New year, new police commissioner. After a four-month secretive search process, Mayor Jim Kenney has named Danielle Outlaw, chief of police in Portland, Ore., as Philadelphia’s new police commissioner. She’s the first black woman to lead the force, the second woman to take over the post, and Philly’s youngest top cop in two decades, and she says she’s ready to lead in a city and department with no shortage of challenges. And, speaking of challenges, you asked us what happened to the old Lit Bros. holiday display, and we found it.
Happy 2020, Philly, and thanks for reading. We’ll be back in your inbox next year — on Friday morning.
Philadelphia has a new police commissioner, turning the page for its 6,500-member force, plagued by scandal.
Danielle Outlaw, who has been chief of police in Portland, Ore., is the first black woman to lead the city’s police force, and the second woman to take over as commissioner. At 43, she’s also Philly’s youngest top cop in over two decades. And, from looking at her nearly 20-year career with the Oakland Police Bureau and her recent term in Portland, she’s a study in contrasts.
On Monday, she told reporters she’s ready to handle the new role in a larger city with higher homicide and poverty rates, as she is familiar with 21st century policing and challenges she said translate across cities and police departments.
And as she steps in to lead a department with a culture marred by sexual harassment, discrimination, and racism, the historic nature of Outlaw’s appointment wasn’t lost on advocates for women and people of color.
Thirty miles from their former home at the old Lit Bros. department store at Seventh and Market Streets, the characters from the store’s “Enchanted Colonial Village” holiday animatronic display are still moving and shaking. Well, most of them.
After being shuffled from museum to museum after Lits closed in 1977, Philly’s own predecessors to the Chuck E. Cheese band have found new life in Oaks, Montgomery County.
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“Even if [disciplinary actions] are reversed in arbitration, it sends a strong message to every police officer — and the residents of Philadelphia — that the department does not tolerate misbehavior. The FOP might push back against you, Commissioner Outlaw, but right now, the people of Philadelphia — and this board — have your back.” — The Inquirer Editorial Board on Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw and the potential for a new chapter in Philadelphia policing.