New details revealed about man arrested and accused of impersonating cop

Monday, February 18, 2019
New details revealed about man accused of impersonating cop
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Joseph Willie Bell was arrested after pulling over an undercover Harris County deputy during a sting operation.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Joseph Willie Bell was arrested and charged with impersonating a police officer earlier this week

Precinct 1 Constable's busted Bell after he allegedly pulled over an undercover deputy during a sting operation.

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The Constable says that Bell wore a lanyard around his neck stating he was a peace officer, but says Bell actually works for the prison system and as a C.E.R.T. volunteer.

Precinct 1 C.E.R.T. volunteers say they don't want this one incident to taint the work they do in the community.

"Recently one of our members went beyond what he was supposed to do as a volunteer," said John Branch, Director of Precinct 1 C.E.R.T.

Branch says they work hard as volunteers to take care of their own neighborhoods, responding to everything from medical emergencies to small fires, using their own personal cars.

But Branch says they are not law enforcement and can't enforce laws, something he says is stressed to all C.E.R.T. volunteers during training.

"We are in no way a security company," Branch said. "We're not a law enforcement company, and he went beyond that."

Bell's attorney says the decals he had on his car are from the security company he works for, and believes his client will be found not guilty.

The C.E.R.T. volunteers say they'll keep doing the work for the community as responders, not enforcers.

"I want to serve fellow man, my community, wherever I'm at," said Gilbert Fernandez who heads up the training program for C.E.R.T. "I'm there for them. They don't have to wait for an ambulance, I can start CPR."

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