Bellaire PD hires Pearland police veteran as assistant chief
The Bellaire Police Department has selected a police captain with 24 years of service as its new assistant police chief.
Pearland Police Department Captain Onesimo Lopez Jr., who goes by “Mo,” was chosen through a national search that included more than 50 candidates.
After spending his entire police career in Pearland, Lopez said he has watched that city grow from about 32,000 residents in 1994 to about 120,000 today. He is looking forward to serving in Bellaire because it feels to him more like a small town that also has the benefits of being nestled in a large city.
“What was appealing about Bellaire was every time I’d go to a Bellaire, whether it was to go watch a Little League game or just to hang out at some of the restaurants or shops in Bellaire, it had a very small-town feel,” Lopez said. “And everybody was just so kind and welcoming, and it really reminded me a lot of Pearland when I first started.”
BPD started the selection process in April, and Police Chief Byron Holloway said Lopez stood out from the rest. He said Lopez’s “cross operational experience” in areas including patrol operation, media relations, training and administrative function will bring a lot to the department.
Lopez has a bachelor’s in criminal justice administration and also graduated from the Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas’ Leadership Command College at Sam Houston State University. A certified Master Peace Officer by the state of Texas, he is currently working on a master’s degree in public administration as well.
“His work record shows a constant on ongoing desire for professional development,” Holloway said. “Captain Lopez speaks Spanish, and having a bilingual assistant chief or chief is a notable asset for a police organization in the Houston area.”
Lopez is married and has four children. While he currently lives in Pearland, he said he hopes to move to Houston at some point to be closer to his work in Bellaire.
Lopez said he is excited about the opportunity and anxious to begin. When he starts on Jan. 1, 2019, he plans to make learning his first priority.
“I’m coming from an agency where I’ve known everybody — I’ve got lots of friends in Pearland. I’ve had 24 years to make friendships and to build relationships,” he said. “And I’m moving to Bellaire, where I don’t know anyone really, so the first thing I want to do is learn. I need to learn the people. I need to learn the culture, but just as important, I need to show them who I am, so there’s going to be learning both ways.”
A reception to welcome Lopez to the department is slated for Monday, Jan. 28, just before the city council meeting, which is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the new Bellaire city hall at 7808 S. Rice.