Portland Police Chief Danielle Outlaw resigned from her position last month in favor of another in Philadelphia. Her replacement, Jami Resch, became the new police chief 5 days later.
The abrupt change-up began on December 26 when Outlaw notified Mayor Ted Wheeler of her departure from Portland’s police department. On New Year’s Eve, Resch was sworn in.
In her first press conference as Police Chief Resch, she stated her commitment to her predecessor’s policies. She also expressed prioritizing the community’s trust. Following 7 police chiefs within the last decade, Portland would be eager for a committed leader to remain in the position.
She also comes into the authority role weeks before negotiations take place regarding the contract for Portland Police Bureau’s rank-and-file police union.
Resch’s history with Portland PD stretches back to 1999 when she entered the police academy. Since then, her career included heading the illegal firearms retrieval team and leading crisis situations as commander in charge. She also ran the night shift for the East Precinct.
Outlaw appointed Resch as her second in command back in May of last year.
Now, as Outlaw’s successor, Resch continues to support the same policy decisions. Collectively, Outlaw and now Resch’s platform appears progressive, highlighting transparency and reforms.
Police Chief Adopts Reform
Among the reforms is a pilot program outfitting police officers with body cameras while on-duty. Additionally, Resch supports a program utilizing mental health crisis workers in lieu of police officers for non-violent 911 calls.
Furthering her progressive stances, Resch has established connections with the local Muslim community, addressing their concerns over potential attacks.
She also supports diversion programs rerouting offenders charged with carrying illegal firearms away from prison time. “There are more options available,” she said. “Using all the tools we have available to us is important.”
Resch’s longer history with Portland suggests a more likely long-term tenure as its police chief.