One-on-one with Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw

Philadelphia’s new police commissioner started work Monday amid a surge in homicides so far this year.

FOX 29's Shaina Humphries sat down with Commissioner Danielle Outlaw Wednesday to ask her how she plans to tackle the violence that's been plaguing the city.

"I know it's easy to believe that because the numbers are going up that whatever the department has done prior to my arrival has not been effective and I don't believe that," Outlaw said.

Ask anyone what Philly's biggest problem is and they'll probably give you a simple answer: violent crime. Commissioner Outlaw might agree but she says the solution isn't as simple as whipping the police department into shape.

"We are only one part of what the solutions are. So a lot of my time will also be meeting with various stakeholders that have something to do with our violence reduction strategy. Identifying what works really well. Identifying what we might have tried and hasn’t been very impactful," she said.


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She's got her work cut out for her amid the many issues plaguing city streets. She's taking the reins of a department, riddled with high-profile issues of its own, including accusations of a toxic, sexist workplace culture and the fallout after a number of officers were fired for offensive social media posts.

"The first 30 days are me really assessing and taking a look at what’s been done and what needs to be done and I’m only on day three," Commissioner Outlaw said. "So depending on what those reforms are it might be training. It might be personnel action."

Danielle Outlaw, the former police chief of Portland, Oregon, was chosen by Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney from a pool of more than 30 candidates to take the helm of the 6,500-officer force. Outlaw is the first black woman to hold the position in Philadelphia.

"This isn’t my first time I’ve been a first. I've been approached by people who say this placement is inspiring or that finally there’s a paradigm shift that we bring something to the table.  And my response has always been, you know, there's a lot more like me. I'm one of many. We've been working behind the curtain for a very long time. We just need an opportunity and the chance to not only have the position but to be set up for success," Outlaw explained.

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