Seven police chief candidates were put through the ringer Thursday in an effort to narrow the field down to a lone finalist.

In December, an advisory committee interviewed 17 candidates through video conferencing. That number was narrowed down to seven that were interviewed Thursday. Former Alice Police Chief Daniel Bueno completed his last day of 35 years of service in December.

Assistant Chief Albert Martinez was named interim police chief at Wednesday night's city council meeting.

Alice City Manager Ray De Los Santos said for the interviews, the advisory committee wanted to share with the candidates what is going on in the city of Alice, not only police related but what the community is like. They also delved deeper into the backgrounds of the candidates, particularly their involvement with the media.

"Part of the job of chief is how they disseminate information," De Los Santos said. "It's imperative the new chief be open and transparent while never jeopardizing an investigation."

After Thursday's interviews, the pool of candidates was expected to be narrowed down to as few as two candidates or as many as four. After that, the candidates' names will be made public, and they will be invited to come and tour Alice. De Los Santos said hopefully that visit will occur in the next two weeks.

The candidates will be part of a meet-and-greet, where the public can ask them questions. De Los Santos said they are hoping to have the lone finalist for police chief by the end of January with a new chief in place by late February or early March.