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Hopkinton’s Police Chief Search Committee has posted an announcement seeking candidates for the position on the municipal website, www.hopkintonma.gov, with Oct. 18 the deadline for submitting application packets. The panel was close to hiring a consulting firm to help with the process, according to committee chairman Bob Levenson. Police Lieutenant Charles Wallace has been serving as the department’s interim chief since June 30, when Richard A. Flannery retired after 32 years on the force. The committee will screen the applications over the next several weeks, and hold initial interviews with qualified candidates in November before deciding on several finalists to recommend to the Board of Selectmen. Town officials hope the new chief’s first day on the job will be Jan. 1.