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Bowling Green police host community outreach program

BGPD is working to show greater transparency and improve relationships with the people they serve.

BOWLING GREEN, Ohio — The Bowling Green Police Division is inviting people behind the scenes, giving them a look at how officers respond in highly stressful situations, from traffic stops to firearm safety. The department is hosting a citizen outreach program, also known as C.O.P.

The department's goal is to help people understand what officers are trained to do, and how they react to certain situations.

"We wanted to kind of de-mystify what it is we do, and hope people get a better understanding and see that we're people just like them. We've just been tasked with a job to do, and we want to do that to the best of our ability for the community," Bowling Green Chief of Police Tony Hetrick said.

The program was established following the unrest in the aftermath of George Floyd's murder by police.

"A couple years, back, with the George Floyd incident, city council thought that it would be a good idea for the police to do more community engagement," Hetrick said.

Lt. Ryan Tackett wants people to come away with a greater sense of transparency from the department, and an appreciation for what police officers deal with.

"I think they'll get a better understanding of what law enforcement does, why we respond to calls the way we do, and what our expectation is on a call and how people respond to what we do."

The department is planning to hold another session in the fall. Sign-up will be available on the city's website.