Bella has the Knowledge Aspiration
Bella has the Ambitious, Self-Assured, and Active Traits
Detective Bella Vega is the first Black Latina of Puerto Rican descent to named a head detective in the San Myshuno Narcotics Unit. She is highly decorated and has been with the department right out of college. Bella comes from a long family line of cops.
Through her hard work and ruthless ambition, Bella has risen in the ranks within the department. Not fast enough for her, however. She believes she should have made lieutenant already for that would surely put her on track to become Chief of Detectives once the current chief retired in a few years. Bella will have a tough road ahead of her, as not only is she up against more experienced officers in higher positions, but her superior, Staff Sgt Det Hartley Fullerton; whom she is having an affair with is also in the pool. Bella knows she is at the very bottom of names that could be considered in a few years because she has not been in her current position as long as some of the other candidates and she is the only female detective in a historically sexist male-dominated department.
Initially, Bella became a cop to impress her father, as he was still on the force at the time. One of her older brothers, Miguel had been killed in the line of duty the year before she graduated college and entered the academy. She was never good at expressing her emotions, and she wanted to in her own way comfort her dad and make him proud. But her efforts are forever lost on him. Her father, Juan, was a decorated officer when he retired. He never encouraged or approved of Bella becoming a cop and told her to get a regular office job after college, the same he told her sisters. Juan has sexist tendencies and doesn’t believe women need to be in uniform, they didn’t have the strength for a police job, and they lacked logic and ran on pure emotion.
The department investigated for years to bring down a most wanted cop killer, but at every turn, they came to a dead end and got nowhere. The more years that go by, Bella knows it will be harder to find out who killed Miguel. He was brutally beaten nearly beyond recognition once his cover was blown and before they killed him. She has taken it upon herself to investigate. In the back of her mind, if Bella found her brother’s killer, her father would finally accept her as an officer and give his approval.
Not only has Bella had to deal with sexism at her job, but the more covert racial microaggressions by some officers on the force with her. The San Myshuno Police Department has recently made more of an effort to recruit officers of color to bring into the unit, hoping to ease the very tense race relations between the Black and Latino communities. There are some who feel as Bella received her promotion because she was a double minority- a woman and a person of color. Bella is not interested in the racial politics of the department. While some officers do hold prejudice views, it’s not all, and of the ones who have been passive aggressive with Bella and other officers of color, Bella gives it right back to them and doesn’t take the bull people try to throw her way. She’s not interested in equality for all; she is only interested in furthering her career.
Bella sleeps with men, whether married or not when it’s expedient for her and if it will help get what she needs for her career. She suffers from sex addiction, but as an addict, she doesn’t always need a reason for her next conquest and no promise of favor earned. It was either sex or drinking, and she almost had an incident a few years back due to alcohol abuse, that if she hadn’t slept with one of her superiors, it would have gone on her record and messed with her chances for a promotion.
Bella’s married, lover Det Hartley Fullerton has had it hard at times as well from some of the fellow officers. Due to the significant level of backlash the department has received in recent years from accusations of police brutality and excessive force, the department sought to place more officers of color on the force and promote from within their ranks. Some feel as if Hartley was a beneficiary of “an Affirmative Action promotion.” In truth, Hartley knows as a black man and the SMPD wanting to ease race relations; he was given the promotion to staff sergeant faster than was routine. But he didn’t doubt his capabilities because he was highly skilled, educated and he was great at police work. If his color were the reason for his promotion, Hartley would never allow anyone to say that he didn’t deserve it; they could think it, but not say it.
Bella has several personal vices and dark secrets that must be kept. As her thirst for power, respect from her father and finding her brother’s killer grows, the more she is tasked with making decisions that would violate the oath took as an officer of the law. It’s not easy to stop, how can she give up now when so many things have been working in her favor? Can Bella handle it? She must if she wants to survive the game of power.
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