyday practice of life occurs. In 2014, the Neighborhood and Community Services Department started planning a program that would help maintain the beauty, safety, and recreation of neighborhoods throughout the City.

Watch our new Spotlight on Bowling Green about the City’s new Neighborhood Improvement Program.

 

 

BGPD School Liaison Program

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The Bowling Green Police Department School Liaison Program involves assigning a police officer to each elementary, junior and senior high school in Bowling Green. The officers are responsible for law enforcement services at their assigned schools. Liaison officers work closely with school staff and administrators to provide a safe and positive learning atmosphere in the school systems served by the program.

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Officers often to spend time in the schools having lunch, attending programs or even shooting some hoops with the kids.  It affords the officers the ability to give great first impressions and to create trusting relationships with students.  The kids become accustomed to seeing an officer in their school from kindergarten through high school.

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Officers also answer calls for service at their assigned schools when working which also builds trust and rapport.  Some officers have seen children through graduation and are now dealing with a second generation in the schools.  Officers enjoy their time and know their efforts ultimately pay off when the children openly trust and genuinely enjoy their interactions with them.

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Below are comments from a few of BGPD’s finest regarding their interactions with students, staff and schools.

Officer Matt Davis: 

“The school liaison is very important to me because it is yet another way our department strives to bridge the gap between the police and our community. I believe our students (especially young kids) need to see us during times other than just during an emergency.  This fosters a positive relationship and shows children police really are humans, just like them, and can always be approached for safety or in times when they simply need a role model or friend. I still have positive memories of my DARE officer coming and speaking to my class when I was young and that really set the standard for me of how to live a respectful and productive life. Often times the kids view police as nothing short of Superman himself but, I want the children to know we are certainly no different than them or their parents. We simply have different jobs or roles in our community.”

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Officer Wade Hughes: 

“This program benefits the children as well as the officer.  It allows the children to see us a regular people, not just people who come to their house to enforce laws upon their parents.  It also helps the officer remember the children are people who look up to us.  They have fears and excitements just like anyone else.  The interactions help reinforce future relationships with the children as they grow into adulthood.”

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Officer Jan Tuttle: 

“As an officer I believe being a part of a school makes a huge difference.  Spending time in schools help officers get to know the kids, teachers and administrators.  Officers are always available to help when problems arise but, mostly they like to hang out with the students whether it’s playing ball or reading books.  Officers spending time in schools could change the life of a child who seems to be headed in a bad direction.  Keeping kids on a positive path is what it is all about.”

 

2016 Veterans Day Parade

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November 5th will mark the 2016 Veterans Day Parade in downtown Bowling Green hosted by the Bowling Green-Warren County Military Liaison Board. The parade is expected to feature more than 300 units honoring our past, present and future troops and their families. Veterans Day is a Federal holiday that recognizes those who have served in our armed forces and who have fought for our freedoms.

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The parade will begin at 10 a.m. at 6th Street and College Street near Circus Square Park and will wind its way through the streets of downtown Bowling Green by traveling up College Street towards WKU, then turning left onto 10th Avenue and then left on to State Street. The parade will end at 6th Street and State Street near Circus Square Park. A meet and greet for all Veterans will take place at 8:30 a.m. at Kummer/Little Recreation Center and will include refreshments.

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Parade entries will include “Vets in Vettes,” the Bowling Green-Warren County All-Star Band featuring members from all local high schools, Floats, Broadway the Clown, Sparky the Fire Dog and so much more.

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Immediately following the parade there will be a flag-raising ceremony at the Warren County Courthouse Veterans Memorial Courtyard at 429 E. 10th Avenue with remarks from Judge Executive Mike Buchanon and Mayor Bruce Wilkerson.

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The Veterans Parade student essay winner will also be announced at the flag raising ceremony and will be awarded $100 from the American Legion and VFW Ladies’ Auxiliary. Student essays were solicited from 4th and 5th grade classes in Bowling Green and Warren County.

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In addition this year, food collection boxes are set up at Parks and Rec Community Centers to support the VA clinic and their food pantry. Please consider donating items such as peanut butter, canned meals, soups, tuna, macaroni and cheese, and fruit and grain bars.

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All events are entirely free and open to the public. For more information about the parade or other November 7th events, contact parade coordinator Sabrina Johnson at (270) 393-3310 or email: Sabrina.johnson@bgky.org.

 

Halloween!

On Monday, October 31, 2016, the ghosts and the goblins will come out in the City of Bowling Green for candy, costumes and parties. Whether you have kids who are excited about going out to their neighbor’s house for candy or you are planning on passing out treats to others, remember that the recommended day for trick-or-treating for the City will be on Monday, the 31st between the hours of 4 p.m. and 7 p.m.

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Even if you forget to buy candy and your goal is to turn off all of your lights and lay low during the trick-or-treating process, being aware of the recommended day and times will help you succeed in your hiding game.

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The ultimate goal on this spooky and candy-filled holiday is safety and fun! Help make sure that your child is in a safe costume with good vision, that jack-o-lanterns or other decorations with candles in them are far enough away from trick-or-treaters that they do not pose a fire threat, and make sure that any prop your child carries is smooth and flexible to avoid injury. Above all, teach your little ones basic safety for this Halloween and everyday including not talking to strangers, looking both ways before crossing the street and never getting in a car with someone they don’t know.

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On top of the safety tips, always remember that making a nice Halloween dinner before trick-or-treating will help curb the sugar and candy appetite later in the evening and will give you more of a chance to look over their haul.

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And finally, don’t forget to sneak a few of your favorite treats out of your kid’s pumpkin when they aren’t looking – you’re doing them a favor as ALL of that candy wouldn’t really be good for them.

Happy Halloween!

Leaf Pick Up

As the cold weather moves in and the leaves continue to change color and fall, the City’s Leaf Pickup Season kicks off. Starting on October 17th, residents can call 393-3333 to request a pick-up at their residence. Requested pick-ups will take place through November 3rd and are not guaranteed.

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Scheduled zone pick-up will tentatively begin on October 31 and will run through January 1, 2017. Dates may change depending on weather, equipment breakdown, or the rate of leaf fall in certain zones. Each zone will be picked up at least twice during this three month period. Please remember that Scott Waste will also pick up bagged leaves if you miss your City date or if you would simply rather bag them.

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Please remember that no pick-up will occur on major holidays as our crews will be home with their families during that time.

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Zone pick-up dates, zone descriptions, maps and leaf pickup guidelines are already published on the city’s web site at http://www.bgky.org/publicworks/leafpickup/ and will be published in the Daily News, in SOKY Happenings, the City’s Facebook Page, Twitter and on Government Access Channel 4. Pickup dates will also be available on a weekly basis via the Leaf Hotline (393-3333). Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have questions or concerns about your zone.

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Finally and MOST importantly, please remember these simple rules when raking leaves to your curb. Although leaves may damage your grass, that is where they belong. Leaves that are raked into the street or onto a sidewalk may cause stormwater, traffic and/or pedestrian issues, and the City reserves the right not to pick these leaves up.  DO NOT put debris, pumpkins, rocks, tires, trash or other non-foliage items in your leaf pile.  The trucks that pick up these leaves are meant for just that – leaves.  Other items can damage this equipment causing delays in zone pick-up. Always try and rake your leaves to the curb a few days early just in case there are changes to the schedule.

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If your leaves are INTENTIONALLY not picked up, you may not have followed one of the above rules. If this is the case, an orange door hanger will be placed on your door explaining the reason why your leaves were not picked up along with a contact number.

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May your leaf gathering go smoothly and here’s to hoping that they fall all at once and you don’t have to spend too many beautiful fall weekends outdoors with a rake!

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Each November, the City of Bowling Green celebrates Veteran’s Day with a fun-filled parade that winds its way through the downtown streets of our great City.

We are still accepting applications for our 16th annual parade taking place on Saturday, November 5th starting at 10 a.m.

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Each group or individual who would like to participate in the Veteran’s Day Parade will need to complete an entry form by Friday, October 21, 2016. The form can be found online at www.bgky.org or by calling 270-393-3603.

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All participants will need to make plans to arrive for the line-up at 8:30 a.m. in front of the Kummer/Little Gym located at 333 College Street. Applicants will need to list things such as; how many feet they requite for their entry, what kind of vehicle they will use, and the number of people involved with each entry.

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The City of Bowling Green encourages all of our residents to get involved in this great yearly event that recognizes the Veterans of our community.

In addition to the parade, there will be a meet and greet for all veterans at the Kummer/Little Gym from 8:30 to 9:15 a.m.

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If you are making plans to attend the parade as a spectator, make sure to remember to get there early and enjoy the route which starts near Circus Square and travels up College Street turning left onto 10th Avenue and then left onto State Street. Food collection boxes will also be located along the route if you would like to donate and support the VA Clinic Food Pantry.

 

It was an unusually hot September day this past Saturday, but it did not stop thousands of people from coming out to celebrate our City’s ever-growing diversity.  September 24th, marked the 27th Anniversary of Bowling Green’s International Festival, held at Circus Square Park.

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As the City’s International Communities Liaison I have been actively involved in organizing this event for the past five years, serving as Secretary for the festival’s Board of Directors and hosting a Cultural display featuring information, arts, and crafts from my native Venezuela.  In addition to the overwhelming support and assistance from Parks personnel and Neighborhood and Community Services staff, this year the Bowling Green Police and Fire Department played an active role in the success of the festival.   BGFD Firefighters manned the First Aid booth provided to festival goers to deal with minor medical issues that might arise, it also provides an organic opportunity for Firefighters to interact directly with the International community.

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Likewise, Officer Willis and Detective Franks of the Bowling Green Police Department manned the City’s booth and interacted with the public who came by to get more information about City Services and of course to learn about Venezuela.  I was amazed at the positive reception that the Officers yielded, everyone wanted to take pictures with them, give them samples of their ethnic foods, show them their native country’s dance moves – everyone was eager to share!

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While stopping to visit the cultural display for Burma, where the top five ethnic Burmese groups were represented (Burmese, Karen, Karenni, Zo, and Zomi), Officers interacted with members of the City’s International Communities Advisory Council.  One young Karen girl readily approached the Officers and asked:  “When can I join the Explorers post?”  Officer Willis went on to explain that she had to be at least 14 years old to join, and when she was ready she could come by the Police Station and they would gladly walk her through the process.  At that point I remembered this young girl was one of this year’s Jr. Police Academy Graduates!  I could already tell the impact the program had on this young Karen girl, and how comfortable she felt approaching an Officer to share of her newfound desire. img_4368

We have a very proactive and intentional City Government, who wants its workforce to be representative of the Community’s make-up.  The 2010 Census reported Bowling Green’s foreign-born population at 10.9%, and 2015 Census estimates has shown a steady growth to 12.7%.  The growth is undeniable!  As a result, City Government is continually looking for opportunities to capitalize in our community’s diversity by focusing on its assets.   One of those efforts has been the formation of the City’s Workforce Recruitment and Outreach Committee, which was appointed by Mayor Wilkerson in September, 2015.  Part of the committees’ effort is to look for avenues to recruit, retain, and diversify our City’s workforce.  Events like Bowling Green’s International Festival provide a great platform to build relationships, and for Officer Willis and Detective Franks to share how great it is to be a Police Officer!

 

The Workforce Recruitment Outreach Committee (WROC) was formed in September 2015 in response to the Department of Justice’s inquiry into the hiring practices for City police officers.   As part of the City’s proactive approach to the allegations presented in the letter City Officials appointed and approved a seven member committee that are representatives of local communities and the City’s employment area (which include surrounding counties).  Each member is appointed by the Mayor and approved by the Board of Commissioners.  Members serve a 2 year term with the option of term renewals at the recommendation of the Mayor and Board of Commissioners approval.

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Bowling Green is home to approximately 60,000 citizens of which: 75% White; 14% African Americans; 6% Hispanic; 4% Asian; and 1% Other.  The ultimate goal of the City is to have a workforce that reflects the community it serves.   Currently (9/13/16) the City’s workforce totals 594 employees of which:  87% White; 10 % African American; 1 % Asian and 1% Other.   WROC will assist and guide the City in accomplishing its goal of community workforce representation, employee retention, and minority recruitment.   Initially the focus will be on increasing minority representation within the public safety workforce (police officers and firefighters).  Currently (9/13/16) there are 112 sworn police officers on staff:   88% White; 8% African American; 3% Hispanic; 1% Asian.

Committee members will observe the entire process from advertisement to hiring, including observing/participating in interviews.  City staff provides reports on applicants; recruitment sources; demographic information; national/regional location; those presenting for registration/testing and reasons why applicants did not attend a particular event/or why an applicant was not selected to move forward in the process.   Committee members, depending on availability, will participate/observe in the interview process for public safety positions.  The committee will make recommendations to the City about its recruitment efforts and hiring processes and suggest ways the City can enhance its current efforts.   The committee has been through two police officer recruitment cycles and have just begun a firefighter cycle.

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In light of recent national events surrounding the law enforcement profession, WROC has been tasked with not only aiding the City in increasing minority recruitment but also develop/find ways to improve the community’s image of policing.  WROC formed an outreach subcommittee as one way to begin changing the public’s perception.  The outreach subcommittee will identify and/or create events that will foster approachability between the citizens and police officers.  The subcommittee meets monthly and discusses upcoming community events and makes suggestions to the City about the events they should attend.   Opportunities within the community to sow seeds for the police officer profession will start to be explored.   Another avenue WROC strongly stresses, is the need for the volunteerism, good deeds, and day to day interactions of the Bowling Green Police Department to be featured more in media outlets.

In the months to come, there will be enhancements to the City’s job advertisements, increased communication between the City and its citizens and vice versa; a City presence will be noticed in the schools at career fairs and fall festivals; throughout neighborhoods at block parties and neighborhood meetings; throughout the community at forums, and community events.

The Bowling Green Coalition of Active Neighborhoods (BGCAN) will host a candidates’ forum featuring the candidates for Bowling Green City Commissioner at the BGCAN Fall Rally of the Neighborhoods on Tuesday, September 27.

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The event will take place at Sloan Convention Center, 1021 Wilkinson Trace. The Rally will begin with light refreshments and networking at 6:00 p.m., with the program scheduled to start at 6:30.

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BGCAN is an umbrella organization for the City’s various neighborhood organizations, uniting neighbors from across the City to provide a centralized forum and collective voice for neighborhood improvement. To submit a question for the forum, please email: karen.foley@bgky.org.

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Attendance at this event also fulfills the training requirement for eligibility the City’s grant program for neighborhoods. This event is free and open to the public and we encourage you to come out and get to know your candidates for City Commission.

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Are you or your child interested in playing basketball this fall? If so, the City of Bowling Green Parks and Recreation offers adult and youth basketball!

Youth basketball is offered in cooperation with Southern Kentucky Youth Basketball and league play includes a separate division for boys and girls from age 6 to 18 as shown in the chart below. More information can be found at www.eteamz.com/skybl.

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Division Grade Level Fee
Beginners 1st & 2nd $55
Primary 3rd & 4th $60
Elementary 5th & 6th $60
Prep 7th & 8th $60
JV 9th-11th $60

 

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Registration Dates are October 5 and 6 from 3:30-6:30 pm, and October 8 from 10:00 am-12:00 pm at Bowling Green Parks and Recreation. The draft will take place on November 5 from 9:30-11:00 am for Prep League at Sid Carr Gym, and November 5 from 10:30 am-12:00 pm at Sid Carr Gym for JV. Practices Begin on November 7.

Adult Basketball is offered to the first 60 paid teams to register.  Fees include 10 league games and a single elimination tournament.  The team entry fee must be paid in full by the registration deadline of November 21 in order to be placed on the schedule.  There will be a mandatory coaches meeting on November 21 at 6:00 pm at BGPR.  League play will begin the week of November 28. The fee for teams is $425 with divisions as listed below.

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League Plays
Men’s Open I M, W, F
Men’s Open II M, W, F
Men’s Open III M, W, F
Men’s Industrial I T, Th
Men’s Industrial II T, Th
Men’s Church I T, Th
Men’s Church II T,  Th
2nd Shift T, Th
Women’s Open M, W, F
Coed Open M, W, F

 

 

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For more information see our Adult Basketball Registration Form or contact 270-393-3624.

 

 

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