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City Council approves Hamm as police chief

The Baltimore City Council voted unanimously yesterday to approve the nomination of Acting Police Commissioner Leonard D. Hamm to be the city's permanent police chief.

Several council members voiced support of Hamm, 55, who became acting chief in November after the firing of his predecessor, Kevin P. Clark.

"After this vote, the hard part begins," said Councilman Keiffer J. Mitchell Jr., an 11th District Democrat. "We in government must allow Commissioner Hamm to do his job."

Councilwoman Mary Pat Clarke praised Hamm for reaching an agreement last week with the police union on the terms of retirement for officers injured in the line of duty, saying she supported the Baltimore native and 22-year department veteran "for that reason and many more."

"Commissioner Hamm has let majors run their districts," she said. "He is not micromanaging."

The full council's vote followed the unanimous March 2 vote of the council's executive nominations committee in favor of Hamm's nomination. Hamm will be Mayor Martin O'Malley's fourth police commissioner since 1999.

- Eric Siegel.

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