Tuesday, February 11, 2020

New Police Commissioner Issues First Order About Nail Polish

By Ralph Cipriano
for BigTrial.net

On her first official day in office, new Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw, dressed in full uniform, made the rounds yesterday, to formally meet and greet many of the troops serving under her.

It was all going according to protocol until somebody took issue with the new police commissioner's nails.

What was the problem? Well, Outlaw, 43, a West Coast native who is the first black woman to serve as the city's police commissioner, was sporting her signature black nails. This may not have been a fashion faux pax, but apparently it was a violation of official department policy. Why? Because, according to the official directives of the stodgy Philly P.D., "only clear nail polish is acceptable while in uniform."

What happened next has the whole department talking. Outlaw, apparently still steamed about the nail controversy, came in to work this morning and issued her first official order, which was to effectively do away with the clear polish directive. The new police commissioner was obviously letting everybody know there's a new sheriff in town. But the police reaction to their new commissioner's order was predictably split along gender lines.

To a lot of male cops, issuing a policy directive about nail polish didn't make much sense.

"400 homicides a year and this is the first order she puts out?" said one puzzled male cop.

"For that to be her incoming statement and her first hurrah, it's quite embarrassing," said another male cop. "This is the fourth largest police department in the country; it's a paramilitary organization with very clear rules about what you can do and what you can't do."

The only way the second male cop could rationalize what Outlaw had done was to cast the new policy as "her first softball to the community." As in, "we're just like you, we wear nail polish too," the cop said.

A third male cop thought the new policy was "petty as hell."

"Somebody pointed out something to her," he said, and her response was to get mad, and then get even. As in, "I'm not gonna take any shit; I'll show them."

When the new police commissioner came to town, the third male cop said, she had a choice to make. When she got named commissioner she could have read  though all those official department directives to know what they said, so there wouldn't have been any surprises on her first day.

But instead, the third male cop suggested, Outlaw put her energy into passing the test to earn the annual certification of the Municipal Police Officers' Education & Training Commission. As a new cop in Pennsylvania, Outlaw had to be certified by MPO before she could wear the uniform and carry a gun. Even though under the current policies of the Philly PD, she had a year to get certified.

But Outlaw, a quick study, passed the test and showed up with her MPO certification on her first day on the job, dressed in full uniform.

On social media, some female police officers expressed approval of their new boss's directive.

"We are now free to wear fingernail polish," one woman wrote. "It's the small things."

Other women posted emojis of a band playing and a little girl jumping for joy.

But a retired female detective from another East Coast big city police department saw the new commissioner's action as a setback for women in uniform.

"The first action of this commissioner has taken us back to the 1980s as far as the suitability of women in law enforcement," she wrote. "This action has successfully proven that women in law enforcement do not know what the priority is . . . to protect and serve."

The commissioner's order, the female detective predicted, "no doubt will become the joke of" the Philadelphia Police Department.

As if on cue, another male critic on social media wrote, "I'm sure this new directive will drastically reduce the homicide rate in the city."

The police commissioner's message issued this morning was addressed to "all commanding officers, districts/units." The subject: a new "amendment to directive 6.7, 'uniforms and equipment.'"

The commissioner stated that henceforth, in the uniforms and equipment directive, the section that states "only clear nail polish is acceptable while in uniform" was hereby deleted. The commissioner wrote that her "general message shall supersede Directive 6.7" until such time as "the directive is amended to reflect this change."

"Commanding officers will ensure all personnel are made aware of the contents of this general" message," the police commissioner wrote. She ordered that her general message should be read "at all roll calls for three [3] consecutive days."

Signed: "Danielle M. Outlaw, Police Commissioner."

So the first cultural clash was over between new Commissioner Outlaw and the crusty department she inherited.

 Clear nails was a clear loser. But whether there's a clear winner has yet to be determined.


  1. As a female Detective for over 30 years, The first action of this Commissioner has taken us back to the 1980's as far as the suitability of women in law enforcement. This action has successfully proven that women in LE do not know what the priority is of to" protect and serve" and no doubt will become the joke of Philadelphia Police

    1. Here is how I feel as a female paralegal for 25 years! I believe as long as you show up to work and perform your daily duties properly, you should be able to wear whatever nail color, hair color, makeup, etc. That should not be an issue as long as you do your JOB! If it was up to me, I would have my lawyers, officers, whomever in the most comfortable clothing because I believe you work better when you are comfy! So, why does a nail color have anything to do with job performance? I find it ridiculous to even touch on this subject, when the crime in this City Is beyond words! Wear whatever you want! Just get the JOB done! The end! Have a fabulous night!

    2. Yo Lexie, it may be ridiculous to touch on this subject, but then you're criticizing the new police commissioner, and not the guy who wrote about her.

    3. Pretty sure it took about 1 minute of work time for her to do this, why do you care so much?

    4. In a Progressive Democratic town with no opposition party, or elections that matter, a town that's burdened with a double blind, a dying newspaper from the exact same type of thinking and world view, some honest reporting and yes -- from time to time, maybe even some contrarian thinking -- might be needed to right the ship of state!

      If you have a problem with that, don't bother coming here to read anything that might disturb you. Just go back to reading your Inquirer and everything will be all right.

    5. Here is why it was a problem. It just makes a female look bad. Here she is caring about nails and not homicides. It's ok to change that policy later. It was outdated. She could have gone to a nail salon and changed her polish and on a later date made the change. It's hard being a female with men under you. Not that she can't be respected because if she works hard and has a backbone, the men will respect you. But to start out with that the first thing in the morning the 2nd day on the job just looked awful. Nails would be the last thing on my mind!! I am a female recently retired from the job and I had to shake my head!!

    6. Thanks, MAGA, for putting this in perspective. It sure looks she sent the wrong message.

    7. 100% on point Anonymous!

      Ms. Outlaw clowned herself on day one!

    8. Brings to mind - once again - that famous line from the 1939 production of 'Gone with the Wind' - "40 acres and a mule....Gee".

  2. Who the fuck cares. I bet if she sneezes, there will be an article here about how horrible it is to have a commissioner who sneezes..

    1. If you're upset when Progressive liberal Democrats are criticized, I've got a solution for you. Pull up your diapers, pack your thermos with snacks, and go over to The Philadelphia Inquirer, and read their coverage of local politicians. Then tuck yourself in for the night.

  3. Oh Mayor Kenney what have you done??? You're killing Philadelphia.

  4. Maybe a officer should come to work with his/hers pants below their buttocks.

  5. I think she's pretty, and if she wants black nails then she can wear black nails

  6. Shortly she will be riding unregistered dirt bikes through Fairmount Park with her new chapter of Dykes on Bikes.

    The Kenney Shit Show is on full display before being sued by DOJ for running a Sanctuary City. Black Nails Matter.

  7. The inquirer has a video online in which Commissioner Outlaw explained that nail polish wasn't on her radar until some officers told her about the policy. She didn't seem "still steamed" if she ever was. She offered a further explanation:

    “It’s the small things that allow us to feel not only welcome but supported. It’s one thing to recruit me and say, ‘Oh yes, we want you.’ But if there’s no support system in place to say, ‘Not only do [we] want you, but we celebrate you and we recognize that you bring [something] different,’ ... we’re not going to get the people that we say that we want.”

    I just hope the officers use common sense and don't use glow-in-the-dark nail polish that might give them away when sneaking up on criminals in the dark.

  8. Boy that Inquirer knows a story when it sees one, right? The nail polish story went so viral that even the Inky had to cover it. But they also forgot to mention where that story came from.

    Must have been an oversight.

  9. But at least they gave the new commish a chance to "polish" the story.

  10. Tim, for the commissioner to make as her first official order, a decree about nail polish, it has to involve some element of her getting angry enough to the point of letting everybody know who's the new boss. By putting out an official decree about a trivial subject.

    Can you understand that? Or do you take everything at face value?

    By the time the Inky got to the story, the commissioner had her story line down, and could engage in some spin and revisionist history. And even do it in a calm manner, as in see, I wasn't even angry. But I was upset enough to issue an official decree about nail polish.

    But a credulous fellow like yourself can't seem to detect the difference. Much like you strongly suspected Larry Krasner was flipping a drug dealer to get to his supplier by giving a druggist caught with $30,000 worth of Xanax a free pass out of jail.

    Try to get through the rest of the day without buying the Brooklyn Bridge.

    1. I don't see why Commissioner Outlaw would have been mad because it was a trivial matter, and it would have likely have been the women officers who would have told her about the fingernail polish rule. The male officers wouldn't have cared about it because they don't wear nail polish.

      The women officers likely would have confided in Outlaw that they didn't like that rule either. So she probably won points with the women officers by relaxing the rule.

      I don't think I'm credulous. I think it's just the opposite. I need to see evidence to back up a conclusion, especially when it is a very serious allegation that the DA dropped major charges against a drug dealer merely because the drug dealer's lawyer had donated $2,750 to his campaign.

  11. Tim, congratulations, you have now become the irritating guy in the room who keeps raising his hand because he loves the sound of his own voice, and insists on having the last word.

    We all know that guy, don't we?

    For the second time, I have to point out to you that I never made the "very serious allegation" that the DA dropped major charges against a drug dealer merely because of a campaign contribution. All I ever said was like many smart lawyers, the defense lawyer in this case contributed to Krasner's campaign.

    Also, for a guy who needs to see evidence before you buy something, you've certainly built up your own fanciful case that it was women officers who pointed out the nail polish problem to the commissioner, that the men didn't really care about it, and that the commissioner allegedly wasn't really mad about being in violation of department regs, because it was such a trivial issue, all WITHOUT A SHRED OF EVIDENCE TO SUPPORT ANY OF YOUR FANCIFUL THEORIES THAT YOU JUST EXTRACTED FROM YOUR LARGE INTESTINE.

    Once again, both male and female cops have pointed out that it was an embarrassment for the police commissioner to have issued, as her very first order, a change in the nail polish policy. It made her look petty and small, and was even more problematic for a female police commissioner, as a few commenters have noticed.

    But it's something that still manages to escape your understanding as you build your own theories about what really happened, without benefit of evidence. Enough already.

    1. Ralph, Tim Berton is someone who I have always enjoyed reading his comments, he offers good insight and suggestions. He is someone who has been on this blog for a while and has enriched the conversation.

      I think you were really too hard on him. I can't get excited about the new commissioners nail polish decree but I would hate to see Tim Berton leave disillusioned feeling that he is unable to express his opinion especially here.

      We know the Inky does not care about citizens opinions but we were confident that you cared about ours. This site gives us a voice unlike the black hole that comments fall into at the Inky.

    2. Part of the process of the free exchange of ideas may involve some sparks flying. It doesn't mean anything. Tim, like everybody else, is free, and encouraged to express his opinions on anything that's going on here.

      I'm not going to hold any grudges; hope Tim feels the same.

  12. This site used to cover Big Trials. This isn't journalism, it's a hatchet job.

    1. A hatchet job is reporting on the first official pronouncement issued by the new police commissioner, even though it's a silly edict over nail polish? That's a hatchet job?

      You must be an Inquirer editor dedicated to protecting your fellow Progressives.

  13. The success of most Criminal Attorneys in this City's Courtrooms has generally been reflected by their political contributions to DAs and Judges.

    While highlighting the work of Guy Sciolla, his Law Career began as an Assistant DA way back in the Rendell Years, when Quid Pro Quo was the Gold Standard.

    Winning a case with a corrupt DA Krasner and now an Outlaw Police Commissioner who supports criminal activity, will be reflected in a spike in crime beyond all expectations.

    Why would Police face danger and/or recrimination under these circumstances?

  14. Most of the cops on the street, will absolutely do a work stop, it will be subtle, these cops all know what time it is.

    The city of Filthadelphia will see it's highest homicide rate in all city history, that violent black eye will come at the expense of Ms. Outlaw, Kenney and Krasner.

    Not a cop with an ounce of common sense would or should be proactive for these political hacks!

    God bless the citizens of the city your going to need it!


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