Rahul Sharma (Editor)

Saint Paul Police Department

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Abbreviation  SPPD
Formed  1854
Saint Paul Police Department
Motto  Committed to Excellence, Ethics, Empathy & Education
Legal personality  Governmental: Government agency
Operations jurisdiction*  City of Saint Paul in the state of Minnesota, USA
Size  56.2 square miles (146 km)

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 and 200 non-sworn officials. The current Chief of Police is Thomas E. Smith, who was sworn in on June 15, 2010. He succeeded John M. Harrington, who had been the department's chief since 2004.


Command Structure

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

Department Awards

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

  • 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

    Like most major cities, the city of St. Paul saw a population decline beginning in the late 1960s. However, the police department has continued to grow. The current police chief also has a hiring push underway to increase the size of the force.


    A lawsuit alleges that on 13 July 2010, SPPD officers took part in a drug raid on the home. The problem was that the police raided the wrong home. The family living there was entirely innocent. Following the raid, the family filed a complaint. That complaint indicated that the police handcuffed the family including the minor children, and the police kept the one of the children from that child's medication, and that the police shot and killed the family dog during the raid, and that the police then traumatized the children further by forcing them to sit next to the body of the dead family pet for hours.

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

    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. Press reports indicated the unit used money taken from gang members to attend a 2009 professional conference held in Hawaii.


    Saint Paul Police Department Wikipedia

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