Danielle Outlaw Becomes 1st Black Woman Commissioner of Philadelphia Police Department

by cdawkins

Following an extensive four-month search, Mayor Jim Kenney appointed Danielle Outlaw, Chief of Police in Portland, Oregon, to serve as the next Commissioner of the Philadelphia Police Dept.

Outlaw is a native of Oakland, CA., and served for nearly 20 years in the Oakland Police Department, rising through the ranks to become Deputy Chief of Police. Outlaw was the second female Deputy Chief in the history of the Oakland Police Department and the first this century. Her other assignments in Oakland included Patrol, Criminal Investigation, and Internal Affairs. While in Oak- land, Outlaw won the 2015 Gary Hayes Award — a national award given to those who have demonstrated leadership and innovation in the police profession.

Outlaw was appointed Chief of Police in Portland, Oregon in October 2017 — becoming the first African American woman to hold the position. In Portland, Outlaw implemented crime strategies tailored to the needs and challenges of individual precincts, which resulted in decreased crime rates. Under her leadership, the Portland force made its greatest strides in achieving use of force re- forms under a federal consent decree instituted prior to her tenure. This included new policies to address excessive force against those suffering from mental health issues. Under Outlaw’s watch, the Portland Police Bureau received national and international recognition for work in community trust-building, crowd management response, and constitutional policing.

Mayor Kenney issued the following statement:

“I think constantly about what it takes to be a police officer. Our men and women in blue leave home each day knowing they are about to put their lives at risk to protect our community, and that even on a good day they are likely to encounter extremely challenging and disturbing situations. I know officers take on this sworn duty, first and foremost, to help Philadelphians. Their devotion to public service is never forgotten.

“But make no mistake: while I have tremendous respect for our officers, the Philadelphia Police Department needs reform. I am appointing Danielle Outlaw because I am convinced she has the conviction, courage, and compassion needed to bring long-overdue reform to the Department. After meeting and speaking with her at length, I came away confident that Danielle Outlaw possesses the strength, integrity, and empathy vital to the tasks ahead.”

Danielle Outlaw issued the following statement:

“It will be a privilege to serve as Philadelphia Police Commissioner and to serve all who live and work in this great city. I will work relentlessly to reduce crime in Philadelphia — particularly the insidious gun violence that plagues too many communities. And I will do so in a way that ensures all people are treated equitably regardless of their gender identity, race, ethnicity, or sexual orientation. I am convinced there can be humanity in authority; they are not mutually exclusive. That was true in Oakland and in Portland, and I know it is true here in Philadelphia.”

Danielle Outlaw earned a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from the University of San Francisco and a Master of Business Administration from Pepperdine University. She is a member of the Inter- national Association of Chiefs of Police Human and Civil Rights Committee, and is also an active member of the National Organization of Black Law Executives.

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