Department History

Leroy Coates and CaesarThe 1st unofficial law enforcement officer of the City of Bellaire was Leroy Coates. In the early years of the 1900's Coates walked the route he guarded. Coates was also known to ride a horse and also a bicycle while on his rounds and was frequently accompanied by his bulldog, Caesar. 

The City of Bellaire was formally chartered on June 24, 1918 and with its' first governing body law enforcement was formally organized into City Marshals.

In those days marshals were appointed as local law enforcement officers though their main job was to keep straying cattle out of Bellaire. Other early marshals included W.C. Minson and a man named Callahan.

Multiple Responsibilities

W.A. Erdman served as the 1st Fire Marshal and City Marshall, and was followed by B.C. Ely in 1937. Ely served in this capacity until 1942. At the same time he was also Water Superintendent, Plumbing Inspector, Building Inspector, Electrical Inspector, Cattle Officer and Dog Catcher. Mrs. Ely was the 1st woman dispatcher as she took calls for Ely when he was out.

In 1945 Henry Rosnosky became marshal and he was followed by W.L. Fuller in 1946.

Police Establishment

An ordinance was passed on July 28, 1947, abolishing the office of the City Marshal of the City of Bellaire and providing for and regulating a police department by the City of Bellaire. J.H. Carrigan was appointed the first Chief of Police on August 4, 1947. John Hlavaty followed after, beginning his tenure on September 21, 1949.

Jack O'Brian became chief in 1952 and served in that post for the next 8 years. During those 8 years the force grew from 6 to 24. O'Brian resigned in December of 1960 to go to Texarkana and Joseph P. Court assumed the helm as acting chief. Court was ultimately appointed chief in July, 1961.

Court resigned from the force about a year later to go into the carpet business. William E. Hamilton was appointed chief June 4, 1962 and remained chief until July 30, 1973 when he resigned and John H. Wheatley became chief. Wheatly retired in 1977 and Jerry H. Loftin became chief. Loftin retired in 1996 and Randall Mack became chief until his retirement on April 24th, 2012.

Police Chiefs

Chief J.H. Carrigan resigned September 21, 1949

carrigan (2)

Chief John Hlavaty (no photo) September 21, 1949 to December 24, 1951

Chief Jack O'Brien June 4, 1952 to December 13, 1960

Chief Jack O'Brien

Chief J.P.Court July 17, 1961 to February 22, 1962

Chief J.P. Court

Chief W.E. Hamilton June 4, 1962 to July 31, 1973

Chief W.E. Hamilton

Chief John Wheatley July 30, 1973 to March 10, 1977

Chief John Wheatley

Chief J.H. Loftin June 20, 1977 to December 20, 1996

Chief J.H. Loftin

Chief Randall Mack December 23, 1996 to April 24, 2012

Chief Randall Mack

Chief Byron A. Holloway

April 25, 2012 to July 31, 2021.

Chief Onesimo "Mo" Lopez
August 1, 2021 to present.
A/C Onesimo Lopez