Portland Mayor Selects First Black Woman Police Chief
Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler has appointed Danielle Outlaw to serve as Portland’s next police chief.
“I have concrete goals for the Portland Police Bureau, all of them challenging to achieve. I need a partner. I need a leader. More than that, I need someone with a passion for this work who will be in it for the long haul. Danielle Outlaw is that person,” Wheeler said.
Outlaw is a 19-year veteran of the Oakland Police Department, where she has served as a deputy chief since 2013. She will be the first Black woman to head the Portland bureau. Over 33 candidates were considered for the position but Outlaw stood out among the pack.
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In a statement released to the press, Outlaw said she is eager to get to work in Portland. “My life’s passion is policing. I want to make a positive difference in the lives of my fellow officers and the residents of the community. Portland is an amazing city. I am humbled by the tremendous opportunity in front of me, and am ready to get to work.”
Outlaw has her work cut out for her. The Portland police department has struggled with staffing shortages, issues complying with a federal settlement agreement over excessive use of force, ongoing problems about police treatment of large protests and broken relationships with community members. Outlaw is replacing current Chief Mike Marshman, who opted for retirement after learning of Outlaw’s appointment.
Outlaw, 41 began her law enforcement career at Holy Names High School as an explorer with the Oakland police. She grew to become the second female deputy chief in the Oakland Police Department. Outlaw is also the first woman at the Oakland Police Department to lead the Bureau of Field operations Two.
A respected officer, Outlaw was the 2015 recipient of the Gary P. Hayes Award from the Police Executive Research Forum in Washington, D.C.