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This profile was last updated on 10/12/12  and contains information from public web pages.



Employment History


  • Phillips Academy
  • MBA
18 Total References
Web References
Your Scribe introduced Kurt ..., 12 Oct 2012 [cached]
Your Scribe introduced Kurt Timken, who is a 16 year veteran of the El Monte Police Department by serving as a Senior Detective, Federally Deputized Task Force Officer representing the US Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Los Angeles Field Division. The most interesting thing, Officer Timken grew up in Ohio, went to Phillips Academy, a prep school in Andover, Mass., Pomona College, and then received his MBA from Harvard. He worked at his family's company, Timken Bearing and Steel company in Ohio, came west to Seal Beach to the aero-space industry at Rockwell International before becoming a law enforcement officer and putting his life on the line dealing in counter-Narcoterrorism where he is involved in wire taping, money laundering drug enforcement on a very limited financial budget.
Agent Timken gave us an up front and personal overview what he is trying to control on the streets with a table display of some 12 different drugs which he deals with on a daily basis starting with marijuana buds with a street value of $800/$1,000 pound to black tar heroin that was priced at $20,000 pound just a few years ago and now is selling at $12,000 pound, this is the drug the police are most concerned especially with young people who can smoke it with a straw after heating it in foil and throw away the evidence.
Agent Timken noted that their budgets to combat narcotic enforcement has been seriously reduced in California with the Federal Government now supplying and funding the over time he gets when he is not on duty with the El Monte Police Department.
President AJ ended the meeting with quote about "Ideas" and Adjourned at 7:48 PM to the parking lot to see the "War Wagon" which is a Ford "Edge" that Linda Klevatt had the privilege to demonstrate with all the required lights, siren, loud speaker, etc. then Agent Timken opened the back and he was ready for action at a moment's call with his equipment for his protection as well as go on the offensive with both shot guns and many different hand guns of his choice with plenty of ammunition. As he said, the most important thing is the safety of the men and women on the task force.
A great and very informative program and for me after a recent surgery, I was prescript oxy-codone but did not take any because I don't like the side effects of these types of pain killers plus I my nerve block and the use of ice controlled any discomfort. I can see how one could easily be addicted to meds after listening and talking to DEA Agent Kurt Timken.
Western Knight Center for Specialized Journalism, 1 Nov 2007 [cached]
Curt Timken is a detective in the gang unit of the El Monte Police Department.
Western Knight Center for Specialized Journalism - Full Speaker List, 31 Aug 2005 [cached]
Curt Timken, detective/gang unit, El Monte Police Department
The Monkey Law, from What Should I Do With My Life?, 28 May 2008 [cached]
Kurt Timken grew up in northern Ohio with a life of privilege. His father was the CEO of The Timken Company, a Fortune 150 multinational corporation known for steel and ball bearings. The company had been founded by Kurt’s great-great-grandfather 100 years ago. Kurt followed in his father’s footsteps to the Phillips Andover Academy, and later to Harvard Business School. He was being groomed to fill his Dad’s shoes at the company, just as his father filled his grandfather’s shoes, and so on. He trained four years at the family company, and then another three years in management at Rockwell. But the long hours destroyed his marriage to his college sweetheart, and when he got divorced he started asking the big questions about why he’s here and where he could make a real impact.
At 30 years old, he spit the silver spoon out of his mouth, listened to an inner voice, and after a major test of his conviction, he’s now a police officer working the graveyard shift in El Monte, California, which is a few highway exits east of East Los Angeles, one of the highest crime cities in the state. He works the graveyard shift because that’s when the hot 911 calls come in, and the drugs are moved, and the transvestite prostitutes work the streets. It’s when the beer hits the bloodstream, and under the influence of alcohol or coke or meth or greed, people do terrible things to each other. The graveyard shift is when he can make an impact.
His shift begins at 6:00 p.m. with a briefing from the sargeant, and runs twelve hours and fifteen minutes. Most of that time, he is alone in his patrol car, hunting for “bad guys.” He had me sign a waiver, and issued me a flashlight and Level 3 body armor, similar to the one he wore underneath his uniform. Handgun rounds will not pierce the armor, but will still cause blow trauma. He explained where the different gang turfs were divided, and rattled off the addresses of seedy apartment complexes where crimes were commonplace. He taught me how to approach a car of gangbangers and use my spotlight to blind them. Then he rechambered his shotgun, which is kept locked to the grill above our headrests. He pointed to a button. “This is the switch that unlocks it, in case something happens to me out there, and you need a weapon.” It was around then that I stopped thinking what Kurt has done is really cool, and I started to wonder whether the risk was worth it. Did I really need to witness an El Monte night? Yes, if I was going to rid my TV-inspired, schoolboy fantasy preconceptions. Yes, if I was going to understand Kurt and tell his story.
While getting dressed in the locker room, Kurt said, “Everybody needs fuel for their engine. Making seven figures on Wall Street is cheap wood, it burns up too fast. I need something that burns well. That’s substantive. That’s real.” By the end of the night, I understood what he meant.
Kurt is five-ten, thick, tanned, freckled, with a solid jaw and brown hair swept over the side. When remembering his past, he speaks slowly with his eyes nearly closed, like he’s going back to that old place in his mind. He still has many friends from the world he left behind, and in a way, he returns to his past every day to get away from what he sees in El Monte. He lives in a spotless luxury condo on the oceanfront at Venice Beach. There’s a hot tub on his deck and a restored antique Brunswick pool table in his living room and upstairs, in the center of the master bedroom, a two-person steam shower.
When Kurt graduated from Pomona College, he spent four years at The Timken Company. They sent him to France and India, and he found it fun and interesting, but with his whole life ahead of him he didn’t hold it to that high of a standard. That changed after Harvard Business School. You come out of HBS thinking that you can change the world in an instant, and you’re hungry to find the place you can make that happen. The years start to add up, and pretty soon it’s natural to wonder, “Is this really the choice I want to make?” The family expected him to train at Rockwell, and come home when he was 30. But Rockwell had Kurt working 80 hour weeks, and so was his wife, at Disney corporate. They rarely got to see each other, and when the marriage fell apart, Kurt was bitter about what work had wrought. It seemed like you have to choose, do you want a marriage or a career? He would have preferred a relationship, but it was too late.
Kurt had always been interested in law enforcement. He didn’t know anything about it. He’d never known a police officer. He’d never seen a trailer park, never hung out in a bad neighborhood. He felt it in his gut, not his brain. Business was about growing the bottom line; if it helps people, it does so indirectly. Kurt needed to serve people directly.
At Harvard, Kurt took marketing with a fairly famous professor named John Quelch.
“I decided to violate the Monkey Law,” Kurt said. “And plunge into the jungle, without a plan. I went into Rockwell and gave them my pink slip and said thanks.”
His father tried to be neutral, but it was very hard for him to understand. He’d invested a lot in Kurt. They were of two generations; Kurt’s Dad never had a choice about whether to fill his own father’s shoes. Kurt tried to explain that in our generation, it’s important to look around a little. Kurt, though, couldn’t get hired in law enforcement. He went a whole year being rejected.
Kurt kept taking the different cities’ physical and mental tests, and polygraph tests, passing them all, and that’s when Kurt’s Dad came in with unexpected support. He was offended that nobody would hire his son. “Keep taking the tests,” he urged. “It’ll happen.”
Finally, Kurt paid his own way through the Rio Honda Police Academy. He graduated fourth in his class, and still – nobody would hire him.
“It was a test of my resolve,” Kurt said. “It was not going to be handed to me.”
Some guys that Kurt went to the Academy with were hired by El Monte. They bugged their Chief to hire Kurt. The Chief sent Kurt over to the Community Relations Anti-Gang Unit. This was the prevention arm of their task force, and it tried to get ex gang members jobs and teach them life skills. They told Kurt if he would volunteer for a whole year, he’d have a job on the force at the end.
Kurt reached for his wallet and pulled out a photocopy of a note. It was written by his great-grandfather to his great-great-grandfather, the inventor. The sons were having trouble getting the auto industry to adopt their father’s tapered bearings. The note read, “Dear Father, I hate to think we are putting troubles on your shoulders. We’ll hang in there like grim death. We’ve got grit if we don’t have sense.”
Kurt explained, “I carried this in my wallet, and whenever I despaired, I read it again. I knew it didn’t make sense that I wanted to be in law enforcement, but I had grit.”
In his year volunteering, Kurt revamped a defunct tattoo removal program, and it turned it into one of the most successful in the country. He put in 20 to 40 hours every week. He became a gang specialist, building an intelligence base about the five gangs in El Monte.
Kurt slipped into this chatter easily. He didn’t quote Hegel at these guys, didn’t throw out business school maxims. They all put Timken Bearings in their boats, but they don’t connect Timken Bearings with Kurt Timken.
No sooner did we leave the lot than Kurt had me running license plates through the on-board computer, hoping to find a GTA, grand theft auto. Every Honda and Toyota I saw, I ran their plate hoping for a hit. It was the lottery. The more plates I ran, the more likely I’d get a hit. We did this with zeal. If we spotted either make, Kurt would gun his cruiser and ride up the car’s ass until I could make out the plate.
“You couldn’t do this in Beverly Hills,” Kurt said.
Kurt decided we needed to pick up the dispatcher’s dinner from Denny’s, so that they’d cut us some slack the rest of the night and leave us to hunt bad guys.
On the way, Kurt barked “known prostitute” and spun a u-turn on Garvey and pulled tight to the curb, where a transvestite was standing under the bus stop sign. We talked to him/her for awhile. I recognized her from the intelligence database Kurt had assembled in 3-inch binders he kept in his trunk.
Kurt held a pen light to her dull eyes to check her pupils, which were constricted, indicating heroin. But her pulse was racing, indicating meth. I found a tie-off strap in her purse, but no needles.
"The shock to El Monte was ..., 21 May 2009 [cached]
"The shock to El Monte was almost as bad as it was to the Sheriff's Department," El Monte Police Detective Kurt Timken said.
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