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Wilkerson Says City Continues to Prepare Ahead of Visit by DOJ Investigator Aug. 13

The mayor of Bowling Green says the city continues to examine how it conducts hiring for all of its departments.

The move was prompted by a federal investigation into how the city makes hiring decisions related to its police force. A Department of Justice investigator is scheduled to visit the city on August 13.

A letter from the DOJ to the city said only five-percent of Bowling Green’s sworn police personnel are African-American.

Speaking Wednesday following a speech to the Bowling Green Noon Rotary Club, Wilkerson said he’s in favor of a “color blind” hiring process for all city departments. The mayor believes it’s important for the city’s minority communities to see a police department they can relate to.

“How better to gather trust in that community than if they see someone who looks like them, or who can speak their language,” the mayor said.

Such a thing would help deflate an “us versus them mentality”, according to the mayor.

Wilkerson he’s not sure of the timeline the process will take beyond next month’s meeting with the investigator.

“I think it’s just a preliminary visit on the 13th. I don’t expect him to be here other than that day. Beyond that, he’ll tell us.”

Kevin is the News Director at WKU Public Radio. He has been with the station since 1999, and was previously the Assistant News Director, and also served as local host of Morning Edition.
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