These are lively times for the Bellaire Police Department — and not just out on the streets.
Bellaire will welcome its new assistant police chief, Onesimo “Mo” Lopez, at a reception at 6:30 tonight (Jan. 28) preceding the City Council meeting in City Hall at 7000 S. Rice Ave.
Lopez, who had served with the Pearland PD for 24 years — most recently as a captain — was tapped for the job over 50 other candidates and started Jan. 1.
He earned a B.A. in criminal justice administration at Sam Houston State University and is a graduate of its Management Institute of Texas’ Leadership Command College. He’s certified as a master peace officer by the state of Texas, and is currently working on a master’s degree in public administration
We are excited at what he has to bring to our organization,” said Chief Byron Holloway. “There were some great folks interested in the job, but Mo was determined to be the right person.”
A married father of four, Lopez fills the vacancy left by the sudden departure of veteran Bellaire cop Mike Leal, who departed the assistant chief’s position to work in private security with his brother.
It’s an eventful time for the Bellaire PD. Just last week the department and Bellaire’s courts moved into their new state-of-the-art, 30,882-square-foot, $9.3 million building on the site of their overcrowded, outdated headquarters at 5110 Jessamine St., which opened in 1974.
The new headquarters features a high-tech emergency operations center and dispatch capabilities, training and fitness facilities, a “victim calm room,” and a greatly enhanced jail and court system. Bellaire’s police force of 39 now patrols a city whose population grows from about 15,000 residents to 35,000 people during the day when large office buildings and businesses fill. Dispatchers handle between 35,000-45,000 calls a year.
The city will host an open house “soon” for the public to see the building, which was financed through taxpayer-approved bonds.