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Southern Police District Commander Maj. Brian Hance talks about how the recent indictments of three dozen people have made Cherry Hill a safer neighborhood. (Kenneth K. Lam/Baltimore Sun video)

Baltimore police have replaced the top commanders in the Southern District, a region that has led Baltimore in homicides this year.

Maj. Brian Hance announced on Monday that he will no longer oversee the Southern District and had been transferred to the Watch Commander position within the department. Hance will now oversee the department's nighttime operations.

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Sean Mahoney, who had been a captain under Hance, was demoted to lieutenant, a Baltimore police spokesman confirmed. Mahoney was transferred to the patrol section of Baltimore's Northern District.

Police said Maj. Steve Ward would replace Hance as the overseeing officer in the Southern District.

"He has several years of command experience, and has a wealth of knowledge about this great city," Hance wrote in a post on the social media site NextDoor. "I hope to see you as I take on the role and responsibilities as the Watch Commander."

Capt. Robert Snead becomes Ward's second-in-command, police said.

The Southern District includes neighborhoods such as Federal Hill, Pigtown, Westport and Brooklyn.

On Friday, three people, including a 17-year-old, were wounded in a shooting in Brooklyn while another man suffered a gunshot wound in a separate shooting in Westport. Eleven people have been killed in the Southern District so far this year out of 52 homicide victims citywide.

Baltimore police spokesman T.J. Smith declined to comment on the reason behind the leadership changes, saying the department does not discuss personnel decisions.

Twitter.com/justingeorge

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