Bellaire’s police department received a handful of donated items June 17 that will help enhance safety operations in the city.

The full story

The Bellaire Police and Fire Foundation, a nonprofit organization created to enhance public safety in the city, donated a variety of equipment to Bellaire’s police department. Items include:

  • 10 handheld ticket writers
  • Six drones
  • Five pole-mounted digital speed traffic signals
  • 20 units of special response team communication gear

Bellaire’s police department was previously issuing handwritten tickets. According to the agenda packet, the new handheld units will be able to scan driver IDs and vehicle identification numbers, and issue paperless tow slips.

The new drones will replace the department's three existing, obsolete drones and will be enhanced with thermal capabilities, video access and advanced image resolution, according to the agenda.

The communication gear includes a helmet-mounted tactical headset with dual communication capabilities so officers can tune into the secure police radio and the team-only communication line.

More details

The donation also included enhancements to the department’s existing technology, such as the department's convoy search, visual search, vehicle description alerts and custom hot list attachments.

  • Convoy search: identifies suspect vehicles traveling together, which is useful for tackling crime rings
  • Visual search: uploads digital images and creates custom image search
  • Vehicle description alerts: sends out vehicle alerts based on body type, make, color and other criteria
  • Custom hot list attachments: attaches detailed case notes, photos and report to the hot list alerts

The monetary value of all of the donated equipment is approximately $213,917, according to the agenda.

Notable quote

Bellaire Chief of Police Onesimo Lopez said, to date, the Bellaire Police and Fire Foundation has received more than $1.2 million in donations to support the police and fire departments.

“These are all force multipliers and safety enhancements that we could not do without the generous donations of citizens of Bellaire,” he said. “We are grateful for their participation.”

Lopez said enhanced technology is a game changer in law enforcement.

“[Technology] enables us to do more than just what one policeman standing on the side of the road can do,” he said.