Born in Baltimore, Bishop Robinson went to Frederick Douglass High School and then the U.S. Army, in which he served 1945-1946. He joined the Baltimore Police Department in 1952, and earned the rank of sergeant in 1964. He made lieutenant in 1969, captain in ’71, and Major in ’73. He rose even faster after that, becoming a deputy commissioner by 1978. He served as commissioner from 1984 until 1987, when he became secretary of the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services under then-Gov. William Donald Schaefer. Paris Glendening kept him on until 1997.