More than 50 people have applied for West Jordan's top public safety job, but it is likely the better part of April will pass before a new chief is named.

City Manager Ron Olson said city staff is now screening the applications to weed out those that don't meet the minimum qualifications for Public Safety Director, which heads the city's combined police and fire departments.Chief Kal O. Farr resigned the post effective Jan. 1 to take a private-sector job. Lt. Ken McGuire is serving as interim chief until a permanent replacement is named.

Olson said the field of applicants should be narrowed to between 6 and 10 by the end of March when other area police chiefs and possibly city managers from neighboring cities will be called in to help screen the final applicants.

Two officers resigned during the past several weeks while the city staff considered a proposal from a council member to dissolve the department and hire the Salt Lake County sheriff's department to provide police services in the city.