New Portland police chief: ‘I’m here to strengthen the good work - KPTV - FOX 12

New Portland police chief: ‘I’m here to strengthen the good work already being done’

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New Portland Police Chief Danielle Outlaw. (KPTV) New Portland Police Chief Danielle Outlaw. (KPTV)

The new chief of the Portland Police Bureau arrived in Portland on Thursday and said she hopes to “strengthen the good work that’s already being done here.” 

Danielle Outlaw was selected as the new chief last week following a months-long nationwide search.

She is currently the deputy chief of the Oakland Police Department. She began working for that agency in 1997.

Mayor Ted Wheeler introduced Outlaw on Thursday, saying he chose her to lead the Portland Police Bureau, in part, because of her leadership qualities and ability to work with diverse communities.

“I believe she will be a strong leader for the Portland Police Bureau,” Wheeler said. “I believe she’ll be in it for the long haul.”

Outlaw said there are similarities between Oakland and Portland when it comes to police work. She acknowledged having plenty of experience with crowd management, addressing a question referencing the numerous protests in the streets of Portland following last November’s election.

When asked specifically about groups like Black Lives Matter, Outlaw said whether she agrees or disagrees with a group’s message, they have a right to gather as long as it’s done lawfully and peacefully.

“I value perspective,” she said. “I value diversity.”

Outlaw said it’s her qualifications that earned her the job, but she’s aware that being the first African-American woman to serve as the chief of the Portland Police Bureau comes with added responsibility and expectations for some members of the community.

“And I own that,” she said.

“I’m an outsider, but something about me is I don’t have a problem saying I don’t know what I don’t know,” she said.

Mike Marshman had served as police chief for more than a year after being appointed by former Mayor Charlie Hales. Marshman applied for the permanent position and released a statement after Outlaw’s hiring was announced saying it was “an honor” to serve the community throughout his career in Portland.   

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