All his life, Wesley Bell has worked to find solutions to problems big and small. Raised in North St. Louis County, Bell is the son of a police officer and county civil servant. His childhood instilled a deep appreciation for public service. Wesley graduated from Hazelwood East public schools, Lindenwood University, and the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Law.
Wesley’s service is rooted in first-hand experience of the challenges facing working Missourians. He worked at a Shoney’s at the age of 16, for a phone company, as a youth sports referee to help put himself through college at Lindenwood, and later as a criminal justice professor and a municipal judge.
After graduating from law school, Wesley returned to St. Louis and worked as a public defender, where he saw first-hand the lack of common sense and fairness in the criminal justice system.
Wesley worked directly to calm tensions between residents and the police — sometimes physically standing between protestors and police. On the Council, Wesley worked with the Department of Justice to reform Ferguson’s criminal justice system through police and court reform. Improvements included more thorough police training, implementation of officer body cams, pay raises for police, reforms to rules for how police are allowed to use physical force, and an overhaul of the city’s court system.
In 2018, Wesley took on the political establishment and was elected St. Louis Prosecuting Attorney, challenging a longtime incumbent in a campaign that political insiders told him he had no chance of winning. Door by door, phone call by phone call, he proved the establishment wrong – and then got to work as St. Louis County Prosecutor, running the largest prosecuting attorney’s office in the State of Missouri and working to make St. Louis County a safer place.
Wesley has been a strong leader for common-sense solutions to ensure law enforcement is more effective, efficient, and accountable. He worked to establish the North County Police Cooperative, a department modeled on community policing, to save taxpayer money and improve service. As the elected St Louis County Prosecutor, Wesley created a violent crimes unit dedicated to domestic violence and an auto theft task force. Wesley also expanded diversion programs for low-level, non-violent offenders struggling with mental health issues and opioid and substance abuse disorder with a nearly 90% success rate.
Bell is committed to strengthening our economy by focusing on workers and job and skills training, lowering health insurance and prescription drug costs, reinvesting in rural communities, standing up for seniors, and protecting our planet by fighting climate change.