BENTON, Ark. (August 15, 2017) -- The Benton Police Department announced that Scotty Hodges, a 21-year veteran of the department, was officially named and sworn in as the department Police Chief on Monday.
“I am very honored to be placed in this position,” Chief Hodges said. "This is an exciting time for our department and an especially exciting time for me. Even though I was not born in Benton, Benton is my home. It takes all of us as a team to make us as successful as we are."
He added, “We live in a difficult and challenging time in law enforcement and it makes it so much easier when you have great people to work with. Thank you for this opportunity and the confidence and trust you have placed in me."
Benton City Council members approved the recommendation by Mayor David Mattingly to appoint Hodges, who has been serving as Interim Chief since the retirement of Chief Kirk Lane on Aug. 6.
Mayor Mattingly said Lane highly recommended Hodges to fill the Chief position, and after “getting to know Scotty Hodges while he served as Assistant Police Chief,” that he became confident that Hodges has strong leadership qualities.
“I know he is ready to do this,” Mayor Mattingly said. “You all are going to be proud!”
Alderman Bill Donnor before motioning the mayor’s recommendation to the council, said it was, “A great honor and privilege” to vote Hodges in as Police Chief. Judge Gary Arnold performed the swearing in ceremony of Hodges as Police Chief.
“This is a special honor for me,” Arnold said. “Our city has come to expect having an outstanding Police Chief and an outstanding police department. That’s what we expect and that’s what we are getting. Mayor, council members, you hit a home run [in appointing Chief Hodges].”
First hired as a patrol officer on July 1, 1996, Chief Hodges has the unique distinction of serving in every division of the Benton Police Department, as well as at every rank. He was named the Officer of the Year in 1999 and was the recipient of the 2012 Benton Police Department Leadership Award. The accomplishments during the 21-year service of Chief Hodges includes:
April 9, 1999 – Promoted to patrol corporal.
July 24, 2000 – Promoted to Patrol Sergeant and C.O.P. Sergeant.
Oct. 18, 2004 – Promoted to Lieutenant.
Nov. 30, 2012 – Promoted to Captain to oversee the Patrol Division and Communications Center.
Jan. 1, 2016 – Promoted to Assistant Police Chief.
Aug. 14, 2017 – Appointed Chief of the Benton Police Department
The son of Sue Hodges and the late Jesse Hodges of Bossier City, LA., Scotty Hodges is the eighth member of his family to pursue a career as a Law Enforcement Officer. Hodges received a Bachelor’s of Arts Degree in Criminal Justice with a minor in Management from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. He is a graduate of the 240th session of the FBI National Academy.