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'More of a talker': New crime prevention officer, an ex-pro wrestler, lets words do the work

Tim Herron, Creighton crime prevention officer.Tim Herron is a big man.

He was a defensive tackle for his college football team, he stands a muscular six feet, four inches tall, and his professional wrestling profile bills him as Michael Monsoon, aka The Natural Disaster.

But Herron, Creighton University’s new crime prevention officer, prefers not to interject his massive frame into any potential confrontations.

“I’ve always been more of a talker,” said Herron, who started at the University six years ago as an officer with Public Safety. “My size might help in a situation, but really, I’ve found that I’ve been able to relate to people. Intimidation doesn’t work. I talk. It’s one of those things I’ve picked up here at Creighton.”

He also picked it up in pro wrestling, where the performance is often much more about the presentation than the pugilism.

Herron is quick to admit the action of the sport — and much of the trash talk giving pro wrestling its drama — is scripted. But as Michael Monsoon, Herron, with a college degree in broadcast journalism and a loquacious nature, was often called upon to wax poetic.

“They knew they could hand me a microphone and I could just go,” said Herron, who spent 11 years on various pro wrestling circuits before his retirement earlier this year. “I could always go impromptu, no script. That’s what got me looked at by the WWE.”

Indeed, after his college football career wrapped up, Herron said he was still looking for an athletic outlet. He found it working with the same trainer who schooled such WWE luminaries as John Cena and Brock Lesnar.

Herron traveled far and wide on different tours and occasionally hit the big time, including appearances on Monday Night RAW and Smackdown in the last year and a half. At the highest level, he was what the industry euphemistically calls “enhancement.”

Creighton crime prevention officer Tim Herron as his pro wrestling alter ego, Michael Monsoon.“The enhancement guy is the guy who always loses,” he said. “So I’ve never won a match at the WWE level. I rarely got any offense in. But because I could talk, they liked that. They even offered me a job to do promos, but after 11 years of that lifestyle — on the road and eating fast food all the time, and with a solid job at Creighton and a family, it was time to let it go.”

But Herron still finds resonance from his pro wrestling experience in his present job.

“It’s still about talking,” he said. “It’s about finding some way of relating to a person. Sometimes, it’s about distracting a person — whatever you can do to defuse the tension. But for me, it’s about talking to someone.”

In two months as the crime prevention officer, a job that draws on his skills in oratory, Herron has found interested audiences and a platform to help people stay safe. It’s also helped him to open channels of communication between Public Safety and the Creighton and larger Omaha communities.

He’s had conversations on safety and crime prevention with the Greek system, led sessions on active shooter protocols and tried to make himself a visible presence on campus. And as an affable, 6-foot-4 former pro wrestler, it’s not been too hard to do.

Hoping, in his new role, to be a conduit for the ideas and concerns of Creighton students, faculty and staff, Herron said he’s consistently impressed by the cooperative spirit and overarching goodness and commitment he finds at the University, day after day.

“I’ve never had a bad day at Creighton,” Herron said. “Sure, the job has its challenges, like any job. But we like to see ourselves on the Public Safety side as always having an open door for students and having a constant channel of communication. We’ve received so much support on both sides of that issue. We can’t be everywhere, so to have a campus where everyone is committed to the mission of being safe, we’re very pleased with the relationship we have with students, staff, faculty and administration.”

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Creighton University is a Jesuit, Catholic university bridging health, law, business and the arts and sciences for a more just world.