Hastings city officials say more than 300 people have applied for two openings in the city's police department.
Police Chief Paul Schnell said some of the applicants were laid off from other departments, while others are looking for their first job in law enforcement.
Schnell said the process of screening and testing applicants will take a lot of time and expense. However, he said the large pool of possible hires is also beneficial.
"We certainly think this is a great opportunity for us to hire the best of the best," Schnell said. "We get the opportunity to have and look at and screen a tremendous amount of candidates with a wide and vast background and a diverse pool of potential candidates."
Other small police departments across the state are seeing similar responses when they look for new hires, Schnell said.