Portland's Fire And Police Department Are Both Being Led By Black Women For The First Time In The City's History
Danielle Outlaw, who was named Portland’s first Black female police chief in 2017, will be joined this August by Sara Boone, the city’s newly appointed fire & rescue chief.
June 21, 2019 at 5:14 pm
For the first time in Portland, Oregon's history, two Black women are leading both the city's police and fire bureaus.
On June 13, Sara Boone became chief of Portland Fire & Rescue, joining the ranks of Danielle Outlaw, the Oregon city’s police chief.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, people who identify as Black account for only 5.7% of the city’s population of more than 653,000 residents. However, of the nation’s 100 largest cities, Portland is the only one with police and fire bureaus led by Black women, reports Willamette Week.
Today is #Juneteenth and last Saturday, MCSO joined the local community to celebrate!
During the festivities we ran into Portland's first African American Fire Chief, Sara Boone. We are proud to serve alongside such great and diverse public safety professionals.@PDXFire
— Multnomah Co Sheriff (@MultCoSO) June 19, 2019
“African American women have always been qualified to fill these roles in our communities," City Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty said. "It's wonderful they are finally being recognized as the leaders they have always been."
Outlaw, who was appointed Portland’s police chief in 2017, has focused on the city’s hotbed climate for protestors and continues to make reforms in leveling back excessive force and handling growing crime rates.
Boone’s appointment makes her the first Black fire & rescue chief in Portland history, but it isn’t the first time she has trailblazed in her hometown. Upon starting her career as an entry-level firefighter 24 years ago, the Northeast Portland native was the first Black female firefighter to join the department since 1883, according to The Skanner News.
“I am deeply honored to be the next Fire Chief of Portland Fire & Rescue, a bureau I hold in high esteem because of the men and women who serve with honor, integrity, and sacrifice,” Boone said. “I am committed to ensuring that our responsiveness and our professionalism live up to the highest ideals of service, integrity, and equity.”
Boone will be sworn in as chief at the beginning of August.