Portland Mayor Chooses African American As Next Police Chief


PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A woman with 19 years of experience at the Oakland, California, police department was chosen Monday to serve as Portland, Oregon’s next police chief.

Danielle Outlaw, who has served as deputy chief in Oakland since 2013, was appointed by Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler, The Oregonian/OregonLive reported.

Outlaw, 41, will take command of a force that has struggled with a staffing shortage; noncompliance with a federal settlement agreement that requires changes to bureau policies, training and community engagement; ongoing controversies about the police handling of large protests; and a breakdown in trust with community members.

Wheeler said Outlaw shares his goals of improving relationships with Portland’s communities of color, increasing diversity on the 950-member force and embracing equity.

“I have concrete goals for the Portland Police Bureau, all of them challenging to achieve,” Wheeler said in a statement. “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.”

The mayor selected Outlaw from 33 candidates 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.

“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,” Outlaw said in a prepared statement released by the mayor’s office. “Portland is an amazing city. I am humbled by the tremendous opportunity in front of me, and am ready to get to work.”

The pick ends current police Chief Mike Marshman’s year-long tenure at the helm. Former Mayor Charles Hales appointed Marshman as chief in June 2016, after former Chief Larry O’Dea retired amid a criminal investigation into his off-duty shooting of a friend during a camping trip in southeastern Oregon.

Wheeler praised Marshman’s brief tenure. “Mike Marshman made tremendous strides in key areas during his time as Chief,” Wheeler said.

Marshman learned of the selection in a Monday meeting with the mayor.

“It has been an honor to serve as Chief of Police and to serve this community throughout my career,” he said in a statement. Marshman plans to retire, the statement said, and assistant chief Chris Uehara will be named interim chief until Outlaw takes on her new role.

Outlaw’s resume includes earning a bachelor of arts in sociology from the University of San Francisco and a master’s degree in business administration from Pepperdine University. She’s a member of the National Organization for Black Law Enforcement Executives and is vice president of the San Francisco Bay Area National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives. She’s also a graduate of the Major Cities Chiefs’ Association Police Executive Leadership Institute, according to her resume.

Outlaw will earn $215,000 annually and is expected to start no later than Oct. 2.

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