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Baltimore police have replaced the commander of the agency's northern district for the second time in about a year and a half.

Maj. Kimberly Burrus and Maj. Robert Smith are switching places, Baltimore police said Friday. Burrus, who commanded the northern police district since July 2013, now moves to the position of night watch commander, in charge of all the agency's nighttime operations.

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Smith, a veteran commander who not long ago oversaw the Western District, moves from the night command position to Northern District commander.

The nine district commanders are viewed as the department's faces in the community, routinely acting as the main police contacts for neighborhood associations and civic groups. Police said the switch was made to give Burrus a breadth of experience in a different command capacity.

Burrus had replaced former Maj. Sabrina Tapp-Harper in 2013, who left the agency not long afterward and joined the Baltimore City Sheriff's Office.

City Councilwoman Mary Pat Clarke, who represents parts of North Baltimore, said Burrus went "to a more responsible job, and she certainly earned that and I look forward to welcoming the new major."

Twitter.com/justingeorge

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