SANTA MARIA - The search for a new police chief in the city of Santa Maria has gone from the application process to the candidate review process.
The deadline to apply for the job which was advertised nationally was 5:00pm Wednesday.
It became open after former Chief Dan Macagni resigned last summer soon after he was placed on administrative leave for unknown reasons.
Macagni's departure followed several deadly Santa Maria Police officer-involved shootings.
Retired L.A. County Sheriff's Commander Ralph Martin was hired by the city as chief on an interim basis during the search but Martin has reportedly considered coming out of retirement and applying for the job.
Martin did not return phone calls from Central Coast News on Wednesday seeking his decision.
City officials say phase two of the search for a new chief will begin immediately.
"We do a screening of the applications, and determine the top candidates", says assistant City Manager Alicia Lara, "the people that meet the needs of the community and what we're looking for in a police chief and then we interview top candidates in a pretty comprehensive interview process."
Lara says candidates will meet with two interview panels at the end of the month.
"One will be community members", Lara says, "the other one will be subject matter experts, meaning other chiefs of police and outside agency city managers who will assess the candidates skills from a technical side."
Lara says the city cannot release information about the applicants but she says there has been a large response for the job as part of nationwide recruitment.
City Manager Rick Haydon will appoint members to each of the two interview panels and ultimately it will be Haydon's decision who is selected and hired as the new Chief of Police.
Haydon has said he would like to have the position filled by early next year.
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