Josh Langley was selected as the new police chief for Bowling Green. He has been on the force for almost two years, but before that, he was with the Pike County Sheriff’s office.
When former Police Chief Don Nacke said he was ready to retire last year, a search was done to find a successor. Darin Chance, a police chief from southwest Missouri applied for and was picked for the job. He started November last year. Earlier this year, however, he informed the Board of Aldermen that he would be stepping down to pursue another job closer to his family in eastern Missouri. Nacke stepped back into the job until another chief of police could be brought on board.
The aldermen conducted interviews in the weeks since Chance left, and decided Langley was the right person for the job.
City Administrator Linda Luebrecht said she swore in Langley on Monday, June 13. He had been on vacation when they made the decision, and they didn’t want to wait until the next city council meeting on June 27, she noted, before getting him started in the position.
Langley said his hopes were high that he would get the job.
“I was anxiously awaiting the results,” he said. “I suppose I felt more joy and relief to hear the news. I have always wanted to better myself and provide a better life for my family,” he added.
Langley has lived here in Bowling Green his whole life and has seen some major changes during those years.
“I would have to say the biggest, most obvious change over the years is how much this area has grown,” he said. “More businesses and restaurants have opened over the past several years, and that has helped out the local economy.”
Langley was on hand for the first Coffee with a Cop event held earlier this year under the former police chief. Langley said he wants to continue that program.
“I hope to start more public events, as well,” he said. Chance had also taken over as the DARE officer for the Bowling Green R-I School District.
“In September, Det. Justin McCloud will become the DARE instructor for Bowling Green,” Langley said.
It was at the Coffee with a Cop event that Langley said one of the biggest hurdles the department was facing was its staffing issues. They had three open billets, but at the time, there were two people going through training to become Bowling Green police officers.
“The department does have two more officers starting very soon,” he said, “and with obtaining the chief of police position, that does pull one patrol officer, myself, from doing patrol. But I am looking for more patrol officers.”