African American Builders of Topeka: Timothy Bell
May 31, 2018 - 2018 Summer Issue
Police Officer Topeka Police Department
Our Kids Program Officer Eisenhower Middle School Highland Park High School
“You need people that you’re afraid to let down.”
Being born and raised in Topeka in a high poverty side of town gave me the perspective of what is needed to surpass environmental shortcomings outside of the home. I saw what it took from two hard working parents at home. My father was a public servant working for the Topeka Fire Department and my mother was a state social worker. I could see the example of two loving and caring parents who wanted to make a better way for their five children.
I took this work ethic with me into different facets of life. In high school, I transformed that work ethic into a distinguished track career where I still hold the Centennial League 400m record, and a few years later I was able to turn it toward my passion of helping people. I became a Topeka Police Officer to help the community that I love and grew up in, and to show other young people that your circumstances and environment don’t have to define who or what you are.
Through the Topeka Police Department, I was given the environment and the tools needed to help and touch people’s lives in ways that were previously unattainable. I was blessed and given the opportunity to lead an African-American male mentorship program through the police department called the Our Kids (OK) Program. Through the OK Program, I can connect with African-American men and boys to help transform our community and the city of Topeka. Being able to invest in a young person every single day is the most fulfilling and rewarding facet of being a police officer. The long-term investment of building young men with character and hearts for their community is invaluable to continuing to build the city of Topeka