Danielle Outlaw is the first Black woman ever to become Philadelphia’s police commissioner. Her recent appointment came just a few months after the department started dealing with several controversies including the involvement of its former commissioner in sexual harassment scandals.

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In August, former commissioner Richard Ross, who is also Black, was forced to resign when a lawsuit surfaced accusing him of ignoring sexual harassment claims of an officer against a fellow officer. He was with the department in the last 30 years and was the commissioner since January 2016.

Aside from the several cases of gender and racial discrimination and harassment in the department, the crime rate, and poverty level also continued to increase, pushing the authorities to appoint a new police commissioner in hopes to curb it.


“I am very qualified to make the jump,” Outlaw said in her introductory press conference. “The issues remain the same. I am very experienced in each of them.”

Outlaw was chosen from 31 candidates, 18 of which were from the Philadelphia force. When Mayor Jim Kenney announced her appointment, many have been glad that the city chose a woman of color for the job.