Stephen Bell

photo of Stephen Bell
  • Professor of the Practice, Criminal Justice Program

Contact Info

Regnier Hall 370G


Stephen Bell is a professor in the practice in the criminal justice program. He has 22 years of law enforcement experience and has taught courses at nearly every higher education level. He has published research in discretion, deterrence, and policing.

Stephen started his career with the Los Angeles Police Department, spending time as a patrol officer, police academy law instructor, and undercover investigator before being promoted to detective. Stephen’s primary area of investigative expertise was in sexual assault crimes before he was selected to supervise the LAPD’s Mental Evaluation Unit where police officers and mental health clinicians were partnered together to respond to calls related to mental illness. Finally, Stephen was promoted to sergeant, where he supervised numerous specialized units, including gang enforcement, undercover surveillance, and undercover operations.

Stephen holds a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice, a Master of Science in Criminal Justice-Public Administration, and a Ph.D. in Criminal Justice-Leadership. His doctoral research focused on the effects of narcotics defelonization on law enforcement discretionary decisions.