Sergeant Jim Bellos is putting his police hat away and putting on a black and white stripped prison uniform, all for a good cause.
Sergeant Bellos is fronting the drive to raise funds for youth crime prevention projects across Queensland under the Police-Citizens Youth Clubs (PCYC).
It’s a project he’s been involved in for two years and knows first hand how useful the funds are in teaching crime prevention.
“In my work, I speak to a lot of young people, in particular the refugees that are going through settlement.
“I believe that with the right support, the youth of today can become our leaders of the future,” he tells Neos Kosmos.
Under the Time4Kids program, Sergeant Bellos will be detained in gaol until bail has been raised for his release. He has set a target of $5000.
Last year, the target was set at about $1,000.
Sergeant Bellos through his own fundraising collected a whopping $11,000.
“I was the national winner of course,” he says with a big laugh.
This year, the Time4Kids drive will be located at the old Boggo Road gaol, in Dutton Park between 6:30am and 9:30am. The old gaol was operational in the ’60s, but is now open to the public for tours and will provide a spooky backdrop for the fundraiser.
The Youth Clubs are a great way for disadvantaged or troubled youth to come together and occupy themselves in a constructive way. Sport is encouraged while dancing, boxing and musical training is all on hand to keep the kids entertained and off the streets.
A lot of the money raised will be used to keep those programs running and to buy new equipment.
“The whole purpose of it is to help young people engage,” Sergeant Bellos explains.
Outside of his work for Police-Citizens Youth Clubs, Sergeant Bellos is known for coordinating community consultative groups, his ‘For the Love of the Game’ youth soccer program, and his hands on involvement at cross-cultural schools. As one of the 32 finalists for the 2013 Australian of the Year Awards and Queenslander of the year, Sergeant Bellos’ work hasn’t gone unnoticed.
To donate and “help set Jim free”, visit