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Philadelphia names first black female police commissioner

Philadelphia officials on Monday named the first black woman to be the city’s police commissioner. 

After a four-month search, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney chose Danielle Outlaw, the chief of police in Portland, Ore., to become the head of police in the city. Outlaw, 44, will lead the fourth-largest police department in the country with 6,300 sworn officers, according to the police department’s website

“I am appointing Danielle Outlaw because I am convinced she has the conviction, courage, and compassion needed to bring long-overdue reform to the Department,” he said in a statement. “After meeting and speaking with her at length, I came away confident that Danielle Outlaw possesses the strength, integrity, and empathy vital to the tasks ahead.”

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Outlaw worked for the Oakland Police Department for 20 years, becoming the second female deputy chief and then the first black woman to be the chief of Portland’s force in October 2017, according to the statement. 

“While I am new to Philadelphia, I am not new to the challenges of big-city, 21st century policing,” she said in the release.

The new commissioner pledged to strengthen trust between police and the community and reduce crime, specifically gun violence.

The decision to name Outlaw came after a four-month search in which 30 candidates were considered, including 18 internal candidates.

She will take over for acting Commissioner Christine Coulter, who got the position after former Police Commissioner Richard Ross resigned in August, according to NBC’s local affiliate in the city.

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