Portland Police Chief Danielle Outlaw has accepted a new position as the Police Commissioner for the City of Philadelphia. She will become the first Black woman to hold that job. The opportunity will put Chief Outlaw in position to lead the fourth largest police department in the nation, with more than 6,500 sworn and 800 civilian members.Mayor Ted Wheeler announced today that
"I'd like to congratulate Chief Outlaw for landing a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," Mayor Wheeler said. "We thank her for her service to the City of Portland and the Portland Police Bureau (PPB), where she helped make a positive difference. She came to Portland exceedingly qualified for the position of police chief, and leaves more prepared than ever for her new position in Philadelphia."
"Over the last two years I have appreciated the opportunity to work with Danielle Outlaw while she served as Portland’s Police Chief," said Portland City Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty in a statement. "Her job was not an easy one, but it is a vital one for our city. As an outsider, being asked to change the culture of the Portland Police Bureau required a herculean effort as well as a support team which I fear she never found. Chief Outlaw& came to Portland because she was a visionary leader and I truly wish her well in her next role.
"While I appreciate the work done by Chief Outlaw, the fact remains that Chiefs will come and go – but it is the culture they leave behind that matters most to our community.
"There is still much work to be done to make PPB the organization we need it to be," said Hardesty, "and I look forward to working with Chief Resch as she takes on this charge."
Working closely with the Mayor's office during her tenure in Portland, Chief Outlaw helped build community trust and public confidence in the PPB, and exceeded all expectations of her as police chief. Under her leadership, the PPB formalized the use of the Incident Command System model for critical incidents and crowd management, and implemented crime strategies tailored to each precinct that have effectively reduced crimes against persons, property and society.
"Mayor Wheeler placed his confidence in me to be the Police Chief after conducting a meticulous selection process," said Chief Danielle Outlaw. "I am profoundly grateful for his continued support and acknowledgement of how challenging the work of law enforcement can be for all of us. He has been a PPB advocate since day one; championing the Bureau's needs for additional resources and understanding that one can be supportive of police and supportive of police accountability at the same time.
"For police chiefs, I don't think there is ever an ideal time to transition on to our next role in life. However, I am making this transition on good terms, knowing the Bureau will be left in the hands of a strong leadership team, led by Chief Jami Resch. And while there will always be work to be done toward improvement, that does not take away from the fact that the members of the Bureau are not only extremely talented, compassionate and professional, they are also resilient and accountable to themselves, each other, and to the community. We have accomplished a lot during my tenure and it would not have been possible without them.
"I leave knowing the Bureau will remain committed to community safety while building trust. It has been an honor and a privilege to serve as Portland's Police Chief, serving alongside the members of the Bureau and partnering with countless, remarkable individuals within Portland's community. I will forever be appreciative of my experience here."
Chief Outlaw's last day with the City of Portland will be Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2019. At 4 p.m. that same day, Deputy Chief of Police Jami Resch will be sworn in as Portland's next Police Chief.
"We have considered all the options for what the next police chief should bring to the Bureau and after thoughtful, in-depth discussions, Jami Resch meets or exceeds all of the Bureau's current leadership needs. Having served as the Deputy Chief of Police, I have complete confidence that Chief Resch will excel as our next police chief. She has my complete trust and a thorough understanding of my agenda. She is the right person at the right time for the job," Mayor Wheeler said. "Having steadily risen through the ranks within the PPB for more than 20 years, she is well-known, well-respected and trusted bureau-wide, and gives us the internal continuity we must have to keep moving in a positive direction. Chief Resch is also highly engaged within the community, serving as an active member of Police Bureau's Muslim Council, Slavic Advisory Council and Refugee Integration Program. She has also volunteered her time with Camp Rosenbaum, Shop with a Cop and acted as a mentor for the Zman Scholarship Foundation. I am proud of the leadership team that has been established at PPB and we are fortunate to have a leader like Chief Resch ready to be our next police chief."