BELFAST — During the last two regularly scheduled City Council meetings, councilors approved the hiring of four new officers for the Belfast Police Department, bringing the total number of patrol officers in the department to 11.

During the Oct. 18 and Nov. 1 council meetings, councilors voted unanimously to hire Gabriel Jones, Kevin Littlefield, Tyler Baker and Ethan Fitzjurls as full-time officers with the department. In an interview Nov. 4, Belfast Police Chief Robert Cormier said with the four new hires there now are 11 officers in its patrol unit, one K-9 officer, a detective, the deputy chief and himself in the department. The police department also has one position fully funded by the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency and one school resource officer.

When he was first hired by the city in May, Cormier said, there were several openings in the department and one of his primary goals in his first several months has been to get the department fully staffed. With the recent hires, the department is almost fully staffed. Cormier said he has one more patrol position to fill for his full complement of 12 patrol officers.

Cormier noted that police department positions are particularly difficult to fill, but he makes a point to hire the best possible candidates he can.

Cormier said he looks for officers who have the right attitude and right personality. He said he specifically seeks out officers who have a real passion for the job and who are approachable. He said he wants officers who understand when to exercise their discretion and officers who can be fair.

Over the last several months, Cormier has fostered a community-policing approach in the department. As such, he wants officers who are comfortable interacting with the public and participating in community events. He said if candidates come into the department with the right personal skills to interact positively with the public, he is confident he can provide them with the training they need to put cases together to solve crimes.

During Cormier’s time as chief he has also reinstituted the department’s K-9 program and created a motorcycle patrol position, all with the council’s blessing.