HAMBURG, Germany (AP) _ Hamburg police chief Ernst Uhrlau, an expert on Germany's neo-Nazi scene, has been tapped to become Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder's top security and intelligence aide, city officials said Tuesday.

The 51-year-old Social Democrat replaces Bernd Schmidbauer, who held the post under former Chancellor Helmut Kohl.

Uhrlau headed Hamburg's branch of the federal agency charged with monitoring extremist groups from 1991 until 1996, when he became police chief.

In his new post, Uhrlau will coordinate the government's spy agencies.