Meet our new campus resource officer

Bothell Police Officer Louise Muro                          (photo by Jama Abdirahman)

By Douglas Esser
Students, faculty and staff at the University of Washington Bothell and Cascadia College will soon come to know Louise Muro as their campus resource officer. She is a commissioned officer under contract from the Bothell Police Department effective Jan. 1.

Muro is a 20-year police veteran who most recently served as a resource officer at Bothell High School. She started introducing herself on the college campus even before her position became official. She will be shaking more hands at a joint campus meet-and-greet 3:30-4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 10, at the North Creek Events Center.

Muro will work directly with Campus Safety Director Cham Kao and the campus safety department, which serves both institutions with 10 safety officers, four dispatchers and five part-time student dispatchers. Kao says Louise will strengthen the relationship between the Bothell Police Department and the campus, which is part of the city’s jurisdiction.

Muro will be able to immediately respond to car prowls or other criminal incidents, make an official police report and follow up.

Muro is confidently clear about her role. “My primary goal is safety.” But she says her greatest tools are not weapons, they are listening and communicating.

“The day-to-day work is building relationships with those you work with,” she says.

Muro grew up in the Los Angeles area and first became interested in law enforcement as a fifth-grader when two sheriff’s deputies came to her classroom to talk about serving the community. She moved to Washington with her sister in 1995 and became an officer in Chelan where she gravitated toward schools and taught the DARE or Drug Abuse Resistance Education program.

After Muro moved to the Bothell Police Department 18 years ago and worked as a patrol officer she became a school resource officer in Northshore School District. She taught elementary students a police partner program similar to DARE that stressed concepts of choices and consequences. She also served in junior high schools and for the past four years at Bothell High where she is known for her calm and compassionate manner.

Through the various grades, Muro has progresses in her degree of involvement – from introductions with elementary students, building rapport with junior high students to mentoring high school students as they start facing life problems. Now she’s “graduating” to college, ready for another level of interaction with young adults, who are ready to change the world.

Getting a traffic ticket or a fender-bender, maybe dealing with identity theft or having issues with someone on social media: These may be issues students are trying to navigate or that don’t rise to the level of a 911 call. That’s where Muro hopes students will be comfortable asking her guidance.

“I’m going to be a one-on-one resource, a familiar face” at a coffee shop, walking the halls or at a social activity, says Muro, who adds she’s also a resource for faculty and staff.

Just like the LA deputies who inspired her, Muro is interested in building relationships to serve to the community, She’s comfortable talking to classes and answering questions such as how the court system works.

Muro lives in the Mill Creek area and has a 9-year-old son, Diego. From news reports he’s aware of threats to officers. She says he recently gave her a hug and said he didn’t want her to go to work. He also thinks it’s cool when mom-the-officer drops him off at school. Muro has been married 15 years and her wife Melissa also works for the Bothell Police Department.

As she makes friends, Muro predicts fewer people will be calling her “officer” and more will be calling her by her Louise nickname “Weez.”