William "Billy" Hrvatin is the new chief of the Hot Springs Police Department, the city announced Thursday in a news release.
One of three finalists, Hrvatin served as interim chief the last two months. According to his resume, he joined the department in 1997. He was promoted to patrol division captain in June 2016 and named assistant chief in August 2020.
Hrvatin could not be reached for comment Thursday.
He's been a member of the SWAT team since 1999, incident commander since 2016 and has more than 3,600 hours of law enforcement training.
"I am confident in his abilities to lead our police department and look forward to working with him as we continue to move the Hot Springs Police Department forward," City Manager Bill Burrough said in the release.
He said Hrvatin's salary will increase to $124,359, or 13% more than his $110,053 base salary as assistant chief. The city's human resources department said Chris Chapmond, Hrvatin's predecessor, had a base salary of $121,451.
He resigned in January after being appointed director of the Arkansas Commission on Law Enforcement Standards and Training.
The city said Hrvatin helped oversee the crime reduction strategy that contributed to the 7% drop in last year's crime rate. Based on reports officers entered into the department's records management system, 3,046 criminal incidents were logged compared to 3,278 in 2021. Burglaries were down 30%, with 162 reported compared to 233 in 2021. Homicides fell 29%, with five reported last year compared to seven in 2021 and 15 in 2020.
Assaults dropped 14%, from 77 reports in 2021 to 66 last year. Larceny thefts dropped 5%, from 1,881 reports in 2021 to 1,796 last year, and vehicle thefts fell 17%, from 244 reports in 2021 to 202 last year.
"Many cities in America are seeing just the opposite of that, particularly in violent crime," Hrvatin told the Civil Service Commission last month. "The average across America right now is probably a 30% to 35% increase."
Capt. Jeff Michau and Dustin Ivey were the other finalists. According to his resume, Michau joined the department in 1996 and was promoted to field operations captain in August 2020. He transferred to captain over support operations the following year.
According to his resume, Ivey has more than 20 years of experience with the Maumelle Police Department. He was promoted to captain over the patrol division in 2019 and was interim chief during the final four months of last year.
Burrough interviewed the three finalists Monday. The city hosted a reception for them that night at the Hot Springs Convention Center. A dozen candidates applied for the job, including six from out of state.