Saline officials select Larry Hrinik as new police chief
Saline City Council voted unanimously during a special meeting Monday to select retired police Chief Larry R. Hrinik of Davison Township as its new police chief.
With a unanimous vote, the council approved a motion to make Hrinik a conditional offer of employment contingent upon satisfactory completion of a background check, physical and drug screen, and a contract negotiation.
City Manager Todd Campbell said he would contact Hrinik later Monday night to inform him of the council’s decision.
Campbell said it’s too early to know of a possible start date but the goal is between 30 to 45 days from now.
The search for a new police chief began last November after longtime chief Paul Bunten announced his plans to retire. Bunten retired Jan. 16, 2012.
Campbell said the city initially received 47 applications for the job. The hiring committee comprised of Mayor Gretchen Driskell, Council Member David Rhoads, Mayor Pro-Tem Brian Marl, Campbell and Chelsea police chief Ed Toth narrowed them down.
The pool of three finalists dropped to two last week when Capt. Gerard S. Schlerinck of Troy decided to accept a position as Milan’s chief of police.
Marl said while he believes both Hrinik and finalist David C. Northrop II of Sturgis are accomplished individuals, Hrinik was the best choice for the job.
“I believe beyond a reasonable doubt that Larry Hrinik should be the next chief of police for the city of Saline,” Marl said. “I observed in Larry qualities that I think would serve him well in Saline.”
Both candidates were interviewed Saturday by the council. Marl said that, during the interview, Hrinik spoke about relationship building and mentoring— which will be key components to his success.
“It’s a great testament to being a leader, to mentoring and recruiting people to one day take over position and assume your role,” Marl said. “Larry is the only individual with a proven track record of successfully integrating himself into a new community, which he did in Davison Township.”
Hrinik, who has 37 years of law enforcement experience, served as police chief in Davison from September 1993 to February 2012. Before that he was a police officer for 11 years and a sergeant for eight in the Buena Vista Township Police Department near Saginaw.
In addition to serving in law enforcement, Hrinik lectures at the University of Michigan- Flint.
Rhoads voted in favor of Hrinik because he believes his personality is one that Saline citizens would be more comfortable with.
Council member Linda TerHaar said several of the answers Hrinik gave during his Saturday interview reinforced her decision.
“When he talked about his priorities for the first six months on the job, the first thing he talked about was looking around and seeing the community and the department and how things worked,” TerHaar said.