Renovation Of The Belleair Police Department Squad Room

In Honor of Arv Hickerson’s Dedication to the Belleair Police Department


Thanks to the generosity of Belleair residents, the Belleair PD are enjoying a newly updated squad room. In conjunction with the Belleair Community Foundation (BCF) and retired Army Colonel Arv Hickerson, who provided the bulk of the funds, they brought the space up to date.

BCF treasurer, Lisa Mitchels, volunteered to design the new room along with Ed Luttmann and Chief Doyle. “It was truly a labor of love, it couldn’t have been done without Luttmann and Mitchels,” Doyle said.It all began at a BCF meeting last summer when the board discussed the disgusting anti-police riots going on around the country and wondered what they could do to show support for the officers who protect our town. A few members met with Doyle and asked what they needed. He suggested the squad room was in dire need of an update. Soon after, the project was off and running. Mitchels took the ball and brainstormed with Luttmann to discuss a plan of attack. They used a whiteboard to lay it all out.

When the wish list was completed, Mitchels put a plan together. She first visited a designer at Home Depot to discuss the kitchen. She shopped for appliances and furniture, keeping in mind that in case of a lockdown or emergency situation the officers would have enough room to store food. “It’s as close to a kitchen as you can get without having a full-size range,” she said. The chairs around the conference table are unique in that the arms swing away from the chair so officers can comfortably sit in them with all their gear on.

One of the most remarkable renovations was replacing the old lockers which were a mishmash of beige file cabinets. Officer Bobby Albertson did the research on the large new blue lockers that include a bench seat for each officer and a roomy drawer to store items. A separate work station was built to use for evidence rather than contaminating the conference table.

Probably the most inspiring is the thin blue line wall designed by Luttmann. Hung there are various awards and a memorial to Officer Jeffery Tackett. He also was responsible for most of the painting in the rooms.

“Lisa handled all deliveries and super-vised many of the contractors during the process, which we couldn’t have done without her help,” Doyle said. The project was finished in the first part of November. Michels said, “It was a true labor of love, I was privileged to be a part of this to make the officers’ lives better.” At the January 5 Town Commission Meeting, the BCF was presented a proclamation for all they have done to make the Town a better place for the residents. Chief Doyle personally thanked the members of the BCF for the huge makeover of the squad room as well as Arv Hickerson for his generous support of the BPD. The squad room will be known as “Hickerson Headquarters” – a plaque was designed to hang on the wall.

He said, “The leadership of the BCF, and the hundreds of residents behind the support of BCF, were no doubt instrumental in helping our police department push through 2020, a tough year. The equipment provided, including vehicles, police radios and bulletproof vests … help keep our men and women safe while we work to serve and protect our town. The remodel of our headquarters and locker facilities have no doubt made it more comfortable for our officers as they prepare for each shift, or as they decompress after a shift before heading home to be mom, dad or spouse.” Doyle offered a very special thank you to Deputy Mayor Rettstatt who serves as the chairman of the BCF and is the heartbeat of that organization. He also thanked BCF board members, supporters, and residents. He recognized Lisa Michels and Ed Luttmann for the six-month-long renovation of Hickerson Headquarters. This writer wonders why the squad room was left out of the plans when the Town Hall was renovated in 2014? It was in terrible shape!