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St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter has extended the deadline to apply to become the city's next police chief.

The original July 22 deadline has been extended to Aug. 5.

Kamal Baker, the mayor's spokesman, said 16 of the 30 applicants so far are qualified for the job. Police spokesman Sgt. David McCabe said at least six applicants already work for the department.

When Police Chief Todd Axtell retired in June after 33 years with the department, Jeremy Ellison was appointed as his interim replacement. But Ellison has said he's not interested in applying for the permanent position.

Crime and public safety have been major topics for Carter, who plans to invest $10 million in federal aid toward addressing violent crime. St. Paul saw a record 38 homicides in 2021 — the Twin Cities' most violent year yet — as a wave of violent crime swept cities in Minnesota and across the country.

The St. Paul police chief job posting says the ideal candidate has a bachelor's degree, four years of administrative experience and a "proven record of success" working in a racially diverse community. According to data from the nonprofit project Minnesota Compass, 44% of the city's residents are people of color.

The search is not limited to city residents. But Ed Steenberg, president of the St. Paul Police Historical Society, said only two candidates from outside of the department have been hired as chief in the past century.

A committee of 39 community members and leaders will review applications once the deadline has passed. Baker, the mayor's spokesman, said applicants' names will be made public after the committee chooses five finalists for Carter to review.

There's no deadline for committee members to submit that list, though Carter's office has said he hopes to pick a police chief by late summer or early fall.

The next chief will have an annual salary of $180,000 and be appointed to a six-year term.