Incoming PPB Chief Outlaw: OK with high expectations

Danielle Outlaw to take over by October 2

Incoming PPB Chief Danielle Outlaw, August 10, 2017 (KOIN)
Incoming PPB Chief Danielle Outlaw, August 10, 2017 (KOIN)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Danielle Outlaw, the 41-year-old deputy chief of the Oakland Police Department tapped to become the new Portland chief of police, said she’s OK with the high expectations that come with being Portland’s new chief.

When Danielle Outlaw officially becomes the new Chief of Police with the Portland Police Bureau, she will she will become the city’s 6th chief since 2015.

Flanked by Mayor Ted Wheeler and a roomful of police, Outlaw laid out her vision for the Portland Police Bureau at a Thursday afternoon press conference.

The 15-minute question-and-answer session included brief opening remarks by both Wheeler — who praised now-retired Chief Mike Marshman — and Outlaw.

Wheeler said she’ll be faced with equity issues and building relationships with minority communities. The mayor said Outlaw shared his vision for policing in the 21st Century.

Incoming PPB Chief Danielle Outlaw, left, arrives in Portland for a press conference, August 10, 2017 (KOIN)
Incoming PPB Chief Danielle Outlaw, left, arrives in Portland for a press conference, August 10, 2017 (KOIN)

“She has the full backing of my administration, and I believe the community will welcome her and make this work,” the mayor said.

In her first public comments, she said she was surprised she was met at the airport by the media — that is, KOIN 6 News reporter Lisa Balick — and is looking forward to getting to know all of the media. She also said she understands the importance of the media and is looking forward to working collaboratively.

The first question she faced centered on what 21st century policing means. It means more than just following current best practices, she said, but includes setting a higher bar and meeting those expectations.

“I have a lot of lessons about what not to do,” she said. But she’s learned many lessons from her time in Oakland and is “confident I can bring a lot of my experience to what we’ll do here.”

As an outsider, she said, she will rely on those in the force for both direction and guidance.

Portland and Oakland share many similarities, she said, including being sanctuary cities. She talked about how Oakland dealt with Homeland Security in the recent immigration crackdown by the Trump Administration.

She drew laughs when, in the middle of answering a question about being the first African-American woman to lead the PPB, her phone went off. Her answer, though, was serious — “I know that because of who I am, there is an added expectation and I’m OK with that.”

And with that,, the press conference ended. Outlaw’s schedule was packed with meetings and officials said they would try to bring her back again soon.

Outlaw is a 19-year veteran with the Oakland force and has been deputy chief since 2013. She’s also a member of the National Organization for Black Law Enforcement Executives.

She holds degrees from the University of San Francisco (sociology) and Pepperdine University (Masters in Business Administration.)

She’ll earn $215,000 annually and is expected to start no later than Oct. 2.