The open position of chief of police in Belfast has netted roughly 50 applications, according to City Manager Joe Slocum, who said the search was initially limited to Maine but drew suitors from 21 other states, apparently after the position was posted to a national job search site.

Jeffrey Trafton, who served as Belfast’s police chief for six-and-a-half years, left the department in October to take the job of chief deputy at the Waldo County Sheriff’s Office. Belfast Sergeant Walter Corey has been serving as interim chief while the city searches for a permanent replacement.

Slocum said he will be interviewing the applicants with an advisory group including Mayor Walter Ash, City Councilor Nancy Hamilton, Ellie Hutchinson of New Hope for Women, Waldo County Deputy District Attorney Eric Walker, local businessman Greg Dutch, and Trafton.

The City Council has the final authority to hire the new police chief based on the recommendations of the city manager. Slocum said he does not expect to bring a name to the City Council until the beginning of 2012.