July 15, 2021

Hats Off to Our Top Cop

Throughout the course of his distinguished career, he hasn’t just been a police officer, department leader, and ultimately chief.  He’s been one of our neighbors, actively involved in numerous community organizations giving freely of his time and energy, and above all, a friend.  As he now retires after 45 years of dedicated service to the City of Bellaire, we salute Chief Byron Holloway and celebrate all that he has meant to us.

Byron began his career with the Bellaire Police Department in 1976 as a dispatcher, and rose quickly through the ranks, being promoted to patrol officer in 1977, senior patrol officer in 1986, sergeant in 1988, lieutenant in 1992, assistant chief in 1997, and then chief of police in 2012.  He is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and the FBI Command College, and his commendations include the High-Five Award in 1995, special recognition in 2008 for his work on the Bellaire Centennial, and an invitation to the White House as an advisor on implementation of the recommendations of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing, along with many other awards and accolades.

Beyond his professional accomplishments, what really stands out about Byron are his immeasurable civic contributions, including his regular participation in a variety of service projects over the years, leadership roles in professional and local associations, and as an active Rotarian and former president of the Bellaire/Southwest Houston Rotary Club.  All of which standing alone are commendable, but have also benefited the City and Department and have made him that much more effective as police chief.  Through his extensive engagement with the community, he has fostered and further solidified the truly special relationship we enjoy with our police, something that’s unique to Bellaire and that we can all be proud of.

To properly recognize and honor Byron and his wife, Linda, on the occasion of his retirement, the public is invited to join in a Farewell to the Chief on July 25, generously underwritten by The Buzz Magazines, The '401 Table and Tap, Escalante’s and the Rubenstein Family Foundation, with net proceeds benefiting the Bellaire Police and Fire Foundation.  Then, on August 2, we’ll celebrate the swearing-in of Assistant Chief Onesimo “Mo” Lopez as our new police chief, with an installation ceremony and community reception.  You won’t want to miss either of these momentous events.

I recently heard Byron remark that “police aren’t special people; they’re good people who do a special job.”  Respectfully, I must disagree.  Police are both special and good, and no one has embodied and demonstrated that better than he has these past 45 years.  The people of Bellaire value and appreciate Chief Byron Holloway for his leadership, devotion to duty and personal sacrifice in the protection of others, by which he has exemplified the longstanding police tradition of service, honor and courage above self.

Byron and Linda, we wish you all the very best in your well-deserved retirement, and know that as part of our Bellaire family, you’ve always got a home here.