Danielle Outlaw is Philadelphia’s first black female police commissioner.
December 31, 2019, 1:26 AM
4 min read
“It’s not us versus them,” Philadelphia’s first black female police commissioner, Danielle Outlaw, said at a press conference on Monday when speaking about building trust between the community and police.
The just-named commissioner who was appointed by Mayor Jim Kenney, takes the reins four months after former commissioner Richard Ross resigned in the wake of allegations that his department engaged in sexual harassment and racial and gender discrimination, reported ABC News’ Philadelphia affiliate, WPVI.
Outlaw said that among her goals as the new commissioner was to ensure “people are treated equitably regardless of their gender, identity, race, ethnicity or sexual orientation.”
She previously served as chief of police with the Portland Police Bureau and also spent 20 years with the Oakland, California, police department according to her biography on the Portland police’s website.
Outlaw also said she will “work relentlessly to reduce crime in Philadelphia particularly the insidious gun violence that plagues too many of our communities.”
A report from October showed there had been 1,190 shooting victims in the city and 280 homicide victims — a number up 4% from the same time period last year.
Outlaw will also be dealing with recent tension between the city’s police and its black residents.
In September, acting police commissioner Christine Coulter ignited uproar when a 25-year-old photo showed her donning a white T-shirt with the words, “L.A.P.D. We Treat You Like a King,” written in black. The shirt appeared to make reference to the brutal Los Angeles police beating of Rodney King in 1991.
And in June, several dozen Philadelphia police officers were placed on administrative duty after The Plain View Project, a database that collects public Facebook posts and comments from current and former police officers, claimed it had uncovered more than 300 racist, sexist and/or biased social media posts by the city’s police officers.
Outlaw spoke about the city’s police and its relationship with the community.
“I am convinced that trust can be restored,” she said.
“I’m convinced that community policing or community-police relations can be rebuilt and fortified through dialogue, transparency and accountability — that was true in Oakland and in Portland and I know it to be true here in Philadelphia.”
ABC News’ Emily Shapiro and Karma Allen contributed to this report.