MIDLAND, TX (KWES) - The understaffed Midland Police Department is still without a permanent chief which has raised some concern.

A big issue with the police not being fully-staffed is their response time.

“It will effect the time it takes for an officer to respond because there are not many officers on the street,” said Sgt. Taylor Welch, Midland Police Department.

More than 50 applicants have applied for the academy within the last few months, but only 12 made the final cut as the department looks for the strongest candidates.

MPD are not accepting any more new recruit applications for the academy in January, but there are still more positions to fill throughout the department.

“We are shorthanded on patrol. We are roughly 38 officers down total, that is including from the top to the chief of police all the way down to the brand-new officers on patrol,” said Welch.

As for the chief of police, city officials say semi-finalists for the spot are being interviewed this week, but names of the potential candidates have not yet been released.

As of right now, the department is on voluntary over-time but it is not a permanent solution.