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Posted on: May 19, 2023

Hot Springs Police offering higher pay scale and benefits package

HSPD Pay Increase

In response to the nationwide challenge facing law enforcement agencies in terms of hiring, recruiting and retention, the City of Hot Springs Police Department (HSPD) has increased its pay scale, added sign-on bonuses and improved the benefits package.

The salary adjustment is a 12.5% increase for all sworn police positions, making the starting salary just over $50,000. There is also a residency incentive of $2,600 per year, payable at a rate of $100 per bi-weekly pay period for officers who live inside the city limits. There is also a $10,000 signing bonus for all newly-hired fully-certified police officers and a $5,000 signing bonus for all newly-hired non-certified police officers, both paid after six months in a lump sum. 

“We have found our agency in a constant state of recruiting, hiring and training of new officers, when it was once something we would only do in the fall of the year. In fact, our last hiring list did not produce enough eligible applicants to fill all of our vacancies, and we immediately went back into another recruiting and hiring cycle to find ourselves with a low turnout of applicants again,” HSPD Chief Billy Hrvatin said to the Hot Springs Board of Directors at the May 16 Board meeting when Resolution R-23-102 was passed, authorizing the pay and recruiting adjustments. The hiring bonuses took effect immediately, while the incentive increases are effective beginning June 10, 2023. 

Despite diligent and creative recruiting efforts, HSPD has seen a drastic reduction in the number of qualified applicants over the last few years. Between the years 2004 and 2010, HSPD averaged 30 persons on the eligibility hiring list. The average of the last six eligibility lists has been seven. HSPD officers are also being heavily recruited by other agencies that have been offering better pay and benefits.

“I really support this initiative and this proposal knowing, over the past, really, two years, how difficult it has been to maintain a full police force. And for every one of those persons, every one of those officers we don’t have, that puts all the other officers at risk,” said City Manager Bill Burrough at the Board meeting. “I applaud the chief in bringing this to us and I think it’s going to help us retain and hire more officers. And we’ve got some of the best-trained officers in the state of Arkansas…that’s well known throughout the state, and I think that’s why this group is so heavily recruited.”

The HSPD has already started to communicate the new incentive package details for their recruiting efforts, which are being added to other benefits that include up to $200 a month certificate pay; education incentives of $3,000, $2,400 and $1,620; annual retention pay that increases annually up to $2,000; an annual uniform allowance of $1,200; a home storage unit program; health, dental and life insurance; vacation time; and retirement benefits through the Arkansas Local Police & Fire Retirement System (LOPFI). 

For those interested in joining the HSPD, apply now at For more information, visit or call the City’s Human Resources Department at 501-321-6841. 

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