Philadelphia police commissioner resigns amid rising crime

Shortly after Outlaw started in the position, she was faced with riots and protests in response to the death of George Floyd in 2020.

The Philadelphia Police Commissioner will leave the department at the end of the month.

On Tuesday morning, Mayor Jim Kenney announced in a statement that Commissioner Danielle Outlaw had accepted "a new leadership position with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey as Deputy Chief Security Officer."

First Deputy Commissioner John M. Stanford, Jr. was appointed Interim Police Commissioner.

Outlaw submitted her resignation letter on Aug. 25 and will serve through Sept. 22.

Outlaw was appointed commissioner in February 2020 and was the first black woman to lead the department.

Kenney said in the statement, “Commissioner Outlaw has worked relentlessly for three and a half years during an unprecedented era in our city and a number of crisis situations, and she deserves praise for her commitment to bring long-overdue reform to the Department after years of racism and gender discrimination prior to her appointment. We wish her success in her new position and thank Commissioner Outlaw for her dedication to serve the residents of Philadelphia.”

Outlaw said in a statement, “It has been my honor and privilege to serve during Mayor Kenney’s administration and alongside each member of the Philadelphia Police Department. The hard work, resilience, and professionalism of our force is truly commendable. Our team has shown incredible adaptability and has worked tirelessly to maintain our pillars of organizational excellence, crime prevention and reduction, and community engagement and inclusion even in the face of adversity. My staff’s teamwork, innovative thinking, and determination have kept the Department moving forward, and for that, I am extremely grateful.”

Shortly after Outlaw started in the position, she was faced with riots and protests in response to the death of George Floyd in 2020. The city was later forced to pay over $9 million to the protestors after they alleged that the Philadelphia Police Department used "excessive, militaristic use of force during peaceful protests."

2020 also saw a jump in homicides, with 499 victims being reported that year, up from 353 the year prior. 2021 saw 562 victims of homicide, and 2022 saw 516. So far in 2023, 296 victims have been reported.

2022 saw a 20 percent increase in robberies involving a firearm, up to 2,910 from 2,410 in 2021. Commercial burglary skyrocketed by 40 percent, from 1,561 to 2,190. Retail theft also jumped by 52 percent, and auto theft by 36.87.

The rise in thefts has seen the Pennsylvania staple Wawa close numerous stores around the city after reporting problems with crime and drugs.

The winner of the upcoming election for mayor of Philadelphia will be able to appoint a new commissioner. Democrat Cherelle Parker and Republican David Oh are facing off in the contest.
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