Deputy Chief (retired) John Bell was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. He began his career in law enforcement in 1973 where he served with the New York City Transit Police Department. In 1976 Bell joined the Virginia Beach Police Department.
During his career with the Virginia Beach Police Department, Bell worked assignments as a detective, patrol sergeant, and lieutenant. In 1997 he was promoted to the rank of captain, serving as a Command Duty Officer, Commander of the First and Third Precincts, Detective Bureau and Professional Standards Office (Internal Affairs). November 2010 Bell was appointed to the position of Deputy Chief of Police.
As Deputy Chief of Police, Bell commanded the Professional Standards Division of the Virginia Beach Police Department. His responsibilities included oversight of all operations of the Office of Internal Affairs and Accreditation as well as the Professional Development and Training Unit which is responsible for Department training and the Department's Police Academy. Deputy Chief Bell also served as the Department's executive liaison to the community for its outreach efforts and was the Police Department's liaison to the Virginia Beach Human Rights Commission.
He retired from the Virginia Beach Police Department January l, 2016 after almost 40 years of service.
* Police Silver Cross Medal: The Silver Cross Award - Awarded to any sworn or ancillary member of the Department of Police or other law enforcement agency who distinguishes himself themselves by extraordinary bravery. Awarded 1982
* Meritorious Service Award (Police Association of Virginia) Awarded 1984
* Minority Officer of the Year: Awarded 1989
* Daniel M. Stone Humanitarian Award: Awarded 2014
* Special Commendation: Established the department's Crisis Intervention Team (C.I.T) - 2015
* Silver Star Award for Advocacy: Urban League - 2016
* 59 Letters of Appreciation | Commendation
* Master of Public Administration degree from Troy University (2008)
* Attended Columbia University (1970-73)
* Associates of Arts degree from Saint Leo University (1992)
* Bachelor of Arts degree, from Saint Leo University (1995)
* Virginia Beach Gang Task Force- Past Member
* Board member of the Hampton Roads Committee of 200+ Men
* Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. - Member
* Virginia Beach Oceanside Lions Club - Vice President
* Tidewater Community College, Administration of Justice Curriculum Advisory Board
* Conference of Minority Public Administrators, Hampton Roads Chapter - Past Member
* NAACP, Virginia Beach Chapter - Member
* American Society of Public Administrators - Member
* In 2014 he was appointed by Governor Terry McAuliffe to serve as a member of the Virginia Secure Commonwealth Panel.