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Farewell to the Chief: Honoring Byron Holloway’s 45 Years Serving Bellaire

Jordan Magaziner Steinfeld
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Byron with event underwriters

Arash Noamouz and Kristi Coffey (The '401), Cheryl Bright (community relations administrator, Bellaire) Linda and Byron Holloway, Michael and Joni Hoffman (The Buzz), Kopi Vogiatzis (Escalante's and vice president, BPFF) and Ryan Herbst (president, BPFF). (Photo: Dee Zunker Photography)

“This is not necessarily a celebration of my retirement,” said Bellaire Police Chief Byron Holloway. “I know there are people celebrating me leaving,” he quipped. 

“This is a celebration of community. This is what makes Bellaire great. This is what makes Bellaire different.” 

On Sun., July 25, approximately 200 of Chief Holloway’s family, friends, and neighbors gathered at Bellaire City Hall to celebrate his many years of service and dedication to the city. The evening, underwritten by The Buzz Magazines, The ’401, Escalante’s, and the Rubenstein Family Foundation, benefited the Bellaire Police and Fire Foundation (BPFF), and included entertainment by Beatles and ’60s tribute band THE FAB 5, plus light bites, beer, wine, and sangria.

Mayor Andrew Friedberg

Mayor Andrew Friedberg paid tribute to Chief Holloway's 45 years of service. (Photo: Dee Zunker Photography)

“How do you do justice to a 45-year career?” Mayor Andrew Friedberg posed the question. “What we see before us, Byron, is your friends, neighbors, admirers. We’re here to celebrate you and your wonderful career, you and Linda both. Thank you for all that you’ve done.” 

The evening, in addition to toasting Chief Holloway’s illustrious career, also raised $15,000 for the Bellaire Police and Fire Foundation, “an organization that’s near and dear to his heart and one that, if not for Byron, wouldn’t exist,” said Ryan Herbst, board president of BPFF.

Herbst was joined by other members of the BPFF board, including Kopi Vogiatzis, Randy Dobbs, Dan R. Collins, and Nick Lanza, to pay tribute to Chief Holloway. Herbst and Vogiatzis brought the idea for the concept, loosely based on the Houston Police Foundation, to Chief Holloway in 2014. 


Ryan Herbst, president of the Bellaire Police and Fire Foundation. (Photo: Dee Zunker Photography)

“Risk taking is not at the top of Byron’s fun list,” Herbst joked. “But he was very supportive.” Herbst explained that it was Chief Holloway’s idea to include the Bellaire Fire Department. “He thought in a city like Bellaire, it just made sense to extend [the organization] to Fire. His concern and love was for the city and public safety.” And so the BPFF was born. 

Since then, the organization has raised over $750,000 to support equipment, technology, and training for the Bellaire police and fire departments. “This organization will continue to be around to support the needs of our police and fire department,” Herbst said. “Byron, thank you for your leadership, your love and commitment to this community, and thank you for your friendship. We couldn’t have been more privileged to have worked with you.”  

Bellaire Police Chief Byron Holloway's remarks at a farewell gathering honoring his retirement.

In his farewell speech, Chief Holloway emphasized that “there’s more to a safe and secure community than the police department.” 

“It’s important but also a good community has good streets, parks, libraries, government – all of those things that make the city great,” he said. “The police department is a part of it but not all of it. I would get a lot of accolades [over the years] and I appreciate it, but the truth is that it’s not me. That is the department. That’s the men and women of the Bellaire Police Department.” 

As far as the Bellaire Police and Fire Foundation, Chief Holloway said that the organization has done an incredible job of understanding what the community needs, including current and future needs. 

“They don’t just buy stuff. Yes, we got some cool stuff,” said Chief Holloway, gesturing to the front of the building where the high-water rescue vehicles were parked.

Officers in front of high water vehicle

“My personal prayer for the high-water vehicles is that they dry rot before we ever need them,” said Chief Holloway in his farewell speech. Pictured, in front of one of the high-water vehicles, are (from left) fire commander Albert Figueroa, firefighter/EMT Russell Lacy, firefighter/EMT Edward Dannenbaum, firefighter/EMT Stephen Frank, corporal Shane O’Sullivan, incoming chief of police Mo Lopez and Chief Holloway. (Photo: Dee Zunker Photography) 

“My personal prayer for the high-water vehicles is that they dry rot before we ever need them,” he said. 

In addition to the rescue vehicles, the BPFF has funded programs such as de-escalation training (“they brought that forwarded three years ago before most people even know what de-escalation meant,” Chief Holloway remarked); the officer body-camera program; and more public safety focused technology and programs (see more details here.) 

Looking back over his long career and especially the historic events of the last few years, including Hurricane Harvey and the pandemic, “it seems to keep going. So does the city – it keeps going and that’s because you have great city employees, great city government, a great community,” Chief Holloway said. “We don’t always agree and that’s a good thing. The good thing about it is we can have conversations, work to understand each other, work to move forward.” 


Assistant Chief Onesimo "Mo" Lopez will be sworn in as Chief of Police on Aug. 2. (Photo: Dee Zunker Photography)

Onesimo “Mo” Lopez, Bellaire’s assistant chief of police, will succeed Holloway as Bellaire’s chief of police. Lopez will be sworn in Aug. 2. 

“Chief Byron has been a wonderful mentor,” said Lopez. “One thing I’ve learned from him is that it’s never about one person. It’s not about me. It’s not about the department. It’s about providing service to this great community, and everything we do should center on that service.

“I think his legacy will be just that – how he’s given himself to this community for 45 years. [That is] something I’m going to work to preserve and continue. I don’t see myself as being able to replace Byron – he’s irreplaceable. I’m going to try to do the best job I can the way he would’ve done it.” 

Chief Holloway said he’s excited for Lopez to take the reins. “We’re different people but our hearts are basically in the same place,” he shared. 


Byron Holloway joined members of THE FAB 5 on stage. (Photo: Dee Zunker Photography)

“This is a celebration of community,” Chief Holloway reiterated. “This is what makes the community great, and I believe it’ll be like that for years to come.” 

Chief Holloway, thank you for your 45 years of service to the community and congratulations on your retirement. We wish you, your wife Linda, and your family all the very best in your next chapter of life. 

Editor’s note: If you’d like to honor Chief Holloway, consider making a donation to the BPFF.  

  • Byron Holloway with sign

    “It’s time to give it arrest….” Supporters left their signatures on a Yardpeeps sign created by Buzz resident Robyn Goldstein. (Photo: Dee Zunker Photography)

  • Linda Holloway, Byron Holloway, Mo Lopez, Fabi Lopez,

    Linda and Byron Holloway (on left) and incoming Bellaire Police chief Mo Lopez and his wife Fabi. (Photo: Dee Zunker Photography)

  • Byron Holloway, Linda Holloway,

    Byron and Linda surrounded by family members. (Photo: Dee Zunker Photography)

  • Byron Holloway, Matthew Holloway,

    Chief Holloway’s family showed their support at the event, including son Matthew, who surprised his dad by driving in from LA for the retirement celebration. (Photo: Dee Zunker Photography)

  • Byron Holloway, Rebecca Phillips

    Byron Holloway, Rebecca Phillips. (Photo: Dee Zunker Photography)

  • Shane O’Sullivan, Byron Holloway, Mo Lopez

    Corporal Shane O’Sullivan, Chief Byron Holloway, Mo Lopez. (Photo: Dee Zunker Photography)

  • Linda Holloway, Byron Holloway,

    Linda and Byron Holloway on the dance floor. (Photo: Dee Zunker Photography)

  • (Photo: Dee Zunker Photography)

  • Menu

    Guests enjoyed a range of delicious light bites, including cocktail chicken fajitas, chile con queso, guacamole, salsa and chips from Escalante’s; beef sliders, Tuscan hummus, and spinach and portabella pasta from The ’401; plus wine, beer and sangria. (Photo: Dee Zunker Photography)

  • Hummus

    Tuscan hummus with veggies and fresh pita from The '401. (Photo: Dee Zunker Photography)

  • Patti Davis, Steve Davis, Rebecca Phillips,

    Patti and Steve Davis and Rebecca Phillips. (Photo: Dee Zunker Photography)

  • Sessy's Sweets

    Sessy's Sweets created personalized truffles for the occasion. (Photo: Dee Zunker Photography)

  • Kristi Coffey, Richard Cole

    Kristi Coffey, Richard Cole. (Photo: Dee Zunker Photography)

  • Jennifer Friedberg, Andrew Friedberg, Dan Collins,

    Jennifer Friedberg, Mayor Andrew Friedberg, Dan Collins. (Photo: Dee Zunker Photography)

  • Byron Holloway, Linda Holloway

    Byron and Linda Holloway listening to speeches. (Photo: Dee Zunker Photography)

  • Hugh Sintic, Craig Wooten

    Hugh Sintic, Craig Wooten. (Photo: Dee Zunker Photography)

  • Myrna Engler, David Engler, Michael Hoffman, Joni Hoffman,

    Myrna and David Engler and Michael and Joni Hoffman. (Photo: Dee Zunker Photography)

  • Bellaire Police and Fire Foundation

    Board members from the Bellaire Police and Fire Foundation. (Photo: Dee Zunker Photography)

  • (Photo: Dee Zunker Photography)

  • Byron Holloway

    Byron Holloway has served as Bellaire's Chief of Police for 45 years. (Photo: Dee Zunker Photography)

  • Jessica Wiley

    Jessica Wiley, KTRK, emceed the event. (Photo: Dee Zunker Photography)

  • Chief Holloway’s family

    Chief Holloway’s family gathered to celebrate his long career. (Photo: Dee Zunker Photography)

  • Trisha Pollard, Randy Pollard,

    Trisha and Randy Pollard (Photo: Dee Zunker Photography)

  • Copcorn

    Buzz summer interns Maya Harpavat and Ava Yu offered bags of “Copcorn” as guests entered City Hall. (Photo: Dee Zunker Photography)

  • Creighton Edwards, Michael Fife,

    Creighton Edwards and Michael Fife (Photo: Dee Zunker Photography)

  • THE FAB 5

    Beatles and ’60s tribute band THE FAB 5 set the scene for an upbeat evening. (Photo: Dee Zunker Photography)

  • Michael Fife, Byron Holloway, Karl Miller

    Michael Fife, Byron Holloway, Karl Miller (Photo: Dee Zunker Photography)

  • Tandy Camberg Harris, Kay Jones, Kathy Westmoreland

    Tandy Camberg Harris, Kay Jones, Kathy Westmoreland (Photo: Dee Zunker Photography)

  • Tillie Wiedemann, Matthew Holloway, Byron Holloway, Pattie McGuire

    Tillie Wiedemann, Matthew Holloway, Byron Holloway, Pattie McGuire. (Photo: Dee Zunker Photography)

  • Dancing

    On the dance floor: Kristi Coffey, Linda Holloway, Joni Hoffman, Tillie Wiedemann. (Photo: Dee Zunker Photography)

  • Dancing

    Chief Holloway's family members on the dance floor. (Photo: Dee Zunker Photography)

  • Pat McLaughlin, Cindy Siegel, Byron Holloway, Terrence Beaman Todd Blitzer,

    Pat McLaughlin, Cindy Siegel, Byron Holloway, Terrence Beaman, Todd Blitzer (Photo: Dee Zunker Photography)

  • Bonnie Lumpkin, Terrence Beaman, Christie Beaman,

    Bonnie Lumpkin, Terrence and Christie Beaman. (Photo: Dee Zunker Photography)

  • Jane Dembski, Jay Carr, Cheryl Bright, Joni Hoffman

    Jane Dembski, Jay Carr, Cheryl Bright, Joni Hoffman (Photo: Dee Zunker Photography)

  • Byron Holloway and friends

    Byron Holloway surrounded by friends. (Photo: Dee Zunker Photography)

  • Dan Collins, Linda Holloway, Byron Holloway, Lilly Gilmer Collins

    Dan Collins, Linda and Byron Holloway, Lilly Gilmer Collins (Photo: Dee Zunker Photography)

  • Byron Holloway's family members

    Byron Holloway's family members (Photo: Dee Zunker Photography)

  • Emi Loperena, Andres Loperena, Anita Morton,

    Emi and Andres Loperena and Anita Morton (Photo: Dee Zunker Photography)

  • Tandy Camberg Harris, Tillie Wiedemann

    Tandy Camberg Harris, Tillie Wiedemann (Photo: Dee Zunker Photography)

  • Kristi Coffey, Rebecca Phillips

    Kristi Coffey, Rebecca Phillips (Photo: Dee Zunker Photography)

  • Cheryl Bright, Jay Carr,

    Cheryl Bright and Jay Carr (Photo: Dee Zunker Photography)

  • Phil Murray, Roberta Murray

    Phil and Roberta Murray (Photo: Dee Zunker Photography)

  • Theresa Bosley, Dan Collins, Sherry Noblett, Javier Vega

    Theresa Bosley, Dan Collins, Sherry Noblett, Javier Vega. (Photo: Dee Zunker Photography)

  • Scott Budnik, Judy Budnik, Kathy Westmoreland, Kay Jones

    Scott and Judy Budnik, Kathy Westmoreland, Kay Jones. (Photo: Dee Zunker Photography)

  • Theresa Bosley, K.K. Kanchat, Ed Schafman

    Theresa Bosley, K.K. Kanchat, Ed Schafman (Photo: Dee Zunker Photography)

  • Gail Wooten, Randy Dobbs, Shawn Dobbs, Craig Wooten,

    Gail Wooten, Randy and Shawn Dobbs, Craig Wooten. (Photo: Dee Zunker Photography) 

  • Buzz team

    Todd and Andy Blitzer, Michael and Joni Hoffman, Jordan and Matt Steinfeld (Photo: Dee Zunker Photography)

  • Floral arrangement

    The beautiful floral arrangements (Photo: Dee Zunker Photography)

  • Byron Holloway with sign
  • Linda Holloway, Byron Holloway, Mo Lopez, Fabi Lopez,
  • Byron Holloway, Linda Holloway,
  • Byron Holloway, Matthew Holloway,
  • Byron Holloway, Rebecca Phillips
  • Shane O’Sullivan, Byron Holloway, Mo Lopez
  • Linda Holloway, Byron Holloway,
  • Menu
  • Hummus
  • Patti Davis, Steve Davis, Rebecca Phillips,
  • Sessy's Sweets
  • Kristi Coffey, Richard Cole
  • Jennifer Friedberg, Andrew Friedberg, Dan Collins,
  • Byron Holloway, Linda Holloway
  • Hugh Sintic, Craig Wooten
  • Myrna Engler, David Engler, Michael Hoffman, Joni Hoffman,
  • Bellaire Police and Fire Foundation
  • Byron Holloway
  • Jessica Wiley
  • Chief Holloway’s family
  • Trisha Pollard, Randy Pollard,
  • Copcorn
  • Creighton Edwards, Michael Fife,
  • THE FAB 5
  • Michael Fife, Byron Holloway, Karl Miller
  • Tandy Camberg Harris, Kay Jones, Kathy Westmoreland
  • Tillie Wiedemann, Matthew Holloway, Byron Holloway, Pattie McGuire
  • Dancing
  • Dancing
  • Pat McLaughlin, Cindy Siegel, Byron Holloway, Terrence Beaman Todd Blitzer,
  • Bonnie Lumpkin, Terrence Beaman, Christie Beaman,
  • Jane Dembski, Jay Carr, Cheryl Bright, Joni Hoffman
  • Byron Holloway and friends
  • Dan Collins, Linda Holloway, Byron Holloway, Lilly Gilmer Collins
  • Byron Holloway's family members
  • Emi Loperena, Andres Loperena, Anita Morton,
  • Tandy Camberg Harris, Tillie Wiedemann
  • Kristi Coffey, Rebecca Phillips
  • Cheryl Bright, Jay Carr,
  • Phil Murray, Roberta Murray
  • Theresa Bosley, Dan Collins, Sherry Noblett, Javier Vega
  • Scott Budnik, Judy Budnik, Kathy Westmoreland, Kay Jones
  • Theresa Bosley, K.K. Kanchat, Ed Schafman
  • Gail Wooten, Randy Dobbs, Shawn Dobbs, Craig Wooten,
  • Buzz team
  • Floral arrangement

Byron Holloway with sign

“It’s time to give it arrest….” Supporters left their signatures on a Yardpeeps sign created by Buzz resident Robyn Goldstein. (Photo: Dee Zunker Photography)

Linda Holloway, Byron Holloway, Mo Lopez, Fabi Lopez,

Linda and Byron Holloway (on left) and incoming Bellaire Police chief Mo Lopez and his wife Fabi. (Photo: Dee Zunker Photography)

Byron Holloway, Linda Holloway,

Byron and Linda surrounded by family members. (Photo: Dee Zunker Photography)

Byron Holloway, Matthew Holloway,

Chief Holloway’s family showed their support at the event, including son Matthew, who surprised his dad by driving in from LA for the retirement celebration. (Photo: Dee Zunker Photography)

Byron Holloway, Rebecca Phillips

Byron Holloway, Rebecca Phillips. (Photo: Dee Zunker Photography)

Shane O’Sullivan, Byron Holloway, Mo Lopez

Corporal Shane O’Sullivan, Chief Byron Holloway, Mo Lopez. (Photo: Dee Zunker Photography)

Linda Holloway, Byron Holloway,

Linda and Byron Holloway on the dance floor. (Photo: Dee Zunker Photography)

(Photo: Dee Zunker Photography)

Menu

Guests enjoyed a range of delicious light bites, including cocktail chicken fajitas, chile con queso, guacamole, salsa and chips from Escalante’s; beef sliders, Tuscan hummus, and spinach and portabella pasta from The ’401; plus wine, beer and sangria. (Photo: Dee Zunker Photography)

Hummus

Tuscan hummus with veggies and fresh pita from The '401. (Photo: Dee Zunker Photography)

Patti Davis, Steve Davis, Rebecca Phillips,

Patti and Steve Davis and Rebecca Phillips. (Photo: Dee Zunker Photography)

Sessy's Sweets

Sessy's Sweets created personalized truffles for the occasion. (Photo: Dee Zunker Photography)

Kristi Coffey, Richard Cole

Kristi Coffey, Richard Cole. (Photo: Dee Zunker Photography)

Jennifer Friedberg, Andrew Friedberg, Dan Collins,

Jennifer Friedberg, Mayor Andrew Friedberg, Dan Collins. (Photo: Dee Zunker Photography)

Byron Holloway, Linda Holloway

Byron and Linda Holloway listening to speeches. (Photo: Dee Zunker Photography)

Hugh Sintic, Craig Wooten

Hugh Sintic, Craig Wooten. (Photo: Dee Zunker Photography)

Myrna Engler, David Engler, Michael Hoffman, Joni Hoffman,

Myrna and David Engler and Michael and Joni Hoffman. (Photo: Dee Zunker Photography)

Bellaire Police and Fire Foundation

Board members from the Bellaire Police and Fire Foundation. (Photo: Dee Zunker Photography)

(Photo: Dee Zunker Photography)

Byron Holloway

Byron Holloway has served as Bellaire's Chief of Police for 45 years. (Photo: Dee Zunker Photography)

Jessica Wiley

Jessica Wiley, KTRK, emceed the event. (Photo: Dee Zunker Photography)

Chief Holloway’s family

Chief Holloway’s family gathered to celebrate his long career. (Photo: Dee Zunker Photography)

Trisha Pollard, Randy Pollard,

Trisha and Randy Pollard (Photo: Dee Zunker Photography)

Copcorn

Buzz summer interns Maya Harpavat and Ava Yu offered bags of “Copcorn” as guests entered City Hall. (Photo: Dee Zunker Photography)

Creighton Edwards, Michael Fife,

Creighton Edwards and Michael Fife (Photo: Dee Zunker Photography)

THE FAB 5

Beatles and ’60s tribute band THE FAB 5 set the scene for an upbeat evening. (Photo: Dee Zunker Photography)

Michael Fife, Byron Holloway, Karl Miller

Michael Fife, Byron Holloway, Karl Miller (Photo: Dee Zunker Photography)

Tandy Camberg Harris, Kay Jones, Kathy Westmoreland

Tandy Camberg Harris, Kay Jones, Kathy Westmoreland (Photo: Dee Zunker Photography)

Tillie Wiedemann, Matthew Holloway, Byron Holloway, Pattie McGuire

Tillie Wiedemann, Matthew Holloway, Byron Holloway, Pattie McGuire. (Photo: Dee Zunker Photography)

Dancing

On the dance floor: Kristi Coffey, Linda Holloway, Joni Hoffman, Tillie Wiedemann. (Photo: Dee Zunker Photography)

Dancing

Chief Holloway's family members on the dance floor. (Photo: Dee Zunker Photography)

Pat McLaughlin, Cindy Siegel, Byron Holloway, Terrence Beaman Todd Blitzer,

Pat McLaughlin, Cindy Siegel, Byron Holloway, Terrence Beaman, Todd Blitzer (Photo: Dee Zunker Photography)

Bonnie Lumpkin, Terrence Beaman, Christie Beaman,

Bonnie Lumpkin, Terrence and Christie Beaman. (Photo: Dee Zunker Photography)

Jane Dembski, Jay Carr, Cheryl Bright, Joni Hoffman

Jane Dembski, Jay Carr, Cheryl Bright, Joni Hoffman (Photo: Dee Zunker Photography)

Byron Holloway and friends

Byron Holloway surrounded by friends. (Photo: Dee Zunker Photography)

Dan Collins, Linda Holloway, Byron Holloway, Lilly Gilmer Collins

Dan Collins, Linda and Byron Holloway, Lilly Gilmer Collins (Photo: Dee Zunker Photography)

Byron Holloway's family members

Byron Holloway's family members (Photo: Dee Zunker Photography)

Emi Loperena, Andres Loperena, Anita Morton,

Emi and Andres Loperena and Anita Morton (Photo: Dee Zunker Photography)

Tandy Camberg Harris, Tillie Wiedemann

Tandy Camberg Harris, Tillie Wiedemann (Photo: Dee Zunker Photography)

Kristi Coffey, Rebecca Phillips

Kristi Coffey, Rebecca Phillips (Photo: Dee Zunker Photography)

Cheryl Bright, Jay Carr,

Cheryl Bright and Jay Carr (Photo: Dee Zunker Photography)

Phil Murray, Roberta Murray

Phil and Roberta Murray (Photo: Dee Zunker Photography)

Theresa Bosley, Dan Collins, Sherry Noblett, Javier Vega

Theresa Bosley, Dan Collins, Sherry Noblett, Javier Vega. (Photo: Dee Zunker Photography)

Scott Budnik, Judy Budnik, Kathy Westmoreland, Kay Jones

Scott and Judy Budnik, Kathy Westmoreland, Kay Jones. (Photo: Dee Zunker Photography)

Theresa Bosley, K.K. Kanchat, Ed Schafman

Theresa Bosley, K.K. Kanchat, Ed Schafman (Photo: Dee Zunker Photography)

Gail Wooten, Randy Dobbs, Shawn Dobbs, Craig Wooten,

Gail Wooten, Randy and Shawn Dobbs, Craig Wooten. (Photo: Dee Zunker Photography) 

Buzz team

Todd and Andy Blitzer, Michael and Joni Hoffman, Jordan and Matt Steinfeld (Photo: Dee Zunker Photography)

Floral arrangement

The beautiful floral arrangements (Photo: Dee Zunker Photography)

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