BRIDGEPORT — The deadline to apply for the police and fire chief jobs expired late Monday.

Now the hard work begins as city officials comb through reams of paperwork received as part of a national search to replace Fire Chief Michael Mag-lione and Police Chief Wilbur L. Chapman.

Applications needed to be postmarked no later than midnight Monday, according to Ralph Jacobs, the city's personnel director. But he said a little more time is needed to account for time zone differences.

"I have to watch the postmarks," Jacobs said.

He said he could have final numbers in as early as a few days. He has said he hopes to have the jobs filled in six to 10 weeks.

Last week, the city received about 25 applications for the police chief's job, and 18 for the fire chief, More applications have come in, Jacobs said, and must be reviewed before he can release a final count.

In an interview last week, Jacobs said provisional Police Chief Anthony Armeno and provisional Fire Chief Brian Rooney had not applied for the jobs. But on Monday, asked whether they had applied, Jacobs was mum, saying he needed to seek advice from the City Attorney's Office.

Even if the provisional leaders did not apply, both can serve until they are replaced, he said.

Rooney was appointed after Maglione retired in January; Armeno took over shortly after the city offered Chapman a hastily prepared buyout around the same time.

The deadline to apply for both jobs was extended to Oct. 31 after Jacobs said the Civil Service Department had not received enough applications for the jobs.

By Monday, however, Jacobs said he was satisfied with the police chief candidate pool.

"We have a quite a few qualified people," he said.

He called the fire chief pool "borderline."

"I have to do a qualitative assessment" of resumes, he said.

Meanwhile, two groups representing black city firefighters took issue with the national search for fire chief. The Firebirds Society and the Northeast Region of the International Association of Black Professional Fire Fighters both complained the fire chief search started six weeks after the police chief search but had the same deadline. They also said that minority and women's firefighter groups were not notified of the opening at first.

"How is that a nationwide search?" said Ronald Mackey, Firebirds president.

He said that an advertisement with the International Association of Fire Chiefs was insufficient.

"There's nothing there for us [minority firefighters]," he said.

A public hearing on the fire chief search will be held Friday at 5:30 p.m. in City Hall's Wheeler Room. The consultants in the police chief national search will speak at the hearing.

Aaron Leo, who covers regional issues, can be reached at 330-6222.