Now hiring: Arvin police chief

ARVIN, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) - Six months after the city fired Tommy Tunson as police chief, the process to hire a replacement is underway in Arvin. And it could be a contentious process.

Approximately 40 applicants from within and outside of California have expressed interest in the job. Arvin City Manager Tim Chapa said the city is looking for a candidate that would be a good fit for the small city, where the majority of residents work in the fields.

"We need someone who recognizes the need of a small community, a small bilingual community," said Chapa.

Whoever is selected will be facing a host of issues inside the police department and in the community. Tunson's firing, for example, set off a host of controversy among City Council members and in the community.

Many who supported Tunson showed up and spoke before the Arvin City Council saying it would be a mistake to let him go. But rank-and-file officers held a vote of "no confidence" in Tunson and some urged that he be removed. The council fired Tunson in June.

His interim replacement is Louis Cobarruviaz, who has also applied for the permanent position as police chief.

"Once I start some things, I don't want to let it go at least until it's well established. So I'm throwing my hat in the ring," said Cobarruviaz.

The city has whittled down the list of 40 candidates to 10. Interviews began Thursday and will continue on Friday. The city expects to hire a permanent chief in the next few weeks.