About 25 applicants for Lockport police chief live outside the state, and they are out of luck.
A state Civil Service Commission spokesman confirmed Wednesday that state law prohibits any city with a population of under 150,000 from hiring a police chief who hasn't worked in a police agency in New York State.
For Lockport, it means the national search that began this spring is canceled.
"Just an 'oops,' " Mayor David R. Wohleben said.
Three in-state residents, two of them from Lockport, remain in the field. Wohleben said the California headhunting firm the city is using has until Oct. 31 to obtain more New York candidates. By Nov. 14, it is to present a list of finalists to the Police Board for interviews.