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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Everyone Has a Story: Bethany Wilson [w/ VIDEO]

Rodney Haas Arizona Daily Wildcat

UA PD Officer Wilson
Ernie Somoza
Rodney Haas Arizona Daily Wildcat UA PD Officer Wilson

“”Everyone Has a Story”” is a weekly segment in the Arizona Daily Wildcat that aims to tell the story of an interesting person on the UA campus. This week, the Daily Wildcat interviewed Officer Bethany Wilson, the crime prevention officer and Residence Hall and Greek Life Liaisons coordinator for the University of Arizona Police Department.

After a stressful day of work at the UAPD, you may be surprised to learn that Wilson relaxes by playing the video game “”World of Warcraft.””

“”I love to play video games,”” she said. “”I will go home, eat a bowl of cereal and play ‘World of Warcraft.'””

“”World of Warcraft,”” also known as WOW, is an online, multiplayer role-playing game which takes place in the fantasy worlds of Azeroth and The Outlands.

Wilson first started playing the video game four years ago when her friends got her into it.

“”I have quite a few ‘toons.’ I don’t raid quite as much as everyone else. I just like to level the ‘toons’ and do the achievements,”” Wilson said.

Wilson considers herself a “”World of Warcraft”” addict.

“”That game, wow! If you’re not careful you can get addicted to that game and just blow off everything else … sometimes I put off homework to play,”” she said.

Video games are a hobby that Wilson has enjoyed her entire life.

“”I started back when the basic Nintendo came out. Some of my first games were ‘Super Mario Brothers’ and ‘Legend of Zelda.’ Then I progressed up as the gaming systems came out, we got new consoles and I just played different games. I played Zelda all the way through, ‘Final Fantasy’ and ‘Halo’ … I can name a bunch more, but I won’t,”” Wilson said.

In addition to video gaming, Wilson also has a passion for Star Wars.

“”I’m a huge Star Wars geek,”” she said. “”I actually do charity work for the Bible Verse Legion. I have a full stormtrooper costume. It’s movie quality, costs about 750 bucks to build. We go to the children’s hospital, march in parades and do charity work.””

Wilson also loves going to conventions, such as Comic-Con and even builds her own costumes.  

“”I have Steampunk costumes because I’m going to Wild Wild West Con in February,”” Wilson said. She also has a pirate costume, an Amelia Earhart costume and is currently working on a second Steampunk costume.

Steampunk is a science fiction-based subculture and subgenre that takes place in the 19th century, but with a twist: it speculates what our future would have been like if technology was introduced sooner. It is a steam-powered world full of gadgets and advanced technology. The costumes are of the Victorian era with mechanical accessories.

This science fiction loving officer’s career choice wasn’t always as obvious as her love for videogames.

“”I never was one of those people who grew up saying ‘I want to be a cop,'”” Wilson said.

“”The way I became an officer was I was in the military for four years and after I transitioned out, the job that I had in the military was not transferable. I really miss that camaraderie and that sense of togetherness and family and the only thing that I could find close to that was police work,”” she said.

While in the military, Wilson trained weapons directors and made battle plans. She spent four years in the military and learned some lessons along the way. Like many adolescences, she had her own run-in with the police growing up.

“”I had one incident in the military where I got into a little bit of trouble. I was young, 18, and we had curfews. My curfew was midnight, but I trained at an air force base that was near New Orleans so we would go down to Bourbon Street a lot on the weekends and just hang out. I wasn’t old enough to drink but it was fun to watch other people get drunk.

“”We would go down there and I remember I was with someone who was in phase four and they didn’t have a curfew, and I was in phase three and he encouraged me to stay out past my curfew. When we rolled up to the gate of the base at 2 o’clock in the morning, they (the police officers) were waiting for us. They said that I was AWOL, put me in handcuffs, put me in the back of the squad car, took me down to the station and interrogated me.””

Wilson said she did not know if it was a formality or if it was really serious, but she did get demoted back down to level one.

Phase one or level one is what a recruit starts at when he or she first enters the military. Those in phase one cannot leave the base and must wear a uniform at all times. Over time, recruits can work up to phase four where they do not have a curfew, can leave the base and wear what they choose.

Just like her career as a police officer was not always the path she had envisioned, neither was her decision to join the military.

“”The military gives you really good college benefits,”” Wilson said. During her senior year of high school, her parents told her they did not have money for college. An Air Force recruiter called and informed her of the Montgomery GI Bill which pays for college. After four years, she got her GI bill and began studying at the UA.

“”Honestly I have no school debt, I actually get paid to go to school because the UA here pays qualified tuition reduction so my classes cost about 200 dollars and then I get GI bill on top of that so I make money going to school,”” said Wilson.

She is currently in graduate school for library sciences.

“”I’d rather be an archivist than a cop,”” she said.

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