CINCINNATI — Cincinnati now has its first black police chief and the first to come from outside the city’s police department.

About 250 people watched today as former Portland, Maine, Police Chief James Craig took the oath of office in Cincinnati.

Michael Sauschuck, Craig’s assistant chief in Portland,  was sworn in last week as interim police chief. The city has not yet advertised for a permanent chief.

Craig now will head a department of about 1,000 officers.

Voters approved a 2002 ballot issue allowing Cincinnati to consider outside candidates for chief. The issue was promoted as a way to change the culture of the department after 2001 race riots sparked by the fatal shooting of an unarmed black man who ran from a white officer trying to make an arrest.

Craig takes office facing potential police layoffs proposed by the city manager.