Police Dept Hires
Camilo Alonzo Lopez, Police Officer
“I am still impressed the Bothell community saw a need for more officers and firefighters and solved the problem proactively by passing the Safe and Secure levy,” says Camilo Alonzo Lopez, one of Bothell Police Department’s new officers hired with funds from the voter-approved levy. “It shows the community supports this department. Not many jurisdictions can say that,” says Lopez.
Lopez was looking for work in the area to move closer to family when he ran across the Bothell Police Department on social media. “What stood out was how involved the leadership is in the community. I thought, ‘wow, this department must really care about Bothell’,” remembers Lopez, “Now that I’m here I can say that is absolutely true - it’s exactly what I was looking for in a community and police department.”
Lopez joins the Bothell Police Department from New Jersey where he spent the last two years as a police officer for his alma mater, Rutgers University. “As a student, I never thought about law enforcement as a career until a police officer took the time to talk with me about the job,” recalls Lopez, “He caught me at the right time when I was looking at career options and that small interaction was enough to set my life on this course.” Lopez changed his major to Criminal Justice and worked as a security guard while finishing his studies.
After a few years in the field, Lopez says his favorite aspect of law enforcement is that it’s a never-ending learning experience. “I am the kind of person who likes to be in a position where I can help when help is needed,” he says, “Since it’s something new every day, I’m always learning and trying to become a better officer.”
Sukhi Kaur, Police Officer
“This levy shows the community’s support and faith in us. They believe in us enough to pay more for more service – that’s huge. It makes me happy to be able to give back and protect them,” says Sukhi Kaur, the first Bothell police officer hired using funds from the voter-approved levy.
“I’m most proud of the moment when I got hired into the Bothell PD,” recalls Kaur, “I was sitting in the Chief’s office and we talked for almost an hour about who I am, where I come from, what my values are. It was encouraging for someone so experienced and in a position of authority to focus on who I am as a person and tell me they believe in me. I feel lucky to be part of this department.”
Kaur was born in Punjab, India and moved to the U.S. when she was eight years old. Despite being encouraged to pursue the medical profession, she was drawn to law enforcement after meeting the City of Kent Police Chief and volunteering at the police department. “I was curious about this field but because my parents had such a different understanding of law enforcement they couldn’t explain the U.S. system to me. I chose to study Criminal Justice and Psychology at the University of Washington to learn the system so I could be a good officer.”
Since becoming a police officer, Kaur has seen her family’s perception of law enforcement change. “Now, they have a family member out in the field and can put themselves in an officer’s shoes,” she says, “Laws and policies don’t exist the same way in India as they do here. There is a big gap in education about what law enforcement is and I hope to change that.”
Michael Garcia, Police Officer
When Michael Garcia started putting feelers out for a new job, Bothell PD rose to the top of the list. “I did a tour and a ride along with a Bothell officer and saw how tight knit and community-oriented the department was," says Garcia. "For this line of work, community support and a positive chain of command and peer officers is everything.”
Garcia is the second hire funded by a voter-approved public safety levy. He is native to the area but comes to Bothell PD after a year in law enforcement with the Auburn Police Department and 9 years as a Corrections Officer at the King County Jail.
“Being a corrections officer taught me to be a good communicator. Working in a jail is unlike anything else – you’re in the same environment with the same people every single day. Strong communication was the only way to talk things out or down," he says. "For many police officers, talking to people in crisis is new. After working in the jail for 9 years, it’s not startling anymore. It happened every day.”
Despite previous experience in law enforcement, Garcia is beginning 12 weeks of field training led by Bothell Officer Jeremy Wilson. “People would be surprised to know that even though I already know how to be a cop, there is a lot of training that goes into learning how to be a cop in Bothell,” says Garcia. “Right now, I’m learning the Bothell Municipal Codes, what I can and cannot do, and the way the community is set up. The most nerve-wracking part is making sure I mesh well with everyone. This is a very close department.”