Former cops analyze commissioner Outlaw's response to city's recent unrest

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Former police brass in New York City and in surrounding areas say, anytime a police commissioner has to confront the community, it's a problem and often a no-win situation.

When the smoke cleared, the glass was swept up, and the looting subsided, questions about Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw began to percolate through the police force: 'Was the city prepared?'

"The Philadelphia police department was not prepared for what happened," said Michael Chitwood, a retired police superintendent.

Chitwood who is recently retired from The Upper Darby Police Department and longtime Philadelphia cop says, it's clear not enough officers were on duty for the tinder box that exploded after the disturbing death of George Floyd.

But he and others stress, Philadelphia police were not alone.

"You'd rather have those officers in reserve just for safety. Just as far as New York goes I don't think New York was prepared either," said Robert Boyce, retired NYPD member.

Robert Boyce, an ABC News contributor and the former chief of detectives of NYPD said, "I don't think any police department saw the enormity of this and how this would end out."

Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said, "We'll get better, I think we get better with time. It changes each and every time. We can Monday morning quarterback all day, but you never know what you'll get and there's no crystal ball."

Outlaw has also come under fire for numerous incidents of alleged police brutality against protesters. Including the use of tear gas on the Vine Street Expressway.

"I am deeply concerned about this, as a result, I have launched several concurrent internal affairs investigations," said Outlaw.

Chitwood says he doesn't have a problem with the use of tear gas. "The tear gas is a tool in the toolbox of law enforcement."

Chitwood goes on to say police commissioners are often damned if they do, damned if they don't. He says it appears Commissioner Outlaw has her footing now.

"I think right now they are doing an excellent job and things are under control," said Chitwood.
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