The search for the next Robinson police chief has narrowed from a list of 52 candidates to eight semifinalists, Robinson City Manager Craig Lemin said Monday.

The city of Robinson announced eight semifinalists have been named as ongoing candidates after current Chief Rusty Smith announced his retirement in early March. Fifty-two people initially submitted applicants by the application deadline in April.

Lemin said city officials will interview semifinalists between May 23 and June 1. Semi-finalists will be be required to complete management-style assessments before planning to select three to five finalists at a later date.

All semifinalists are peace officers from Texas, including officers from similar-sized departments to Robinson Police Department and some from larger departments, Lemin said. He said he would announce a list of finalists as soon as the candidates have been selected.

Smith announced his retirement March 3 after serving nearly 11 years as Robinson police chief. He began as a dispatcher in 1975 with the Ballinger Police Department before becoming an officer in 1976.

Smith later served 21 years with the San Marcos Police Department before transitioning to Robinson police chief in June 2006. He will retire on May 31 and Smith said he plans to spend time with his family.

A retirement ceremony for Smith will be held on May 26 at the Robinson City Council Chamber from 2 to 4 p.m.

Lemin said he hopes to have the finalists' selection process and background investigation completed by June 21.

Kristin Hoppa has been covering public safety and breaking news for the Tribune-Herald since January 2016. She worked in Northwest Missouri covering crime-related issues before her move to Central Texas. She is a University of Kansas graduate.

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