The Bowling Green Police Department honored Ret. Chief Doug Hawkins on his last day Friday with a luncheon at the SOKY Marketplace Pavillion.
Local law enforcement, county and government officials, gathered to celebrate Hawkins' 30 years with the department.
Hawkins said he's most proud of brining a police training academy to Bowling Green.
"Establising the Bowling Green Law Enforcement Academy is going to be, I think, a pivotal moment in the history of the department, and I think it is going to pay dividends for many, many, many years to come," Hawkins said.
Hawkins' tenure also saw the implementation of a body camera policy for the department in 2016, something that's has been the focus of nationwide police reform efforts.
Hawkins said he believes current tensions surrounding law enforcement amid increased scrutiny will pass.
"I think this is just one of those periods that law enforcement is going to have to work more closely with community members, but we will all get through it, and I think we will all be better on the other side of it," Hawkins said.
Hawkins said he plans to work with Houchens Industries in his retirement.
Michael Delaney, a 22-year veteran with BGPD is taking over as Hawkins' replacement.
A frequently seen figure amid BGPD's presence at local demonstrations this summer, Delaney said he wants to push the department to be more involved in the community.
"We've always been community-based policing. That's one of our strategies, but I think we've got some areas where we can get better in that, and improve on it moving forward," Delaney said.
Chief Delaney said he's always wanted to spend his policing career serving his hometown of Bowling Green.