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Willie E. Bell, a native of Hernando, Mississippi migrated to Detroit at an early age and graduated from Northeastern High School. He joined the United States Army in 1966, 1st Air Cavalry Division, and was stationed in the Republic of Vietnam for a portion of tenure in the service. He was honorably discharged in 1969 after attaining the rank of Sergeant.
In August 1971, Commissioner Bell joined the Detroit Police Department and served the Department and City for 32-years as a sworn officer. He retired in 2003 at the rank of Lieutenant. Commissioner Bell has dedicated his life and career to promoting justice, fairness, and effectiveness in law enforcement, with an emphasis on how it impacts issues facing the community. He contributes his time and talent to youth organizations and civic and community groups, as well. He is married and the father of two daughters and one granddaughter, and serves his church, Plymouth United Church of Christ, as an ordained Deacon.
Commissioner Bell holds a BS degree from Central Michigan University and is a 40 year resident of East English Village. He currently serves as chair of the Board of Police Commissioners.