Saint Paul Police Department

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Saint Paul Police Department
Sppd patch.png
MottoTrusted Service with Respect
Agency overview
Jurisdictional structure
Operations jurisdictionSaint Paul, Minnesota, USA
Ramsey County Minnesota Incorporated and Unincorporated areas St. Paul Highlighted.svg
Map of Saint Paul Police Department's jurisdiction.
Size56.2 square miles (146 km2)
Population285,068 (2010)
General nature
Headquarters367 Grove St.
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Police OfficersAuthorized to 630
Agency executive
Saint Paul Police Department

The Saint Paul Police Department (SPPD) is the main law enforcement agency with jurisdiction over the City of Saint Paul, Minnesota, United States. It was established in 1854, making it the oldest police organization in the state. The SPPD is the second largest law enforcement agency in Minnesota, after the Minneapolis Police Department. The department consists of 615 sworn officers[1] and 200 non-sworn officials.[2][3] The current Chief of Police is Todd Axtell. He succeeded Thomas E. Smith, who had been the department's chief since 2010.

Command Structure

Title Insignia
Chief of Police
3 Gold Stars.svg
Assistant Chief of Police
2 Gold Stars.svg
Deputy Chief of Police
1 Gold Star.svg
Senior Commander
Colonel Gold-vector.svg
US-O4 insignia.svg
Lieutenant (see note)
US-O1 insignia.svg
Sergeant (see note)
Chicago PD Sergeant Stripes.png
Police Officer

NOTE: Current contract allows for a lieutenant rank, but the rank is NOT currently in use by the department as sergeants perform the same functions. By contract, all investigators (detectives) hold the rank of sergeant.

  • The time that a uniformed sergeant holds this rank is shown by arcs below the chevrons, one for each 5 years after promotion. After three are obtained the next 5 year periods give progressively a diamond and then a star in the field between the arcs and chevrons. Although this is analogous to the uniforms of the United States Army, no additional command authority is granted.

Department Awards

The department has only issued medals / awards since 1971. The current medals are:[2]

  • Medal of Valor Class A
  • Medal of Merit Class B
  • Medal of Commendation
  • Life Saving Award
  • Chief's Award For Valor
  • Chief's Award For Merit
  • Chief's Award
  • Officer of the Year
  • Detective of the Year
  • Civilian Employee of the year

Department Size[3]

Like most major cities, the city of St. Paul saw a population decline beginning in the late 1960s (most likely due to the influx of African-Americans during the "White Flight"). However, the police department has continued to grow.[3] The current police chief also has a hiring push underway to increase the size of the force.[4]

Year City Population Sworn Officers Non-Sworn Law Enforcement Personnel
1849 910 4
1858 7,000 11
1863 10,401 10
1871 20,030 19
1888 133,156 160
1900 163,065 195
1920 234,698 357
1930 271,606 358
1940 287,736 345
1950 311,329 368 26
1960 313,411 389 43
1970 309,980 463 69
1983 270,230 495
1990 272,235 524 131
2000 287,151 547 211
2010 285,068 560 300
2013 290,770 630 350

Slain officers/Died on Duty

Name End Of Watch Cause of Death
Officer Daniel O'Connell 17 June 1882 Unknown
Officer Hans Hanson 3 August 1888 Gunshot
Officer Thomas McCarrick 21 May 1891 Streetcar accident
Officer Charles Mayer 1 February 1902 Gunshot
Officer James W Finn 3 June 1902 Horse accident
Detective Frank Fraser 15 August 1911 Gunshot
Officer Michael Sullivan 26 June 1914 Accidental electrocution
Sergeant Hans Aamold 27 September 1914 Gunshot
Detective Paul Gottfried 3 August 1919 Gunshot
Officer William W McClintock 4 April 1922 Motorcycle accident
Officer George Albert Stegner 12 October 1922 Gunshot
Officer William F Wilson 6 February 1923 Car accident
Officer Edwin Earl Hackert 6 February 1923 Car accident
Officer Frank Milanoski 15 August 1924 Fist fight
Officer Albert J Cunnien 3 July 1925 Vehicular homicide
Officer Fred A Pietsch 23 February 1926 Gunshot
Officer John Schultz 26 February 1926 Gunshot
Officer Calbert H Leedom 20 June 1926 Motorcycle accident
Officer Axel J Soderberg 21 March 1928 Fall
Officer Mathew Weiss 17 June 1933 Car accident
Officer Lawrence F Tierney 14 November 1934 Gunshot
Officer Rich G Hinshaw 1 October 1937 Motorcycle accident
Detective Allan G Lee 10 September 1949 Gunshot
Officer Alfred V Sandquist 18 June 1959 Vehicular homicide
Officer James T Sackett, Senior 22 May 1970 Gunshot
Officer John Harold Larson 10 August 1974 Car accident
Officer John O'Brien 16 April 1981 Car accident
Officer Alfred Biagi 26 November 1987 Heart Attack
Officer Michael Markuson 9 March 1989 Heart Attack
Officer Ronald Ryan Jr. 26 August 1994 Gunshot
Officer Timothy James Jones 26 August 1994 Gunshot
Sergeant Gerald Vick 6 May 2005 Gunshot
Officer Joshua P. Lynaugh 8 February 2013 Heart Attack



An arrest outside of a bar on 26 September 2010 is the subject of a lawsuit that claims excessive force.[6]

In March 2011, the elite Gang Strike Force was disestablished when a state audit could not account for 13 vehicles and over $18,000 in cash the unit had seized. The auditor's report indicated that Officer Ron Ryan had sold property his detail had retained.[7] Press reports indicated the unit used money taken from gang members to attend a 2009 professional conference held in Hawaii.[8][9]

See also


  1. ^ St. Paul police academy graduating class a diverse group -
  2. ^ a b City of St. Paul, MN - Official Website - Police Archived 2009-02-11 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ a b c Saint Paul Police Historical Society — Home
  4. ^ Saint Paul Police Federation
  5. ^ Minnesota Law Enforcement Memorial Association website accessed 10 August 2012
  6. ^ Man's suit says St. Paul police brutalized him, by: Chris Havens, Star Tribune, 4 October 2010
  7. ^ Gang Strike Force shut down after audit finds $18,000, 13 cars missing, by Randy Furst, Star Tribune, 23 March 2011
  8. ^ Several officials criticize Gang Strike Force's publicly funded Hawaii trip, by Randy Furst, Star Tribune, 5 April 2009 In January 2011, SPPD officers roughed up and used a taser on a black man while that man was peacefully waiting for his kids in a public area
  9. ^ St. Paul man from cellphone arrest video identified; police dropped charges in July | Twin Cities Daily Planet

Coordinates: 44°57′23″N 93°5′9″W / 44.95639°N 93.08583°W / 44.95639; -93.08583

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