Philadelphia police

On Her First Day, New Philadelphia Police Commissioner Nailed It

The department's first full-time female commissioner, Danielle Outlaw, changed a policy regarding nail polish

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Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw reported for her first day very early, going on a tour of district stations before the sun came up Monday.

She wore her full patrol duty uniform and the standard police cap. Outlaw looked like any of the 6,500 officers who now report to her — except for the four stars on her shoulders.

One part of her look not standard-issue was her black nail polish. Under department policy for the "prescribed uniform," anything but clear nail polish is prohibited.

Make that was prohibited.

Outlaw, after learning of the policy, issued an order that does away with what was effectively a ban on painted nails.

"As I was walking around, and I was meeting people, someone brought to my attention that for a very long time, women have been wanting to wear something other than clear finger nail polish," Outlaw said in an interview Wednesday. "And obviously, I don't wear clear finger nail polish. So something as easy as that, I said, 'It's done.'"

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Danielle Outlaw at a press conference where she was introduced as the new Police Commissioner on December 30, 2019 in Philadelphia.

Her order, which was sent to shift commanders Tuesday, "shall supercede Directive 6.7," according to a report published on, which first reported Outlaw's order.

The department's Public Affairs unit confirmed the change, but did not have a copy of Outlaw's order for release on Wednesday.

Directive 6.7, titled "Uniforms and Equipment," includes guidelines for personnel on everything from mustaches to honorary metals.

It also includes separate sections for male and female officers.

Under Section 3, one paragragh addresses female officers' fingernails:

"Cannot be longer than one-eighth (1/8) of an inch from the tip of the finger. Only clear nail polish is acceptable while in uniform. Nail decorations are prohibited (e.g., rhinestones)."

Outlaw's order overrides the nail polish portion of that policy.

Eventually, according to the report, Outlaw will have the nail polish section permanently deleted.

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