Council voted unanimously at a special meeting Monday to offer the Chief job to Larry Hrinik.
City council interviewed Hrinik, who retired as Davision Township Police Chief in February, and David Northrop, the Director of Public Safety in Sturgis, during a special meeting Saturday,
Each member of council spoke before the vote. Most council members said the finalists, Hrinik and David Northop, were very good candidates. But the consensus was that Hrinik was the best fit for the job.
Council member Brian Marl, who moved the motion to offer the job to Hrinik, said both candidates were fine inidividuals of the utmost integrity. But Hrinik was his clear favorite.
"He has a quiet gentleness but he can also be firm and emphatic. I like what he said about relationship building. I especially like what he said about mentoring, that it's a great testament to being a leader, to mentor people and groom them to one day take over your position," Marl said.
Marl said that Hrinik has also proven that he can move to a new job and successfully integrate himself in the community.
Council member David Rhoads, who seconded Marl's motion, said he thought that the citizens of Saline would be comfortable with Hrinik. Rhoads said he thought Northrop's "militaristic" style might make it tough for some residents to open up to him.
"My feeling, after two interviews, is that Mr. Hrinik would be the one who would best fit the culture that we have here in Saline," Rhoads said.
Council member Jim Peters said he thought it was a "dead heat" between the final two candidates when measuring talent and competency. But Peters, too, went with Hrinik.
"It may come down to intangibles, for myself. If I had a problem and had to knock on the door and talk to the man, I think that Larry Hrinik would be the one I'd be more comfortable with," Peters said.
Council member Dean Girbach said he thought Saline might be well served by a chief who understood what it was like to manage a departement in a small community that was so close to a larger, sprawling community.
Hrinik was chief of the Davison Township Police Department from 1993 until retiring in February of 2012. Prior to that, he worked as a police officer in Buena Vista Township Police Department from 1974-1993.He was promoted to sergeant in 1985. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice and Sociology and his Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership and Administration from Saginaw Valley State College. He has been an instructor at the University of Michigan-Flint, Saginaw Valley State University, Flint Regional Police Academy and St. Mary’s Medical Center.
The offer is contingent upon a background check and physical and drug screening.
Saline City Manager Todd Campbell was directred to negotiate a contract with Hrinik.
Saline Police Officer Chris Boulter, president of the Saline Police Officers Assoication, said officers were looking forward to working with Hrinik.
Northrop has been Director of Public Safety since 2004. He was Chief of Police and Deputy Chief of Police in Sturgis from 2001-04. As chief, after a study, he recommended the fire and police services be rolled into a Public Safety Department. He also merged the dispatch services with St. Joseph County Central Dispatch. He’s been with Sturgis since 1988, where he has also been a police officer, Youth Services Officer and Corporal. He began his law enforcement career in Cassopolis and Lawrence in 1987. Northrop was a Platoon Sergeant in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1985-91, leading 84 Marines during a combat environment during the Gulf War. Northrop earned his B.S. in Public Services Administration and also in Criminal Justice from Siena Heights University.