BOWLING GREEN LAW ENFORCEMENT ACADEMY
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.
MEET THE INSTRUCTORS
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“The BGLEA training staff is made up of personable and experienced instructors who are fully committed to your success. The mentorship in this program is invaluable and must be experienced firsthand to fully appreciate.” ~ Michaela King – Class 2
“A big benefit about attending BGLEA was the convenience of the time and location, especially for families. Additionally, for someone like me who is not from Bowling Green, I was able to drive around the City and learn the streets and locations prior to graduating and patrolling.” ~ Jaeden Brown – Class 1
“One of the benefits of attending BGLEA is knowing the expectations that each officer with the BGPD is held to. The other great benefit is being trained by the department I will be working for.” ~ Brandon Boards – Class 2
“The best part is learning the way BGPD does things. It makes it less stressful to go to the street because you aren’t learning the way taught at the academy in Richmond and then relearning it the way BGPD does it.” ~ Jon Smith – Class 1
“I would consider the BGLEA a more personal training program. I had a sergeant assigned to me personally who I was able to trust and go to for extra attention as needed.” ~ Michaela King – Class 2
“The BGLEA trained me in different laws, tactics, and techniques to best prepare me to get out onto the streets for patrol.” ~ Jaeden Brown – Class 1
“The staff was always big on safety and professionalism.” ~ Brandon Boards – Class 2
“One of the best benefits of the BGLEA was getting to go home every night and have real weekends. I also loved the small class size which helped provide further assistance where needed.” ~ Jon Smith – Class 1