African American Builders of Topeka: Timothy Bell
“You need people that you’re afraid to let down.” —Timothy Bell
MY STORY 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