CHICO, Calif. -

Chico police are working to fill open positions.

Five officers have retired in the past six months, and two more will retire next month.

Two new officers are expected to join the force soon.

Chico police officials said they are excited to add some new people, but they say it's going to be tough replacing the seven officers who combined had decades of experience.

Since August of 2013, a lieutenant, a sergeant, a detective and two officers have retired.

Another lieutenant will retire at the beginning of March.

"I mean, we are losing almost 50 something years worth of experience,” said Captain Lori MacPhail of the Chico Police Department. “That is painful, but on the other hand to bring in two new employees that both have experience out of the area that could bring fresh ideas maybe and new ways of doing things."

MacPhail wouldn't say where these two new officers are coming from; however, she added they have some experience and will join the department in March thanks to an accelerated screening process.

MacPhail said it used to take about eight months to evaluate a candidate. Now it only takes about three.

There are 62 sworn officers in the department, and MacPhail said that Chief Kirk Trostle wants to see that number rise to 82.