This article was written by Edward J. “Ed” Steenberg and Jeff Neuberger, Saint Paul Police Historical Society. It was updated June 2016.
Saint Paul Police Timeline
March 3, 1849:
Minnesota became a U.S. Territory in 1849, with Saint Paul, a village of eighteen homes, designated as the county seat of the newly created Ramsey County and as the territorial capital.
November 1, 1849:
The "Town of Saint Paul" was incorporated by the Territorial Legislature in 1849; and as a "City" five years later (March 4, 1854).
April 4, 1854 – May 30, 1856:
The Common [City] Council met in April of 1854 and elected its first City Marshal, William R. Miller, at a salary of $400 a year, or $7.69 a week plus ten percent of all fines collected. Although there had been several part-time constables and marshals prior to this appointment, this was the first full-time salaried officer-of-the-law in the newly incorporated City of Saint Paul. Miller was said to be close to seven feet tall, yet symmetrically built. No one argued with Marshal Miller.
December 29, 1854:
Minnesota's first execution took place in Saint Paul in 1854 with the public hanging of Yu-ha-see, an American Indian convicted of murder. The last execution in Saint Paul took place on February 13, 1906, with the hanging of William Williams, convicted of murder. Capital punishment was abolished in 1911.
C. 1856 – 1890: 1st Saint Paul Police Badge
Six pointed star – a common symbol of the police. This badge was typical in the U.S. territories during this era. All badges were silver in color.
May 29, 1856:
The city clerk was directed by the common council to procure a "star" badge for the city marshal and the police officers, and later on (October 1856) it was decided that the words "St. Paul Police" be engraved thereon. The standard for police uniforms began. The chief, however, was exempted from wearing this badge "in a conspicuous position."
May 30, 1856 – May 24, 1858:
In May of 1856 the Common Council met and officially changed William R. Miller's title from City Marshal to Chief of Police.
May 30, 1856:
Chief Miller appointed four patrolmen. With a salary of $1.50 a day, John Gabel, M.C. Harwig, Edward Maher and Nicholas Miller became Saint Paul's first functioning police force. By fall the number had grown to 13, including three district captains and Chief Miller, assisted by a citizen "vigilance committee".
August 12, 1856:
The common council authorized the purchase of a lot at Fifth and Washington Streets to erect a city hall with a "lock-up" of six iron cages located on the first floor. Shortly thereafter, Marshal Miller was officially proclaimed "chief of police".
May 24, 1858 – August 3, 1859:
In May of 1858 John Wall Crosby was appointed Chief of Police, with no known previous police experience. Crosby would later rise to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel during the American Civil War and be wounded in action four times, losing his left arm in one skirmish. He was mortally wounded on April 2, 1865 while commanding a predawn assault on Confederate trenches during the Appomattox Campaign. General Robert E. Lee surrendered seven days later.
August 30, 1858:
A resolution was passed, requiring all patrolmen to wear a band with the words "City Police" on the front of caps or hats. Said bands to be provided by the mayor at city expense.
May 11, 1858:
Minnesota was admitted to the union as the thirty-second state, with Saint Paul designated as the state capital.
August 3, 1859 – April 15, 1861:
In August of 1859 John O'Gorman was appointed Chief of Police. O'Gorman, a veteran of three years on the department, had previously been a Captain of Police, with command experience at the Central Station. It should be noted that Chief O'Gorman may have had a political ally and/or familial connection in Patrick O'Gorman, a long time alderman in the Saint Paul Common Council.
March 23, 1860:
Annie Belanski, the first and only woman executed for a crime in the state of Minnesota, was hung in Saint Paul for the murder of her husband by strychnine poisoning.
April 15, 1861 – June 20, 1861:
In April of 1861 Horace H. Western was appointed Chief of Police, with no known previous police experience. Western resigned later the same year to accept a commission by Governor Alexander Ramsey as Captain, 2nd Minnesota Volunteer Infantry Regiment.
June 20, 1861 - April 17, 1863:
In June of 1861 James Gooding was appointed Chief of Police. Gooding, a veteran of three years on the department, had previously been a Captain of Police, with command experience at the Central Station.
c. 1862 – 63:
Due to the enlistment of a number of police officers into the military during the Civil War and a depleted treasury, half of the remaining officers were dismissed and a "home guard" of some 200 volunteers was formed under the control of the police chief to provide for night patrol. This was the only time in the history of the city that there was no standing 24/7 police department. At the first common council meeting of 1863 provisions were made for the return of regular officers.
April 17, 1863 – April 19, 1864:
In April of 1863 Michael Cummings was appointed Chief of Police. Cummings had previously been a Town Marshal, having been appointed to that position by the president of the Saint Paul Town Board.
April 19, 1864 – April 13, 1865:
In April of 1864 John Root Cleveland was appointed Chief of Police. Cleveland had previously been a Deputy U.S. Marshal.
A Detective Bureau was created in 1864, and century boxes were built "… as places of refuge for police on cold and stormy nights. This would obviate the apparent excuse they now have for resorting to saloons".
April 13, 1865 – July 1, 1866:
In April of 1865 George Turnbull was appointed Chief of Police. Turnbull had previously owned a livery stable in Saint Paul, and had also been a Ramsey County Deputy Sheriff.
July 1, 1866 – April 11, 1867:
In July of 1866 John Jones was appointed Chief of Police, with no known previous police experience. A career soldier, Jones came to the Minnesota Territory with the U.S. Army in 1856. Commanding the artillery at Fort Ridgely during the siege by Little Crow and the Dakota Sioux, he participated in the expedition to Dakota Territory to capture the Indians and was present in Mankato for the mass execution of those found guilty of the uprising.
April 11, 1867 – April 15, 1870:
In April of 1867 James P. McIlrath was appointed Chief of Police, with no known previous police experience. McIlrath came to Minnesota with a military background as a Regimental Commander. He was appointed to the position of Chief of Police a second time, in April of 1872.
April 15, 1870 – April 10, 1872:
In April of 1870 Luther J. Eddy was appointed Chief of Police, with no known previous police experience. Eddy, a grocer by trade, had been Chief of the Saint Paul Fire Department, and for the previous eight years had been a member of the Common Council.
January 1, 1868:
The state's first reform school was built in Saint Paul, and the Sisters of the Good Shepherd opened a facility under an agreement with the police department "to accept and hopefully to rehabilitate female offenders" on December 15 of the same year.
April 10, 1872 – December 19, 1874:
In April of 1872 James P. McIlrath was appointed Chief of Police for the second time, having previously been appointed in April of 1867. McIlrath would later become an agent for the U.S. Treasury Department, apparently appointed by President Rutherford B. Hayes, his former military Brigade Commander.
c. 1872 – 1891: 1st Saint Paul Police Uniform
Navy blue coat with brass "SPP" buttons. Blue trousers and flat style hat popular with the military and police agencies of the time. The hat wreath constituted a wreath of laurel leaves surrounding the badge number. The laurel leaves date back to early Greek times then a victorious athlete received a wreath of laurels which he wore on his head. The laurels stood for honor, competence, and respect.
June 5, 1872:
Police officers received their first official uniform: caps, belts, clubs, and badges. Individual officers were required to buy their own brass buttoned navy blue suits, revolver and pipe (at that time every "copper" smoked a "cob"). Shortly thereafter a new rank of sergeant was created.
c. January 1873:
It was decreed that the police department should constitute a board of fire wardens, and further that all policemen were ordered to enter houses and stores in their respective wards several times a year for the purpose of fire inspection. The chief was to make semi-annual reports to the common council.
January 3, 1875 – May 31, 1878:
In January of 1875 James King was appointed Chief of Police. King, a veteran of five years on the department, had previously been a Captain of Police, with command experience at the Central Station. He resigned in May of 1878 after being elected Sheriff of Ramsey County. King would later return to Saint Paul as a Special Detective (1901-11).
In 1877 Saint Paul was said to be the only city of its size in the United States in which cattle were allowed to roam the streets and trample down yards at sweet will. In January of 1878 an ordinance was passed declaring that all janitors of public schools were to be special policemen.
June 5, 1878 – June 12, 1883:
In June of 1878 Charles Weber Jr. was appointed Chief of Police. Weber, a veteran of seven years on the department, had previously been a Captain of Police, with command experience at the Central Station. He was removed from office on June 12, 1883.
January 22, 1879:
The first city workhouse was established in Smith Park (Mears Park) for "drunks, disorderlies and vagrants", replaced in 1883 with a great tower-topped building at Como Park. Prior to this, the city and/or county jails provided custody and chargeship, and when employed on the streets, the "chain gang" (in name only) was supervised by a Saint Paul patrolman.
June 23, 1881:
Louis W. Thomas was appointed to the position of patrolman, the first Black police officer in the history of the department... thirty years before a Black was appointed in New York City. Portuguese by birth, Thomas had previously served fifteen years in the United States navy, from which he was honorably discharged. Horatio J. Homer was the first Black officer in America, hired by the Boston Police Department on December 24, 1878.
June 17, 1882: 1st Officer Killed in the Line-of-Duty
Saint Paul lost its first officer killed in the line-of-duty when newly-appointed Patrolman Daniel O'Connell was fatally injured by gunfire during a burglary investigation after going "off-duty" and enroute home.
January 21, 1883:
The city purchased its first "Black Maria" workhouse van from the Fire Extinguisher Co., of Chicago, for $600. Patrolman John Rooney made the daily workhouse trips. It was replaced by a van built by the J.H. Schurmlier Wagon & Carriage Co., of St. Paul, for $325, less an allowance of $25 for the old van, on October 27, 1897.
June 12, 1883 – June 7, 1892:
In June of 1883 John Clark was appointed Chief of Police. Clark, a veteran of twelve years on the department, had previously been a Captain of Police, with command experience at the Central Station. He was appointed to the position of Chief of Police a second time, in June of 1894.
The rank of lieutenant was added to the force, a police patrol telegraph system consisting of thirty-two alarm boxes was developed, and a telephone service was initiated. One year later, fifteen sentry boxes with telephones were erected throughout the city.
A six-member Mounted Patrol Unit was appointed, augmenting existing bicycle and foot patrols. By 1910, the patrol grew to seventeen members before yielding to the advent of a new motorized patrol. Mounted officers were allowed an extra allowance for the maintenance of their horses. The last remaining horse, granddaughter of famous racing horse Dan Patch, was put to pasture in 1927.
May 1, 1887:
Decentralization of the department occurred with the opening of four new police substations, and the city divided into five districts. The same year brought about the rigorously fixed standard of admission to the police service. All applicants were to be citizens of the United States, and under thirty-five years of age, and they must physically meet all the tests and requirements exacted of soldiers before enlistment in the U.S. Army.
August 3, 1888: 2nd Officer Killed in the Line-of-Duty
Patrolman Hans Hanson died in the line-of-duty; fatally injured by gunfire during an "on tour" burglary investigation.
c. 1890 – 1940: 2nd Saint Paul Police Badge
This badge carried the image of the first, changing the six pointed star to the five pointed one in its center. The five pointed star was found in most sheriff's badges. The shield which surrounds the star symbolizes the shield or armor that was used in medieval times. The shield was interpreted as a defender of the people. All badges were silver in color.
c. 1891 – 1915: 2nd Saint Paul Police Uniform
Navy blue Prince Albert coat with brass "SPP" buttons. Blue trousers and felt "Bobby" helmet. Depending upon assignment, the helmet may have been either black or gray.
c. April 1891:
In the spring of 1891, a decidedly metropolitan look came to the department when 150 felt "Bobby" helmets were purchased for $450.
June 19, 1891: 3rd Officer Killed in the Line-of-Duty
Patrolman Thomas C. McCarrick died in the line-of-duty; fatally injured in a traffic accident involving an electric streetcar.
June 7, 1892 – June 5, 1894:
In June of 1892 Albert Garvin was appointed Chief of Police, with no known previous police experience. Garvin had been a prison guard and Warden of Stillwater State Prison prior to his police appointment.
June 5, 1894 – June 2, 1896:
In June of 1894 John Clark was appointed Chief of Police for the second time, having previously been appointed in June of 1883.
June 2, 1896 – January 31, 1900:
In June of 1896 Michael N. Goss was appointed Chief of Police. Goss had a railroad and business background, as well as prior policing experience as a Ramsey County Deputy Sheriff.
February 1, 1900 – June 11, 1900:
In February of 1900 Parker L. Getchell was appointed Chief of Police. Getchell had previously been a Captain of Police, including command experience at the Ducas Street Sub-station.
June 9, 1900 – February 29, 1912:
In June of 1900 John J. O'Connor was appointed Chief of Police. O'Connor, a veteran with nineteen years on the department, had previously been an Assistant Chief of Police and was the architect of the "O'Connor System" or layover agreement which guaranteed safe haven for "public enemies" visiting Saint Paul during the gangster era. The "Big Fellow" was appointed to the position of Chief of Police a second time, in June of 1914.
The "Handsom Squad" was created to control traffic in the downtown area with the assistance of light two-wheeled covered horse-drawn carriages called a hansom.
February 1, 1902: 4th Officer Killed in the Line-of-Duty
Patrolman Charles Mayer died in the line-of-duty; fatally injured by gunfire during an "on-tour" burglary investigation.
June 3, 1902: 5th Officer Killed in the Line-of-Duty
Mounted Patrolman James W. Finn died in the line-of-duty; fatally injured after his horse stumbled and fell.
September 12, 1902:
The city of Saint Paul through its police department got into the emergency ambulance service with the purchase of a horse drawn enclosed wagon, obtained from monies collected from a Saint Paul-Minneapolis Police benefit baseball game. Medical doctors rode in the wagon and were available 24/7.
January 3, 1905: 6th Officer Killed in the Line-of-Duty
Patrolman Richard Cronin died in the line-of-duty; fatally assaulted while conducting an arrest.
The Motorcycle Squad was started, consisting of two men and their machines. The use of motorcycles reached its peak in the 1920s, with the addition of fifteen "flying squads" to provide maximum coverage at outlying crime scenes.
August 14, 1911: 7th Officer Killed in the Line-of-Duty
Detective Frank W. Fraser died in the line-of-duty; fatally injured by gunfire while attempting to apprehend an escaped convict.
March 1, 1912 – June 18, 1912:
In March of 1912 Frederick M. Catlin was appointed Acting Chief of Police. Catlin had previously been the Police Commission President, but with no other policing experience. He was appointed to the position of Chief of Police, later the same year.
June 18, 1912 – December 18, 1912:
In June of 1912 Frederick Miles Catlin was appointed Chief of Police, having previously been appointed Acting Chief of Police in March of the same year. Educated as an attorney, Catlin was later appointed a Ramsey County Court Judge.
December 18, 1912 – November 10, 1913:
In December of 1912 Martin J. Flanagan was appointed Acting Chief of Police. Flanagan, a veteran with eighteen years on the department, had previously been an Assistant Chief of Police. He was removed from office in November of 1913 for soliciting bribes from houses of prostitution. Convicted in 1914, he is the only SPPD Chief of Police known to have been convicted of a felony, and serve time in prison.
July 4, 1912:
With the increase of motor vehicles in the city, a Traffic Squad was commissioned. Further motorization of the department started in the same year with the purchase of a "White" squad wagon, a "Chalmers" five-passenger touring car and a year later an ambulance was ordered. It was not until 1914, however, that the department purchased automobiles specifically suited for police patrol.
The rank of roundsman was created, to act as a supervisor in the absence of a sergeant. The next year saw the first policewomen added to the force. Although matrons had been around for many years, this was the first attempt to utilize females in a more active policing role. It wasn't until the ratification of the Woman Suffrage Amendment in 1920, though, that they were finally able to become authoritative sworn officers. Women did not serve in the patrol function, however, until the 1970s.
November 10, 1913 – June 2, 1914:
In November of 1913 Michael Gebhardt was appointed Chief of Police. Gebhardt, a veteran with thirty years on the department, had previously been a Captain of Police, including command experience at the Margaret Street Sub-station. This was the first of several appointments to the Office of the Chief.
In the early spring of 1914 the familiar horse drawn police ambulance was replaced by a motorized unit, possibly based upon a design by Dr. Arthur B. Ancker, superintendent of the City & County Hospital. Also in 1914 a new city charter was adopted establishing a commission form of government with the Bureau of Police being a part of the Department of Public Safety, along with the fire and health bureaus. This would continue for nearly sixty years, when the city returned to a strong mayor-council form of government in 1972.
June 2, 1914 – June 7, 1920:
In June of 1914 John J. O'Connor was appointed Chief of Police for the second time, having previously been appointed in June of 1900. O'Connor had a national reputation as being an innovative administrator.
June 26, 1914: 8th Officer Killed in the Line-of-Duty
Mounted Patrolman Michael P. Sullivan died in the line-of-duty; fatally injured by accidental electrocution.
September 27, 1914: 9th Officer Killed in the Line-of-Duty
Sergeant Hans Gilbert Aamold died in the line-of-duty; fatally injured by gunfire while arresting a robbery suspect.
c. 1915-1930: 3rd Saint Paul Police Uniform
In late 1915 or 1916 the police uniform changed its appearance… but the brass "SPP" buttons remained the same. The black and gray felt helmets and the Prince Albert coats were replaced. The new hat was of a military style, navy blue in color. The hat band was black velvet with either gold or silver piping, depending on the officer's rank. A new hat wreath replaced the laurel wreath and displays crossed nightsticks on each side representing the expertise in the enforcing of the law. The star on the top represents the star of the north, which is the City of Saint Paul. The hat wreath has changed little since this time.
The Bertillon system of measurements (anthropometric indications) that had taken "mug shots" to a new level in the previous century was now converted over to the Henry Classification fingerprint system. That same technology blossomed into the creation of the Minnesota Automated Fingerprint Identification Network (MAFIN) in 1979… the first in the nation, and the development of a novel "inkless" fingerprint system in 1988.
January 28, 1919:
But trouble was just around the corner… in the form of "prohibition", which ushered in a period of lawlessness and corruption that held the entire nation in its grip. In the 1920s and 1930s word spread around the country that Saint Paul was a safe haven for criminals. The O'Connor Layover System of "organized crime with organized intelligence" which had protected city residents in earlier years backfired. Saint Paul, like a magnet, was attracting the most notorious of gangsters. These were the days of Ma Barker, Baby Face Nelson and John Dillinger, when "public enemies" were left alone, as long as they committed their crimes elsewhere.
August 3, 1919: 10th Officer Killed in the Line-of-Duty
Detective Paul H. Gottfried died in the line-of-duty; fatally injured by gunfire while executing a search warrant.
June 7, 1920 – February 26, 1921:
In June of 1920 Thomas E. Campbell was appointed Chief of Police. Campbell had previously been a Federal Judge in Oklahoma, and was serving as the Saint Paul head of the Department of Justice's Bureau of Identification (later to be the F.B.I.) when he accepted the appointment.
February 26, 1921 – March 18, 1922:
In February of 1921 Henry J. Crepeau was appointed Chief of Police, with no known previous police experience. The same year saw a school patrol formed at Cathedral School. This was the first organized school patrol in the nation.
March 4, 1922 – March 18, 1922:
In March of 1922 Michael Gebhardt was appointed Acting Chief of Police. He had been previously appointed to the position of Chief of Police in November of 1913.
March 18, 1922 – June 6, 1922:
In March of 1922 Michael Gebhardt was appointed Chief of Police for the second time, having previously been appointed in November of 1913. Gebhardt estimated in 1922 that seventy-five percent of Saint Paul citizens were distilling moonshine or making wine during Prohibition.
April 2, 1922: 11th Officer Killed in the Line-of-Duty
Motorcycle Patrolman William W. McClintock died in the line-of-duty; fatally injured in a motorcycle accident while on patrol.
June 6, 1922 – December 17, 1923:
In June of 1922 Frank W. Sommer, a former city detective from Wisconsin, was appointed Chief of Police. He was also the head of the U.S. Secret Service office in Saint Paul prior to his appointment, and was later chosen U.S. Marshal for the District of Minnesota on October 14, 1946.
October 12, 1922: 12th Officer Killed in the Line-of-Duty
Motorcycle Patrolman George Robert Stegner died in the line-of-duty; fatally injured by gunfire while intervening in a fight.
February 26, 1923: 13th Officer Killed in the Line-of-Duty
Motorcycle Patrolman Edward Earl Hackert died in the line-of-duty; fatally injured in an automobile accident after responding to an emergency run.
February 26, 1923: 14th Officer Killed in the Line-of-Duty
Police Chauffeur William Fenton Wilson died in the line-of-duty; fatally injured in an automobile accident after responding to an emergency run.
December 17, 1923 – June 14, 1924:
In December of 1923 Michael Gebhardt was appointed Chief of Police for the third time, having previously been appointed in November of 1913 and March of 1922.
June 14, 1924 – January 22, 1930:
In June of 1924 Edward J. Murnane was appointed Chief of Police. Murnane, a veteran of ten years on the department, had previously been a Police Detective.
August 15, 1924: 15th Officer Killed in the Line-of-Duty
Roundsman Frank Milanoski died in the line-of-duty; fatally injured in an assault by a motorist.
July 3, 1925: 16th Officer Killed in the Line-of-Duty
Motorcycle Patrolman Albert John Cunnien died in the line-of-duty; fatally injured on a motorcycle after being forced from the roadway while in pursuit of a motor vehicle.
February 23, 1926: 17th Officer Killed in the Line-of-Duty
Patrolman John Schultz died in the line-of-duty; fatally injured in gunfire by two "bootlegging" suspects.
February 23, 1926: 18th Officer Killed in the Line-of-Duty
Patrolman Frederick August Peitsch died in the line-of-duty; fatally injured in gunfire by two "bootlegging" suspects.
June 20, 1926: 19th Officer Killed in the Line-of-Duty
Motorcycle Patrolman Calbert Harry Leedom died in the line-of-duty; fatally injured in a motorcycle traffic accident while enroute home.
March 19, 1928: 20th Officer Killed in the Line-of-Duty
Patrolman Axel Julius Söderberg died in the line-of-duty; fatally injured in a fall while assisting children cross a dangerous intersection.
The new Public Safety Building opened at 101 East Tenth Street, centralizing operations. The four substations were closed. The same year found a one-way police radio service initiated utilizing KSTP's transmitter. Sixteen squads were equipped with receiving sets. Nine years later (1939) two-way radios were introduced and installed in twenty-six squads. By this time the bureau had its own radio transmitter.
c. 1930-1964: 4th Saint Paul Police Uniform:
In 1930 the uniform changed once again. Gone was the blue and in was the olive drab (green) military style uniform, including Sam Browne belt with a cross-draw covered holster, and brass "SPP" buttons on a blouse coat. The hat, known as an eight point uniform hat, was also olive drab.
January 22, 1930 – March 15, 1930:
In January of 1930 Thomas E. Dahill was appointed Acting Chief of Police, filling in for Chief Murnane while he was on sick leave. Dahill, a veteran with nineteen years on the department, had previously been a Junior Captain of Detectives. He was later appointed Chief of Police in June of 1932.
March 15, 1930 – June 2, 1930:
In March of 1930 Edward J. Murnane, upon return from sick leave, was reappointed Chief of Police.
June 3, 1930 – June 6, 1932:
In June of 1930 Thomas Archibald Brown, once a defendant in a Cleveland liquor syndicate case, was appointed Chief of Police. Brown, a veteran with sixteen years on the department, had previously been a Police Detective. Later, while head of the elite Police Kidnap Squad, he was suspected by the F.B.I of leaking information to members of the Dillinger and Barker-Karpis gangs. He was removed from police service on October 9, 1936.
June 6, 1932 – July 28, 1934:
In June of 1932 Thomas E. Dahill was appointed Chief of Police. Dahill had previously been an Acting Chief of Police, having been appointed in January of 1930. Dahill was known as a reformer and was Chief during the investigation of John Dillinger's robberies. He was a foe of former Chief Thomas Archibald Brown.
March 22, 1933:
With the repeal of the Volstead Act (prohibition), the city went about cleaning itself up. The gangster era was over and under a new administration the policing agency began to rebuild its image as a "reform" department.
June 17, 1933: 21st Officer Killed in the Line-of-Duty
Patrolman Mathew M. Weiss died in the line-of-duty; fatally injured in a traffic accident while on duty.
August 7, 1934 – October 11, 1934:
In August of 1934 Frank R. Cullen was appointed Chief of Police. Cullen, a veteran with eighteen years on the department, had previously been an Assistant Chief of Police. Chief Cullen was present at the attempted arrest and shooting death of a John Dillinger lieutenant, Homer Van Meter, on August 23, 1934.
October 11, 1934 – October 16, 1934:
In October of 1934 Michael J. Culligan was appointed Acting Chief of Police. Culligan had previously been a Deputy Commissioner of Public Safety. He was appointed Chief of Police on October 16th.
October 16, 1934 – July 3, 1935:
In October of 1934 Michael J. Culligan was appointed Chief of Police, having previously been appointed Acting Chief of Police, earlier the same month. As part of the gangster era "Big Cleanup", thirteen members of the Police Department were suspended or fired for corrupt activities, and Chief Culligan was forced to resign.
November 14, 1934: 22nd Officer Killed in the Line-of-Duty
Patrolman Lawrence Francis Tierney died in the line-of-duty; fatally injured by gunfire while pursuing a robbery suspect on foot.
July 31, 1935 – November 28, 1935:
In July of 1935 Gustave H. "Gus" Barfuss was appointed Acting Chief of Police. Barfuss, a veteran with twenty-three years on the department, had previously been an Assistant Chief of Police. Turning down the job of Chief of Police, he returned to his job as Assistant Chief of Police in November of 1935. He was elected to the City Council the next year, becoming the Commissioner of Public Safety on June 2, 1936. As with Thomas E. Dahill, Barfuss was known as a reformer and lobbied to eliminate politics from the Police Department.
The first Crime Laboratory was created, radio services were upgraded, and within a few years (1939) all twenty-six squads were equipped with two-way radios for the first time.
November 29, 1935 – June 1, 1936:
In November of 1935 Charles W. Coulter was appointed Chief of Police. Coulter, a veteran with twenty-three years on the department, had previously been a Captain of Police. Reduced in rank to Captain of Police in May of 1936, he continued on as Acting Chief of Police until June of 1936.
June 2, 1936 – July 30, 1943:
In June of 1936 Clinton A. Hackert was appointed Chief of Police. Hackert, a veteran with seventeen years on the department, had previously been a Lieutenant of Police. He was an ally of reformer Thomas Dahill in the fight against corrupt officers with ties to organized crime.
June 2, 1936 – June 1, 1948:
Gustave H. "Gus" Barfuss was appointed commissioner of public safety (see above). Known as a reformer, Barfuss lobbied to eliminate politics from the police department.
October 2, 1937: 23rd Officer Killed in the Line-of-Duty
Motorcycle Patrolman Richard George Hinshaw died in the line-of-duty; fatally injured in a traffic accident while on motorcycle patrol.
c. 1940-1985: 3rd Saint Paul Police Badge
The eagle on the top of the badge symbolizes the defender of the constitution and an enforcer of the law. The center contains the state seal. As the capital city, the center also represents Saint Paul. The badge was copyrighted. Patrol officers and detective badges were silver in color. Ranking officer's badges were gold, representing supervisory authority.
The Civil Service job classification changed from "Patrolman" to "Police Officer" on May 6, 1974. The first female police officer was hired on September 8, 1975, and wore this badge with the patrolman title for the next ten years.
By the end of the 1930s, the legacy of the past gangster era was apparent – Saint Paul had developed into one of the most modern police departments in the country with a chief, who had been hired through a civil service selection process. No more political patronage or "appointment by revolving door."
The Saint Paul Police auxiliary police concept started during World War II with a civilian defense unit, including air raid wardens, funded by the Civil Defense Administration. Disbanded after the war but reactivated in 1950 as the Auxiliary Police, they were later renamed the Police Reserves. Reserve officers supplement regular police officers at special events and in other activities as requested.
August 4, 1943 – September 30, 1943:
In August of 1943 Charles J. Tierney was appointed Acting Chief of Police. Tierney, a veteran with twenty-two years on the department, had previously been an Assistant Chief of Police. He went on to be appointed Chief of Police in September of 1943.
September 30, 1943 – May 30, 1952:
In September of 1943 Charles J. Tierney was appointed Chief of Police, having previously been appointed Acting Chief of Police in August of the same year. He died while in office, on May 30, 1952.
September 10, 1949: 24th Officer Killed in the Line-of-Duty
Detective Allan George Lee died in the line-of-duty; fatally injured by gunfire while pursuing a robbery suspect on foot.
New squad cars replaced old, high mileage vehicles. A police canine (K-9) unit was initiated (1958), the second such unit in the nation. Advances in communications technology increased efficiency and mobility. Like other police departments around the country, Saint Paul introduced new training programs. More than anything else, the 1950s became a time when Saint Paul took significant steps toward becoming a truly professional police department.
June 2, 1952 – August 30, 1952:
In June of 1952 Neal C. McMahon was appointed Acting Chief of Police due to the death of Chief Tierney. McMahon, a veteran of thirty-five years on the department, had previously been an Assistant Chief of Police. He went on to be appointed Chief of Police in August of 1952.
August 30, 1952 – November 10, 1954:
In August of 1952 Neal C. McMahon was appointed Chief of Police, having previously been appointed Acting Chief of Police in June of the same year. He died while in office on November 10, 1954.
November 15, 1954 – March 11, 1955:
In November of 1954 Albert R. Anderson was appointed Acting Chief of Police due to the death of Chief McMahon. Anderson, a veteran of thirty-one years on the department, had previously been a License Inspector.
March 11, 1955 – March 13, 1961:
In March of 1955 William F. Proetz was appointed Chief of Police. Proetz, a veteran of eighteen years on the department, had previously been a Lieutenant of Police, and came on the Saint Paul Police Department in the same class (1937) as Chief Lester E. McAuliffe.
June 18, 1959: 25th Officer Killed in the Line-of-Duty
Patrolman Alfred Verner Sandquist died in the line-of-duty; fatally injured after his patrol car was struck by a vehicle fleeing from another patrol car.
December 2, 1960 – May 23, 1961:
Although Chief William F. Proetz was allowed to retain his title as Chief of Police through the end of his term of office, it was without power, for in December of 1960 Frank A. Schmidt was appointed Acting Chief of Police. Schmidt, a veteran of forty-one years on the department had previously been an Assistant Chief of Police.
May 23, 1961 – March 31, 1970:
In May of 1961 Lester E. McAuliffe was appointed Chief of Police. McAuliffe, a veteran of twenty-five years on the department, had previously been an Assistant Chief of Police, and came on the Saint Paul Police Department in the same class (1937) as Chief William F. Proetz.
"Eastman Report": The purpose of the Eastman study and subsequent 207 page report, including forty-nine findings and three times as many recommendations, was to provide a blueprint for improved bureau/department service. That study and a follow-up review prepared by Public Administration Service (PAS) in 1973 (nine findings and/or recommendations) resulted in major changes in the department's operating environment.
c. 1964: 5th Saint Paul Police Uniform
In late 1964, the department changed its uniform when the "greens" gave way to the return of the blue uniform. The military style was gone replaced by a softer look of the modern police officer. Variations of this uniform continue to present-day.
December 1, 1967:
After 65 years of service, the police ambulance, with an attending physician, was discontinued. Service would continue with five emergency trucks and station wagons with stretchers. The fire department took sole responsibility for the service in 1971, a service that had been provided by the police department since 1902.
August 30, 1968:
Civil unrest, anti-war demonstrations and hostile reactions to the police in the 1960s culminate with the "Stem Hall Riot" at the Saint Paul Auditorium, when police officers attempted to disarm a man with a gun. Eighty-nine officers were assaulted in Saint Paul that year, many requiring medical attention.
From World War II to the mid-1970s:
The department had been a highly centralized organization, but police officers whose institutional memory extends back through the decades see in today's "Community-Oriented Policing" (COP) the embellishment of basic practices and principles that were present in the department from the start. Interest in the principles and practices underlying community policing has been evident in specific programs begun in Saint Paul starting in the1960s with "Team Policing". Despite the elimination of some of the programs, new ones were developed aimed at making the most productive and efficient use of available resources.
April 1, 1970 – June 30, 1970:
In April of 1970 Robert L. LaBathe was appointed Acting Chief of Police. LaBathe, a veteran of twenty-two years on the department, had previously been a Deputy Chief of Police. This was the first of two appointments to the Office of the Chief.
The Housing Environmental Liaison Police Project (HELP.-P) started in 1970, wherein officers patrolled the city's four major housing areas, seven high rise apartments, and the adjacent areas… in an effort to improve police/citizen cooperation. The same year brought about the Police Community Relations Program (PCR) and a Community Service Officer (CSO) program, which was designed to recruit and train African-American police candidates.
May 22, 1970: 26th Officer Killed in the Line-of-Duty
Patrolman James Thomas Sackett, Sr. died in the line-of-duty; fatally injured by gunfire from a sniper while responding to a fake emergency "OB" call. Shortly thereafter the department opened a storefront office on Selby Avenue, just west of Dale Street. At the time, it was a novel demonstration… the idea to have cops located in the community.
June 30, 1970 – December 31, 1979:
In June of 1970 Richard W. Rowan was appointed Chief of Police. Rowan, a veteran of twenty-three years on the department, had previously been a Deputy Chief of Police.
July 15, 1971:
In a budget exchange in 1971 the city's emergency medical services were transferred from the police department to the fire department, wherein it now resides (paramedics).
April 26, 1972:
The Ramsey County Sheriff's Department took over the operations of the city jail located at the Public Safety Building. Prior to this it had been staffed and operated by the police department since construction in 1930. The same year saw the start of the "4/40" program, whereby officers were assigned ten-hour shifts instead of eight, thus creating a four-day work week. The Field Referral Office was also opened in the city attorney's office in 1972 to provide liaison between officers, citizens and prosecutors.
June 6, 1972:
A new city charter was adopted establishing a strong mayor-council form of government, abandoning the commission form of government which had existed since 1914. For the first time in nearly sixty years, the police department was no longer under the control of a city board or commissioner. Along with its new image, the police department changed its name from Bureau of Police to Department of Police.
The Police Chaplain Program sponsored by the Saint Paul Area Council of Churches in 1973, enabled ministers to ride with community relations officers. In 1974 the ride-along program was expanded to include Saint Paul residents, who rode with officers to learn about police work. Needing a shot in the arm, the chaplaincy program was "resurrected" in 1986 and remains strong, providing service 24/7, 365 days a year.
Team Policing as a pilot project started early in 1974, focusing on establishing daily interaction with residents, businesses, and social and educational organizations. The first team was assigned to the West Side. After a thorough study the rest of the city was divided into sections, each with its own team. On July 1, 1977, the program was implemented citywide. A change in Civil Service job titles also took place in 1974 with the title of the Patrolman being changed to Police Officer. The first female to graduate from the police academy took place the following year (1975).
August 10, 1974: 27th Officer Killed in the Line-of-Duty
Police Officer John Harold Larson died in the line-of-duty; fatally injured in a traffic accident while responding to a call for emergency assistance.
The Neighborhood Assistance Officer (NAO) program was started in 1976, wherein trained volunteers acted as liaisons when working with the police department in their own neighborhoods. It was merged with the police reserve program in 2000.
January 1, 1980 – April 1, 1980:
In January of 1980 Robert L. LaBathe was appointed Emergency Chief of Police, having been previously appointed Acting Chief of Police in April of 1970.
The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) in the nation was established in Saint Paul in 1981 to address the unique emotional, psychological, and chemical dependency issues which affect police officers, non-sworn employees, and their families. Services are also provided to outside policing agencies and their families. The first mandatory physical training program for officer took place the same year.
April 1, 1980 – July 15, 1992:
In April of 1980 William W. McCutcheon Jr. was appointed Chief of Police. McCutcheon, a veteran of thirty-two years on the department, had previously been a Deputy Chief of Police. While on the job, he was elected to several terms at the Minnesota State Legislature. McCutcheon was the first chief to hold a six-year term, under new Civil Service Rules. He was appointed for two six-year terms.
April 16, 1981: 28th Officer Killed in the Line-of-Duty
Police Officer John Joseph O'Brien died in the line-of-duty; fatally injured when his patrol car was struck by a motor vehicle that had fled another squad.
Community Liaison Officer (CLO) program was established in 1983. The CLO officers work with sworn police personnel in the field and/or office settings, assisting as needed. The position has promotional rights after two years in the program, leading to eligibility for a position in the police recruit academy. Tuition allowance is provided for law enforcement related education.
January 1, 1984:
Police officer hiring and training changed as a result of the licensing procedure adopted by the new Minnesota Peace Officers Standards and Training Board (POST). The same year saw a removal of the deputy chief position from Civil Service appointment, and the establishment of the Professional Development Institute (PDI).
c. 1985-2000: 4th Saint Paul Police Badge
This badge was similar to the previous badge, with a stamped cloisonné rendition of the state seal in the center. Police officer badges were gold with silver ribbons. Sergeant and lieutenant badges were all gold in color, while captain/commander, deputy chief and chief badges were gold in color with blue ribbons.
The School Resource Officer (CRO) program was initiated in 1985, to be followed by the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) program in 1989. The same year brought about the installation of the first mobile data terminals (MDT); today, the MDT is standard equipment in most of the department squads.
The Emergency Communications Center (ECC) brought a new Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) communication system online, to be followed with Enhanced 9-1-1 service in 1998.
The Asian Community Outreach Program (ACOP) was implemented in 1990, to address the special needs of the Asian community. The acronym was later changed to A Community Outreach Program, concentrating efforts in the four Saint Paul public housing communities. It is jointly sponsored by the police department and the Saint Paul Public Housing Agency.
c. September 1992:
The Focusing Our Resources on Community Empowerment (FORCE) unit began its mission in the fall of 1992, dedicated and designed to respond to public safety priorities set by residents.
July 17, 1992 – June 30, 2004:
In July of 1992 William Kelso Finney was appointed Chief of Police. Finney, a veteran of twenty-one years on the department, had previously been a Captain of Police. He was the first "Black" to hold the title of Chief of Police in the Saint Paul Police Department. As with McCutcheon, Finney was appointed for two six-year terms.
Certain police investigative functions were decentralized to the districts, and "substations", in the form of store-front offices, were once again opened. The same year, the Saint Paul Police Civilian Internal Affairs Review Commission was established by city ordinance, the bicycle patrols returned to the streets, followed in 1995 by a mounted patrol. With foot beats, horses, bicycles, and the return of motorcycle patrol in 1998, we have gone full circle.
August 26, 1994: 29th Officer Killed in the Line-of-Duty
Police Officer Ronald Michael Ryan Jr. died in the line-of-duty; fatally injured by gunfire while responding to a "slumper" call.
August 26, 1994: 30th Officer Killed in the Line-of-Duty
Canine Officer Timothy James Jones died in the line-of-duty; fatally injured by gunfire while searching for a murder suspect in the Ryan incident (above).
November 1, 1995:
The first Citizen Police Academy was held in the fall of 1995, patterned after the training program that police officer candidates must complete before assuming their duties as a law enforcement officer in the city.
c. 2000-Present: 5th Saint Paul Police Badge
The Millennium Badge is representative of the Los Angeles style, oval shaped badge. In the center is the original six pointed star. It represents the beginning of the department in 1854. The capitol in the center is raised relief. Police officer badges have a silver background, while the ranking officer badges have a gold background.
May 15, 2001:
The largest law enforcement time capsule in the nation was dedicated. It now resides next to the front steps of the police headquarters (James S. Griffin Building).
July 1, 2004 – June 14, 2010:
In July of 2004 John Mark Harrington was appointed Chief of Police. Harrington, a veteran of twenty-seven years on the department, had previously been an Assistant Chief of Police. He was later elected to the Minnesota State Legislature, and later yet, appointed Chief of Police of the Metro Transit Police Department.
May 6, 2005: 31st Officer Killed in the Line-of-Duty
Sergeant Gerald Dennis Vick died in the line-of-duty; fatally injured by gunfire while working in an undercover capacity.
October 30, 2007:
The Saint Paul Fire and Police Emergency Communications Centers (ECC) merged with Ramsey County.
June 15, 2010:
Thomas E. Smith was appointed chief of police in 2005 after twenty-one years on the department, rising through the ranks including a period as assistant chief of police, replacing John Mark Harrington.
February 16, 2013: 32nd Officer Killed in the Line-of-Duty
Police Officer Joshua Phillip Lynaugh died in the line-of-duty; fatally injured with a heart attack following an on-duty foot chase.
Crime Lab revamped (renamed Forensic Services Unit) and ISO accredited.
June 15, 2010 – June 30, 2016:
In June of 2010 Thomas Edward Smith was appointed Chief of Police. Smith, a veteran of twenty-one years on the department, had previously been an Assistant Chief of Police, and came on the Saint Paul Police Department in the same class (1989) as Chief Todd Douglas Axtell.
May 7, 2016 – July 1, 2016:
In May of 2016 Kathleen Anne Wuorinen was appointed Interim Chief of Police, completing Chief Smith's term, and while a permanent replacement was being sought. Wuorinen, a veteran of twenty-eight years on the department, had previously been a Ramsey County Deputy Sheriff and an Assistant Chief of Police. She was the first "Female" to hold the 'Top Job'.
June 23, 2016:
In June of 2016 Todd Douglas Axtell was appointed Chief of Police. Axtell, a veteran of twenty-six years on the department, had previously been an Assistant Chief of Police. He started his career in law enforcement as a Police Officer for the communities of Breezy Point/Pequot Lakes, Minnesota, and came on the Saint Paul Police Department in the same class (1989) as Chief Thomas Edward Smith.
History has shown us that there have been many changes in the police service model since the Saint Paul City Council elected its first marshal in 1854. As we move onward through the 21st century, the City of Saint Paul and the Saint Paul Police Department will continue to amend its service model, based on the ever-changing political, social and economic aspects of communal living.