The city of Bellaire announced that its assistant chief of police, Onesimo Lopez Jr., will take the reins as the city’s new chief of police starting Aug. 2.

Lopez will take over from Byron Holloway, who will retire at the end of July after a decades-long career in the Bellaire Police Department since he began in 1976 as a police dispatcher.

“I am excited to be a part of the next chapter of Bellaire’s history and to serve alongside a team of talented professionals who share a commitment to public service and excellence in serving the city of Bellaire,” Lopez said in a May 19 news release. “I look forward to the opportunities that lie ahead.”

Lopez has served with the Bellaire Police Department since January 2019 after a nationwide search for a candidate to serve in the assistant police chief role. Lopez worked previously with the Pearland Police Department for 24 years.

Lopez holds a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice administration and is a graduate of the Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas Leadership Command College, located at Sam Houston State University. He is certified as a master peace officer by the state of Texas and is pursuing a master’s degree in public administration, and in early 2020 attended the FBI National Academy for premier law enforcement training.

“I am very excited for the department and the community that Assistant Chief Lopez has been named to replace me,” Holloway said in the news release. “This has been a long succession process, and Mo has proven himself every step of the way. He is an innovative leader that is more than capable of managing the upcoming challenges the law enforcement profession will face in the future.”