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Last month, Mrs. Dixon fired Police Commissioner Leonard D. Hamm. The job has been marked by instability for years. Mrs. Dixon said she is trying to assemble a strong team at the department, but she declined to say whether interim Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III will become the permanent pick.

Mrs. Dixon said she is trying to keep the department focused on the city’s most violent offenders. She also said that encouraging residents to work with the police is crucial.

Mr. Mfume agreed that would be the best way to bring down the city’s homicide rate.