The Bowling Green Police Division lost one of its members in a tragic off-duty automobile accident on Sunday, December 21, 1997. Patrol Officer Eric Zimmerman had just graduated from the Ohio State Highway Patrol Academy in Columbus, OH on December 12, 1997, and had been assigned to the Patrol Bureau. Prior to being hired Eric had graduated from Admiral King High School in Lorain, OH in 1991, where he was a standout player on the football team. Eric went on to play football at Eastern Michigan University where he sustained a career-ending knee injury. He then transferred to Bowling Green State University graduating in 1997 with a degree in Sociology and Criminal Justice.
In early 1998 Eric's family established a memorial fund with all donations going to the Bowling Green Police Division D.A.R.E. program. The funds were used to establish an after-school educational program in Eric's name. This program, Eric Zimmerman Positive Living Utilizing Skills (EZ Plus) began in the fall of 1998. Eric was with the Bowling Green Police Division for only a short time, but the positive influence of the EZ Plus program will have a long lasting impact on the youth of the Bowling Green community for generations to come. The Bowling Green Police Division respectfully acknowledges Eric’s Family, Fred, Marilyn, & Scott Zimmerman, whose encouragement and financial support of the EZ Plus program continually benefits the youth of our community.
Additionally, in 2011, the Zimmerman family established a scholarship in Eric's name at Bowling Green High School for graduating seniors entering the criminal justice field. The Bowling Green Police Division's EZ.+ team continues to coordinate this program. 2001 marked the first year the EZ.+ curriculum was successfully piloted in the Health Classes at the Junior High School. The Police Division believes the curriculum will reinforce the positive living skills that students need to enable them to act in their own best interest. The EZ.+ program remains a great opportunity for police officers and students to interact in a positive manner.
The Bowling Green Police Division, in cooperation with B.G. City Schools has implemented an after school program to reinforce and reward the positive behavior of our Bowling Green Junior High students. These seventh and eighth graders are exposed to a new environment and peer pressure increases. New attitudes towards teachers, police and those in authority are being shaped at this critical time in a child's life. It is at this point that a collective effort from the school, police division, and other community partners can make a difference in providing a positive atmosphere in shaping the lifestyle decision-making processes of our youth.
The EZ+ Program issues its members a photo ID card. This membership card affords the students all privileges associated with the program. The students sign a pledge to be drug, alcohol, tobacco, and violence free. Should the student violate this promise, any parent, police officer, or school official will suspend the privileges, membership and revoke the card. The student will not be allowed to participate in any membership activity until he or she meets with the program’s peer group.