Who is Portland’s new Police Chief Jami Resch?

PORTLAND, Ore. — After a 2-year tenure, Portland Police Bureau Chief Danielle Outlaw has been sworn in as Philadelphia’s new police commissioner.

Mayor Ted Wheeler announced on Monday, December 30, that former Assistant Chief of the Investigations Branch, Deputy Chief Jami Resch, will be PPB’s new police chief. Resch will be officially sworn in on December 31, 2019 at noon.

“We have considered all the options for what the next police chief should bring to the Bureau and after thoughtful, in-depth discussions, Jami Resch meets or exceeds all of the Bureau’s current leadership needs. Having served as the Deputy Chief of Police, I have complete confidence that Chief Resch will excel as our next police chief. She has my complete trust and a thorough understanding of my agenda. She is the right person at the right time for the job,” Mayor Wheeler said.

In a statement, Resch said she looks forward to leading the bureau and working with the community.

“I am grateful for this amazing opportunity to lead the members of the Portland Police Bureau and collaborate with the community,” Resch said. “Like many others in the agency, I have dedicated my career of service to the Portland community and I look forward to this new role. I am humbled and appreciative of the support of Mayor Ted Wheeler and the City Council.

“My primary goal is to continue the positive work Chief Outlaw and the executive team were already undertaking and keep up the momentum. There is a lot to be done to continue to support the great work being done by our sworn and professional staff, to continue to build trust within the community, and to recruit and hire the best candidates to join the PPB team,” Resch said.

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Jamie Resch

Jamie Resch


Her selection drew rebukes from some quarters about the lack of an open search process for a new chief.

“At this moment where we’re on the precipice of big changes … it’s disheartening to learn that the mayor made a unilateral decision without any kind of public input and only a few days of consideration,” Portland Resistance said in a prepared statement.

“In the hiring of the last chief, Wheeler promised Portlanders a transparent process, which we did not get,” said Sarah Iannarone, who is running against the mayor. “It’s not clear to me how this snap decision-making with zero public input is an improvement. As we wrap up the deadliest year from police use of force in nearly a decade, we need to take great care selecting a progressive chief committed to reforming the Portland Police from within the bureau and alongside community.”

Resch was sworn in as Assistant Chief on May 3, 2018. Before that, she had been the Acting Commander of the North Precinct.

She has been with the Portland Police Bureau since 1999. She served as a patrol officer, a neighborhood response team officer, and a tactical operations division crime analyst officer. She was promoted to sergeant in 2008. During her time as a sergeant, she was assigned to the East Precinct and the Gun Task Force. She was promoted again in 2012 to lieutenant. She worked in the East Precinct as a lieutenant and then the Criminal Intelligence Unit. In 2016, she was promoted again to captain. 

Musse Olol, vice chair of the muslim advisory council and President of the Somali American Council of Oregon, said Resch is “a portlander, she’s an oregonian. I mean she knows the culture in and out and the system in the community, so she has that advantage to solve, but also she understands the value of community which is very important.”

Daryl Turner, president of the Portland Police Association, said that Resch’s promotion was a “natural choice.”

“I think Deputy Chief, soon to be Chief Resch, has been here over 20 years, she has institutional knowledge and historical perspective of the police bureau at a time when we are so severely short-staffed.”

Resch, according to PPB, holds certificates in advanced SWAT command and decision making, threat assessment training and diplomatic security law enforcement training. She was also awarded a Bureau Achievement Medal and four Unit Commendations.

She has her Bachelor’s Degree in allied health sciences with a minor in psychology from the University of Portland.

Resch announced Monday that Chris Davis will be appointed Deputy Chief. Davis has served as the Assistant Chief of Operations since June 2019. Before that, he was the Assistant Chief of Services since December 2016. Davis will be sworn in as Deputy Chief on Dec. 31, 2019 at noon.

The Portland Police Bureau also announced other promotions and appointments that will be made effective on Jan. 9, 2020:

  • Commander Mike Frome will be appointed to the role of Assistant Chief of Operations
  • Captain Erica Hurley will be promoted to Commander and assigned to the Transit Police Division
  • Captain Craig Dobson will move from East Precinct to the Training Division in the Captain role
  • The East Precinct will have an Acting Captain for now

VIDEO: Danielle Outlaw introduced as Philadelphia Police Commissioner