Danielle Outlaw, a 19-year veteran of the Oakland Police Department who started as a police explorer in high school, will serve as Portland’s next chief, only the third outsider named to lead the Police Bureau, The Oregonian reports. Her appointment by Mayor Ted Wheeler comes at a critical time when community and police relations are strained and the force faces a daunting list of federally mandated reforms. The mayor said Outlaw shares his goals of improving bureau relationships with Portland’s communities of color, increasing diversity on the 950-member force and embracing equity.
Outlaw, 41, who has served as a deputy chief since 2013, rose to the top of a pool of 33 applicants. She becomes the first African-American woman to head the bureau. The mayor selected Outlaw after a national search that lasted less than three months and was conducted largely behind closed doors with input from a select group of community members. “I have concrete goals for the Portland Police Bureau, all of them challenging to achieve,” Wheeler said. “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.”