Patrol Operations Division
The men and women of the Patrol Operations Division, commanded by Major Melanie Watts, perform the most visible and recognized functions of the Bowling Green Police Department. We are the ones that respond to citizen's needs. We are seen on the streets behind the wheel of a police car, looking for a lost child, comforting the victim of a crime or arresting an intoxicated driver.
Our officers serve the approximate 63,000 citizens who reside in an expanse of thirty-seven square miles that is known as Bowling Green, as well our many visitors who travel to our city daily for work and recreational purposes.
The patrol function includes the responsibility for responding to requests for emergency and non-emergency police service, offender apprehension, deterrence of crime, initial investigation, evidence gathering and maintenance of order within our community. The traffic function includes responsibilities of responding to vehicular collisions, maintaining proper traffic control and flow throughout the city and the issuance of traffic violation citations to encourage compliance with existing traffic laws or ordinances.
The men and women of Patrol Operations are the "backbone" of the organization and are our front-line ambassadors. The quality of life experienced in Bowling Green can be greatly attributed to the service provided by these men and women. They share a commitment to a 24 hour, seven days a week (holidays included), 365 days a year endeavor to insure that citizens can live and work here safely.
For operational purposes, the City is divided into eight patrol districts-using both geographical and man made boundaries combined with the volume of calls for service. While each district has unique law enforcement challenges, all of Bowling Green continues to experience rapid growth that requires the department to constantly reevaluate the way it protects the city. Each district has an assigned patrol sergeant who acts as a law enforcement liaison between our agency and the citizens he or she serves. Totaled, the eight districts are comprised of 35 square miles and 288 miles of roadway.
Crime Analysis involves the study of crime patterns and trends affecting a community. The Crime Analyst reviews all information including crime reports, calls for service, arrest reports and notices from other agencies looking for crime phenomena such as series, sprees, hot spots, and trends. By performing statistical and analytical research using a variety of computer applications and GIS mapping, the analyst creates reports and disseminates this information to police. Patrol and investigative commanders use this information to develop strategies to address any emerging or ongoing crime patterns.
The Bowling Green Police Department K9 Unit is comprised of two highly trained German shepherds which were purchased with the help of the Warren County Drug Task Force. These dogs are dual-purpose dogs, trained in both narcotics detection and patrol services.
The department’s K9 teams provide a great service to the community, tracking missing persons, apprehending suspects and locating evidence. They allow police officers to work in a safer and more efficient manner and perform functions that humans are simply unable to do. For example, police officers searching a building without the benefit of a K9 team will take much longer to perform the search and will be exposed to greater risk.
The K9 teams have tracked and located missing persons, apprehended dangerous suspects, and been responsible for the removal of a significant amount of illegal drugs and weapons from the community.
Critical Response Team (CRT)
The Critical Response Team (CRT) is a specialty team that is trained, equipped, and maintained to support the departments mission in high risk situations. When called upon, the CRT helps settle incidents such as barricaded suspects, high-risk warrants, or hostage situations. The goal of the CRT is to provide the Bowing Green Community with a trained, professional, properly equipped team that can respond to special needs involving crisis situations in a timely manner.
The motorcycle unit, known as “motors,” was formed in 2004 in a partnership between the Bowling Green Police Department and Harley-Davidson of Bowling Green. The founder of Harley-Davidson of Bowling Green, the late Cornelius Martin, entered into a lease agreement with the City of Bowling Green to provide four Harley-Davidson police motorcycles to the City for $1 per year.
Each officer selected for the unit must attend a rigorous two-week training program sponsored by Harley-Davidson and Northwestern University. In addition to traffic enforcement, the motors are useful working special details. The motors can often go places that cars cannot. The motors are always a big hit with the public when they appear in parades and charity events.
Crime Scene Processors
In the patrol operations division there are police officers who are specially trained to gather and record physical evidence at a crime scene. This may involve photography, evidence collection and processing, developing latent fingerprints or reconstruction of a crime scene through diagrams and measurements.
A separate more specialized team is trained as Advanced Crime Scene Processors and respond to major crime scenes. These officers process hundreds of crime scenes throughout the year. Three Bowling Green Police Officers are graduates of the National Forensic Academy. The NFA is an intensive ten-week course that includes death investigation, bloodstain pattern analysis, forensic anthropology, DNA, post mortem fingerprinting, photography, crime scene management, computer sketching, and several other complicated aspects of processing. Perhaps the most well known portion of the training is the time spent at the university's "body farm". The Crime Scene Unit supports the department's patrol function and works closely with the Criminal Investigations Division.
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