Police / Train for Skill


BGLEA was founded in 2020 by the Bowling Green Police Department in partnership with the Department of Criminal Justice Training. The Academy is hosted in Bowling Green for new Police Department Recruits. The Academy is 20 weeks and taught by BGPD instructors, local legal professionals and other members of the community. Academy participants do not have to stay overnight or be away from their families. Recruits attend the Academy like a normal 40-hour work week.

Overview of Curriculum and Training Areas

  • Coordination – Includes ceremonial and historical information. Introduction of physical training regimen, CPR and first aid certification.
  • Legal Training – Law enforcement education on the U.S. Constitution and Kentucky criminal law.
  • Leadership Training – Topics include full wellness including mental, physical and financial management as well as maintaining healthy relationships and habits.
  • Investigating Special Topics – Highly technical skills are taught regarding how to manage a crime scene, collect evidence, interviewing both victims and suspects, how to handle abuse, assault and deal with controlled substances.
  • Traffic – Focus on driving under the influence (DUI) violations, vehicle operations including becoming a certified Smith Driver.
  • Patrol Procedures – This covers fundamentals of being a patrol officer from radio communication to writing reports, and problem solving techniques. Some topics include; cultural awareness, animal control, issuing citations and follow ups.
  • Firearms – Introduction, exercise and certification on use of both handgun and patrol rifle as well as tactical exercises and off-duty firearm safety.
  • Patrol Tactics – This area will cover everything an officer needs to know about handling traffic stops including approach, identifying a high-risk event, working in low light, dealing with non-motorized vehicles and pedestrians. This area also includes critical incidents and decision making.
  • Physical Training – Physical training and defense tactics. This includes being fit for duty, recommended exercises, as well as handcuffing, search/frisk, use of batons, defense against sharp weapons and TASER.
BGLEA emblem


Matt Edwards

Assistant Chief Matt Edwards began his career with the BGPD as a Police Cadet. He has worked in all four divisions of the police department. As the Commander of the BGLEA, he oversees the entire Academy operation. He is an instructor in driving, firearms, and leadership. AC Edwards has a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice Administration. He is a member of the Bowling Green Human Rights Commission and the Life’s Better Together charity.

matt edwards

Mike Elliott

Sergeant Michael Elliott has been with the Bowling Green Police Department since 2009. As a member of the Critical Response Team since 2011 he currently holds the position of CRS Team Leader. In the Academy, Sergeant Elliott is the Lead Defensive Tactics Coordinator and the Police Training Officer (PTO) Coordinator. He has an Associate degree in Criminal Science from Columbia Southern University and he is a coach for the Bowling Green Judo Team, currently holding the rank of Shodan.

mike elliot

Eric Houchins

Captain Eric Houchins joined the Bowling Green Police Department in 2007. In addition to being the Captain of the Training Division, he is also the Commander of the Critical Response Team. Houchins is an instructor in firearms, leadership, less lethal tactics, crisis intervention tactics and general policing. He has a Bachelor’s degree from Western Kentucky University in Physics.

Eric Houchins

Brandon Stice

Sergeant Brandon Stice has been with the Bowling Green Police Department since 2008. In addition to his duties in the training division, Stice has served in Patrol and specialized as an Advanced Crime Scene Processor. Stice is the Driving Coordinator for the Academy. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Organizational Leadership from Columbia Southern University.

Brandon Stice

Erik Woodward

Sergeant Erik Woodward is the most senior member of the Training Division having served in the department for 22 years. Prior to being assigned to the Training Division he was in both Patrol and Criminal Investigations. He is the lead firearms instructor for the department. Woodward has served on the honor guard for 20 years.

Erik Woodward