Outgoing Bowling Green Police chief looks back on career, forward on next chapter

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – Tonight, for the first time since announcing his retirement, we are hearing from the outgoing Bowling Green chief of police.

Doug Hawkins has served as the chief of the department for the last 13 years.

The retirement age for the Bowling Green Police Department is 57.

Hawkins is 56 and nearing his birthday.

“No sour grapes. I’m excited for what the future holds in retirement and I’m looking forward to handing it off to the next chief and know that they will do a fantastic job. We have some great candidates that are competing to become the next chief and I know all of them and all of them are very capable candidates,” said Hawkins.

Hawkins says hiring and promoting quality officers has been the most important part of being chief.

“I think hiring great people, promoting great people, will always help us to be an excellent police agency with a focus on improvement. So, if I have a legacy it is that I have left a lot of great people in the organization that in all likelihood are the next leaders of this generation and the next,” said Hawkins.

The three applicants are Deputy Chief Penny Bowles, Deputy Chief Michael Delaney and Assistant Chief Brian Harrell.

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Hawkins fully supports all of his potential replacements.

Bowling Green Mayor Bruce Wilkerson appreciates Hawkins participation in the community for the past 30 years.

“It’s been a really good run. I think a lot of Doug and I wish him well as he looks to the next chapter of his life,”

“I’ve accepted a position with Houchens Industries working in their ACE Hardware division in the management team and so I’ll be moving into that role a couple of weeks after I retire,” said Hawkins.

Hawkins told WNKY one of his favorite memories was reading his favorite children’s book ‘Where The Wild Things Are’ to local kids.