St. Paul, Minnesota

Catherine Coles
Research Associate
Program in Criminal Justice Policy and Management
John F. Kennedy School of Government
Harvard University

Case Study Prepared for the Urban Institute


Saint Paul Police Chief William K. (Corky) Finney was appointed to head the Saint Paul Police Department in July 1992. Born in the City and a lifelong resident, Finney had served for twenty-one years in SPPD, as a patrol officer, investigator, community projects leader, Director of Training, and executive officer. Finney came up in a Department in which the seeds of community policing were planted during the 1970s in the form of decentralized team policing. From the mid-seventies through the 1980s, team policing waxed and waned as City finances rose and fell in Saint Paul, but it never died out. Instead, it emerged as community policing beginning in the late 1980s, developing formally under Chief Finney’s administration during the 1990s.

Saint Paul’s long and continuous involvement in team, and then community, policing can be traced in large part to its strong neighborhoods: for decades, citizens have identified with small, yet distinctive neighborhood areas, often comprised of only a few blocks—Railroad Island, Como Park, Saint Anthony Park, the lower east side. The Department itself is a tightly knit force with a high percentage of officers who have lived in Saint Paul and worked in the Department for their entire professional lives. Generations of officers in families, relatives within extended families, trained volunteers who contribute hundreds of hours a year, and active civilian employees all contribute to a Department that is rooted in and reflects the City’s neighborhoods. Today, policing remains neighborhood-centered: patrol and many investigative functions are decentralized, carried out from three district stations, four substations, and twelve storefront offices throughout the City. As neighborhoods have changed demographically, SPPD has worked to build partnerships with new residents: the second largest Hmong community (from Southeast Asia) in the country is in Saint Paul, with many living in public housing; recently the City has opened its doors to families on welfare seeking to leave Chicago, Milwaukee, and Detroit for a better life in Saint Paul. Community policing as a strategy has flourished in Saint Paul because of the “fit” between team and community policing, and this evolving neighborhood structure.

With the origins of community policing in Saint Paul firmly rooted in the Department’s experiments with neighborhood policing and subsequent move into team policing during the 1970s, the fundamental ethos and guiding principles learned by patrol officers early on served the same officers well as they moved into supervisory and even upper management positions during the 1980s and 1990s. It was not one, two, or even three officers who led Saint Paul into community policing; rather, there were many in SPPD who found the transition a natural one given their experiences in policing locally. These supervisory and management staff were able to graft new technology and strategies onto a foundation of policing close to the ground, and problem solving, in neighborhoods. They faced no significant opposition, save that of budget constraints at various times.

Chief Finney, as one of the officers who rose to the top in SPPD, mirrors this transition. Unlike some other executive officers in the Department, Finney developed as both a top manager within SPPD, and a public figure with a following in the community. In five years as Chief, he has already left his mark, leading SPPD, with its decentralized orientation and new community-oriented programs, into formally adopting community-oriented policing. He has pushed SPPD further than previous administrations with a form of community policing that involves, in his own words, “opening up the Department,” increasing substantially the opportunities for minorities and women to become sworn officers and for civilians to serve in SPPD, reaching out to new constituencies in the City, evidencing greater accountability and responsiveness to citizens.

But Finney, too, continues to carry out “policing by neighborhood:” in its current form, this has meant developing strategies that ask citizens, including the business community, to assume joint responsibility for public safety and crime reduction, while further tailoring the delivery of police services through the creation of Neighborhood Service Areas. As neighborhoods make claims on the Department, and as crime patterns change around the City, SPPD has had to struggle with how to allocate resources: for example, Saint Paul’s public housing projects have become models recognized nationwide for their high standards and low incidence of crime; at the same time, criminal activity appears to be climbing on the east side of town, challenging police to think about whether they should open new storefronts and substations, and close others.

The Context for Policing in Saint Paul

Saint Paul, Minnesota, grew up during the nineteenth century as a frontier town near Fort Snelling, situated at the upper terminus of the Mississippi River boat trade. Early on it attracted tradesmen, merchants, and settlers on their way West, and served the nearby logging industry. Originally called “Pig’s Eye” after the nickname of its first settler, trader Pierre Parrant, it was renamed in 1841 by Father Lucian Galtier when he built the first church. During the second half of the nineteenth century, the City’s growth paralleled that of the railroad, as Saint Paul became a distribution center.

Today the capital of Minnesota, Saint Paul covers approximately fifty-five square miles on both sides of the Mississippi River, in Ramsey County, southeastern Minnesota. Adjacent to Minneapolis, it is part of a Twin Cities metropolitan region that in 1990 had a population of 2,464,124. The Saint Paul population was 272,235: 82.4% were White; 7.5% African American; 1.2% Native American; 7.0% Asian; and 1.9% other. Just under 4.0% of these racial groups was Hispanic in origin.

In the downtown commercial area, located to the north of a bend in the Mississippi, a well-developed skyway links major businesses, banks, hotels, and other institutions above ground level. Fifty to sixty thousand people flock into the City each day to work and shop in adjacent establishments. In many senses the skyway has replaced City streets as primary public thoroughfares—particularly during the harsh winter months. The City itself is a major road and air transportation hub, one of the largest trucking centers in the country, supports numerous industries (including printing, automotive assembly plants, the manufacture of electronic equipment, chemicals, abrasives, adhesives, refrigerators, foods, and construction equipment), and serves as a market center for grain and livestock. Along with Minneapolis, Saint Paul is also a cultural and educational center.

Saint Paul has a strong mayor/council form of government, with the mayor serving a four-year term. Current Mayor Norm Coleman, a Republican, was elected in 1993, and re-elected in 1997. Seven City Council members, representing specific wards, approximately equal in population, are elected for two-year terms.1 Saint Paul also contains seventeen planning districts, each represented by an elected council. The mayor is the chief executive officer of the City: he recommends appointments for department directors, and members of boards and commissions, and policies and budgets, for Council approval. The Council is a legislative body; it also monitors and maintains liaisons with community groups to ensure citizen participation; and it analyzes, adopts and oversees the city budget. The mayor has veto authority over Council action; however, the Council can override the mayor’s veto with a five vote minimum.

A chief of police in Saint Paul is selected by the mayor and City Council: when the mayor announces a vacancy for the position, the City Council establishes a committee to assess candidates. Based upon its review and examination of applicants, the committee (sometimes referred to as a citizens’ commission) prepares a short list of five candidates, from which the mayor appoints the Chief, subject to approval by the City Council. The term of office for the chief is determined by charter (giving the chief a stronger position than in many other settings):2 a one year probationary period is followed by a set term of five years, during which time s/he may be fired only for cause, and with the vote of five out of seven council members.

A History of the Saint Paul Police Department

In 1851, Alexander Marshall was appointed to enforce the laws of a violent Territory of Minnesota, whose northern, eastern and southern boundaries were the same as those of today’s state, but whose western limits ran to the Missouri and White Earth Rivers and encompassed most of what is today North Dakota. Marshall lasted only until 1854 before resigning. Shortly after, Saint Paul was incorporated as a city, with William Miller appointed Chief of Police. He was assisted by four patrolmen. By 1857, with murder, robbery, and assault frequent occurrences, and prostitution and gambling rampant, the police force was increased to twelve, and a Vigilance Committee of 40 men was established. Even this enlarged force failed to keep the peace, however, and the City maintained its reputation for disorder and criminal activity. Minnesota was admitted to the Union in 1858. With the onset of the Civil War, river traffic was greatly reduced and the business life of the City came to a virtual standstill. Three-quarters of the police enlisted in the Army, and no funds could be found to pay the remainder. When the night police were disbanded, a force of two hundred volunteers organized to take their places—dividing into four companies, with each responsible for maintaining order in one section of the City.

After the War, Police Chief Michael Cummings and twelve patrolmen replaced the Vigilance Committee. The City began to assist in crime reduction efforts: for example, to address flourishing prostitution, an arrangement was worked out with the House of Good Shepard to accept female offenders for rehabilitation instead of sending them to jail. Private citizens also assisted the Department: to aid patrolmen struggling to propel drunks uphill to jail, one merchant left a horse and delivery wagon parked at 7th and Wabasha overnight for their use. By 1885, the population of the City had reached 45,000, and the mounted patrol of horse and bicycle riders had grown to 160 officers. Four police substations were opened on May 1, 1887, at 747 Margaret Street (now an apartment building), Robert and Delos Streets, Rondo and Western, and 490 North Prior.

Around the turn of the century, police officers on the beat communicated by signals sent with their nightsticks: a sergeant searching for a patrolman tapped twice for a “call rap;” a patrolman needing assistance from another gave a single rap, or whistle, to be answered by the same from another officer. Headquarters moved several times until 1911, when it was located at 110 W. Third Street, at Washington. In 1930, with the advent of one-way radio, the police installed receivers in sixteen squad cars, and calls were broadcast over KSTP Radio. When the dispatcher received a complaint, he interrupted general programming on the station, sounded a gong, and gave the call to the squad three times; after the call was completed, regular programming resumed. In 1939, the Department went to two-way radios.

During the 1920s and 1930s, Saint Paul’s Police Department was riddled with corruption—these were the days of Dillinger and O’Connor, when outlaws were left alone in St. Paul as long as they committed their crimes elsewhere.3 This changed with the Hamm kidnapping, and from 1938-40, when Bill Salvi was mayor for two years, a reform of the Police Department was launched. SPPD became a “reform” department, with close oversight and control of officers a primary concern: to ward off corruption, officers assigned to day, midnight, and afternoon shifts alternated every two weeks. From World War II to the mid-1970s, the Department was a highly centralized organization that delivered services with an approach described in a later evaluation as “when-called-we-respond.”4 The first specialized unit was created in the late 1950s, when a small tactical unit (under the command of Tony Tigue) comprised of six officers and a sergeant operated citywide, taking on whatever special projects developed and focusing on “hot spots.” Through the efforts of Larry McDonald and Al Johnson, the first teams of officers and canines were also trained and formed at this time—with Saint Paul only the second police department in the country to be using them. These teams began working with the tactical unit and soon proved their effectiveness: one won a national “Lassie” award for locating a fleeing burglar.

SPPD officers whose institutional memory extends back to the 1970s see in today’s “community policing” the elaboration of basic practices and principles that were present in the Department over two decades ago. They describe foot patrol beats that “came and went”—some continued for periods of several years, with the same officers walking these beats, and getting to know the local neighborhood well. Beyond this, interest in the principles and practices underlying community policing was evident in specific programs begun in Saint Paul during the late 1960s and early 1970s. The first initiatives—H.E.L.P.-P. (the Housing Environmental Liaison Police Project) and the Police Community Relations Program (which started in the late 1960s under Chief McAuliffe)—were followed in the mid-1970s by a pilot project in team policing. These early efforts took place during the administration of Chief Richard Rowan, who served from 1970-79 and oversaw the implementation of team policing citywide in 1977. When announcing his resignation, Rowan cited the implementation of team policing as a major achievement of his 9.5 years as chief.5

In becoming Chief, Rowan had vied for the position with then Captain William McCutcheon. Reportedly McCutcheon was a strong and influential figure in the Department even under Chief McAuliffe. When McCutcheon lost in his bid for chief, he ran for the state senate, where he served for the next ten years while retaining his position as captain and then deputy chief in SPPD. When Rowan left SPPD, there was no question of who would be the next Chief: Mayor George Latimer appointed McCutcheon, who resigned from the State Senate in order to serve. McCutcheon was chief from 1980-1992. According to Latimer, McCutcheon was the right person for the job: he understood the City, he was a civil libertarian and respectful of citizens’ rights, and he was respected by his officers. Complaints of police brutality were negligible under his tenure. McCutcheon’s considerable acumen in financial matters was enhanced through his legislative experience—he had chaired the Senate Tax Committee—so that he was particularly shrewd in understanding city finances, ferreting out funds, communicating with lawmakers, and mobilizing support for new policing programs. Described by some as a tough manager who ran a tight ship, Chief McCutcheon was nevertheless open to innovation and change. He “made major strides in recruiting women and minority officers, and then promoting those officers to positions of responsibility.” Recognizing that stopping drug abuse ultimately began with prevention, he coordinated fund-raising efforts that brought DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) to Saint Paul schools.6 SPPD’s 1992 Annual Report credits his administration as having “set the stage for the new era of community policing.”7 Between 1972-1977, he also was largely responsible for developing high POST standards that remain in place in Minnesota.

After two terms as Chief, at age 65, McCutcheon announced that he would not seek reappointment. The McCutcheon era came to an end on July 15, 1992, when Mayor James Scheibel named Bill Finney Chief of the Saint Paul Police Department. Two days later the City Council unanimously approved his selection and Finney became the first African-American Police Chief in Minnesota history. Today, Chief Finney leads a force of 571 sworn officers (up from 519 when he took office) and 197 civilians.

Retrospective: The Origins of Community Policing in Team Policing, the 1970s-80s

Local Government and the Changing Community

In spite of the tensions created by these changes, relative to many other cities Saint Paul was a fairly tolerant community. Unlike some others, it was never torn apart by conflicts that did arise over civil rights, the war, and a substantial immigrant population: the Police Department did not become the “enemy” of citizens. Nevertheless, early in the 1970s, SPPD was looking at what it could do differently. Bill Wilson, an early civil rights activist, member of the City Council during the 1980s, and Council President from 1990-93, recalls:

I can remember meetings held in the community by advocacy groups advocating for less intrusion…they stated that they were over-policed and underprotected…. These were basically student activists from the University of Minnesota. Because of the large demonstrations…there was a lot of concern about the anti-war movement and civil rights movement. So those two movements merged, blended, and spread out into the community….It was at that time that the whole idea of bringing the police closer to the community began to emerge as a strategy to offset conflict between police and the community….

And so then residents started talking about the need, in the community, for what they called storefront operations. Part of this came out of the Model Cities initiatives which allowed the community to use its funding to help support the programs that fit the needs of the community. Part of that funding was used to develop a storefront on Selby Avenue in the early 1970s.8 This was a novel demonstration…the idea was to have cops located in the community. But then it took a certain kind of police officer, a person who could work with the community as opposed to being there to apprehend and enforce, more so to relate to the community and share what policing was about and to make connections…while at the same time respecting the integrity of the community.

To meet these needs, SPPD formed the Police Community Relations Unit, and to bring in more African American officers, it created “quasi-cop” positions or Community Service Officers, hiring African Americans to fill them. Two of those hired—Samuel Ballard and Willie Hudson—eventually became police officers.9 But the most far-reaching change, and the one on which the Department pinned its hopes, lay in the introduction of team policing. SPPD team policing was seen as the answer to many of the deficiencies in professional, “tour mode” policing—in terms of improving the ability of police both to address crime problems, and to establish positive relationships within the community. By all accounts, the move into team policing (and later its extension into community policing) received support from within SPPD, as well as from City officials.

From 1976 to 1990, when team policing took hold in Saint Paul and then underwent a transformation to community policing, Democrat George Latimer was mayor. While campaigning in his first election in 1976, Latimer brought in Deputy Chief McCutcheon to brief him on the team policing pilot project that was taking place on the West Side of Saint Paul. Latimer was running for office in part to mobilize the business community: he recalls that crime was not a big issue in the City at the time, but he became a supporter of team policing, and pledged to extend it city-wide if elected, in essence “co-opt policing and crime issues by building on an already strong Department.” A participant in the Executive Sessions on Policing held at the Program in Criminal Justice, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, early in the 1980s, Latimer was knowledgeable about new developments in policing and an early proponent as well of the “broken windows” theory, recognizing the value of police attending to quality of life issues in neighborhoods.

As mayor, Latimer made it a policy to be publicly supportive of the Police Chief, and in his own words, pretty much “kept hands off the Department” when Rowan and McCutcheon were in office. During the 1980s, financial pressures in the City led to the contraction, and later reinstatement, of team policing under Chief McCutcheon. Nevertheless, the debate in the City never ended about “how to get more participation by the police in the community.” By this time Bill Wilson was on the City Council. When the dialogue began to form around community policing, and (in Wilson’s words) “…the discussion came to the City Council, there was general support, because it simply made so much good sense. There wasn’t union opposition. There wasn’t community opposition. There wasn’t department opposition.” But there was concern given to organizational questions: “Does it make sense from an organizational point of view? And then how do we finance locations or facilities that are sufficient beyond having a storefront?” Wilson remained actively involved in searching for answers to these questions and other policing issues, and continually engaged the police department. He developed a concern about gangs, far ahead of others in the City, and got people thinking more seriously about how to address gang behavior and gang-related crime, and about pornography. Another Council member at the time, current Sheriff Bob Fletcher, also participated in the discussions about developing police programs to address juvenile crime issues

Transition in The Saint Paul Police Department
Operations in Change: from the “Tour” Mode to Team Policing

The “Tour” Mode of Policing

By the early 1970s, the Saint Paul Police Department had already developed a number of innovative policing practices, including both call prioritization, and crime mapping and analysis. SPPD started very early to look at computers and attempt to determine how they might be used in law enforcement. The law enforcement computer system in Ramsey County began in the early 1970s, and SPPD began tracking incidents at that time. Later in the 1970s, a small (three to four person) crime analysis unit was formed to keep track of crime trends. An important use of the information, according to Lieutenant Joe Polski who heads the Records/Evidence Unit today, was in “being able to get feedback to the community about crime in Saint Paul, and being able to look at where we were succeeding and where we needed to put resources.”

Recruitment and Training

Recruitment of women and minorities played virtually no role as either a priority in, or even part of, Departmental hiring efforts at this time. From 1972-75, however, Saint Paul’s Police Department was under a consent decree, ordered by the courts to hire one African American for every four new employees. Officers were not hired under the decree until 1975: by this time, the Department had lost approximately 50 officers through attrition, and new hiring had to make up for this decline.12 The decree was modified in 1977 to include women.13 Later in the decade, the new Asian population presented challenges that SPPD tried to meet by recruiting Hmong, Vietnamese, and other officers who were fluent in the languages, knowledgeable about the culture, and familiar with the Asian community.

During the late 1960s, the first training unit began compiling its own curriculum, gradually adding a field training component as well. Larry McDonald was part of this effort. Working within the Research Unit, the officers assigned to this task wrote their own lesson plans and brought in experienced SPPD officers to teach classes for recruits.

Early Initiatives: The Help-P Unit (1970-73) and

Team Policing Pilot Project (1974-77)

While formal team policing would begin later in the decade in Saint Paul, it was grounded in two early experiences. Beginning in 1970, the H.E.L.P.-P. project, funded by LEAA and the City of Saint Paul, placed officers in four low-income public housing projects—Roosevelt, Mt. Airy, Dunedin, and McDonough—in an effort to improve police/citizen cooperation. Newly promoted Lieutenant Larry McDonald was asked to command the project, with Sergeant Dick Ekwall assisting. McDonald wanted only officers who volunteered for the project to participate, and took the unusual step of involving residents in the housing projects in interviewing officers before they were finally selected. He was determined that citizens would “buy in” from the beginning. A Citizen Participation Committee (which met monthly) was formed for each target area, with citizen representatives elected by community organizations for one-year terms. In addition, a Target Area Advisory Council, consisting of SPPD officers, social workers, and others assisting in the project, also operated. Community Relations Officers also worked with the project, along with University of Minnesota student interns, who assisted police in solving disputes in the areas, placing abandoned children, and dealing with domestic disturbances and runaway children.

The latitude given to the HELP-P team to innovate created very real tensions with the rest of the Department. One of the first changes then-Lieutenant McDonald made involved shift schedules: HELP-P officers were placed on a ten-hour shift to accommodate their work with citizens. While HELP-P officers “loved it,” this created something of a rift with the rest of SPPD, which did not change its shift structure until much later. HELP-P officers also spent much of their time meeting with local citizens and attending community events, which sometimes required heavy reliance on backup from the rest of the Patrol Division to cover calls that could not be answered by HELP-P officers. Yet when non-HELP-P officers came into the area on a call, citizens in the project did not like it—they wanted HELP-P officers only, and not “strangers.” (McDonald recalls that citizens were never timid in pointing out what was going right or wrong.) McDonald tried to reciprocate by having HELP-P officers respond outside the housing projects around the periphery of their areas when patrol officers couldn’t handle all the calls coming in. But he never solved the problem of citizen responses. The HELP-P staff did focus on problem solving: working together, police and citizens addressed problems such as vandalism and burglary in schools located within the projects, paint-sniffing by young people, traffic problems, damage to Housing Redevelopment Authority property by teenage boys, and disputes among tenants. And responses to the project by police and citizens alike were highly favorable:14 when federal funding ended for the project, the City took it on.

With this track record of two experiments in “team policing,” City officials decided to explore the possibility of developing a citywide team policing program for Saint Paul. (At the same time, the City itself, as part of a Citywide Citizen Participation Process, established seventeen districts, with a district council for each. The councils were set up to plan and advise the City on physical, economic, and social development within the districts, identify neighborhood needs, initiate community programs, recruit volunteers, and inform residents through local newsletters and community events.) Within SPPD, a Decentralization Committee was formed that met from February through June of 1976: it interviewed representatives of various SPPD units that would be affected by decentralization, visited other cities where team policing had already begun, and drafted a set of recommendations for implementing team policing in the City. The major recommendations proposed by the Committee centered on expanding the responsibilities of the Patrol Division by giving it some investigative capacity, and complete responsibility for community relations. Specific proposals included: breaking the Patrol Division into a north and south sector, each to be commanded by a deputy chief; and dividing each sector up into four teams. Every team was to be commanded by a lieutenant, who would be responsible for all patrol operations, and to have eight sergeants (five for street supervision and three to be involved in investigations).

Policing in the team mode was expected to correct the organizational shortcomings of “tour” mode policing: each lieutenant would be responsible for the delivery of police services on a twenty-four hour basis within his geographical area, as well as longer range program planning. Accountability and responsibility were also expected to increase at lower levels: sergeants and patrol officers would become more involved in planning and goal setting. Police service delivery was to be improved as well by increasing and improving police-citizen interaction, with police better informed about the needs of particular communities, and citizens more knowledgeable about their own responsibilities in deterring crime generally and in lessening their own chances of becoming crime victims.

While SPPD’s Decentralization Committee was working on its report, a further boost to team policing prospects came with mayoral candidate Latimer’s pledge that team policing would be implemented if he were elected. In addition, the director of the Governor’s Commission on Crime Prevention and Control became interested in team policing in Saint Paul, which “opened the prospects for federal funding which would permit St. Paul to implement a more ambitious program than could be done with its own resources.”18 With the Mayor, the Governor’s Commission, and SPPD firmly and mutually committed, the preparations that would make citywide team policing a reality began during the summer of 1976.

Implementing Team Policing Citywide: 1977

Planning for implementation began near the end of 1976, with July 1, 1977 proposed as the implementation date. The Patrol Division was divided into north and south sectors in September of 1976, and a federal grant was formally awarded at the end of October. It was anticipated that the federal grant would continue for three years, at which time the City would provide continuing funding. The grant-specified goals for team policing included: first, organizationally, increasing administrative accountability, increasing participation and responsibility in decision making at lower command levels, improving internal communications, and improving job satisfaction. Second, the community involvement goal was to increase interaction between police, and citizens and community groups.

From the beginning, SPPD assumed that considerable lead time would be necessary to move into a full team policing mode:

It was anticipated that approximately three months would be required to work out the basic operational problems in the team mode. An additional three to six months would then be needed to determine the particular desires and needs for police services by the communities and citizens of each team area and—with the participation of all team personnel—to devise appropriate service strategies in response to those particular needs and desires. So long as basic patrol services—essentially having enough patrol cars available to assure timely response—continued to be provided in each team area, each lieutenant was to be given considerable latitude in this means of assessing community needs and of program response. In essence, the first nine months of team policing were expected to involve a considerable amount of on-the-job training for the lieutenant and his team members.19

In January 1977 the team boundaries were finalized, and an ambitious training process, to occur in “organizational waves,” was begun. This process centered first around the “management team”—the Chief and four deputy chiefs—that would lay out the ground rules and parameters of decentralization; commanders at the team level (two captains and the lieutenants) would then meet to develop specific proposals for implementing guidelines. Later, sergeants assigned to teams, and each team lieutenant, were to meet and plan details for team management and functioning. Finally, patrol officers would be brought into the team training process.

Before this process could be completed, however, fiscal problems surfaced in the City with the threat of an increase in property taxes. By April, the team policing implementation process was halted: all City departments had been ordered to cut their budgets by at least 5%. Although Mayor Latimer remained firmly in favor of team policing, many believed that the City could not afford to fund the program in the original grant proposal when federal funds would be terminated at the end of 1979.

The program that emerged was therefore a substantially reduced version of team policing: each sector was headed by a deputy chief (with an administrative assistant who was a captain); six teams would operate (with a lieutenant in each) rather than eight, necessitating a redrawing of team boundaries; the teams would not have sergeants to conduct follow-up investigations of property crimes (thus requiring fewer promotions to supervisory positions). Investigative responsibilities were greatly curtailed: investigation of serious property crime would remain with the central unit, with the teams responsible for investigating minor crimes. Some sections of CAPROP (Crimes Against Property) and the Juvenile Units nevertheless assigned their personnel by teams in order to facilitate coordination with the Patrol Division team mode—thus the original goal of integrating some investigative functions within the Patrol Division and improving patrol officers’ initial investigative functions was not altogether abandoned. Additionally, the training process was drastically cut back. While top management had been involved early on in the planning process, and three of the lieutenants had had experience in previous team policing efforts, the lack of training for sergeants in management techniques was later seen as a serious loss. 20

An evaluation of the first two years of citywide team policing (required as part of the grant) provides some indication of what was actually taking place following the decentralization.21 Documenting early achievements, the evaluation found that within two months, most scheduling, dispatching, communications and fleet maintenance problems in SPPD had been overcome. To facilitate communications between team offices and central headquarters, an Operations Unit had been established in the Communications Center. A citizens volunteer program, called Neighborhood Assistance Officers (set up before team policing), had been integrated into the team command structure: trained to assist SPPD in minor matters such as traffic control at accidents, temporary custody of lost children, and checks of vacationers’ homes, NAO volunteers were placed under the direction of team lieutenants in the area where they resided when team policing was implemented.

Taking a longer range view, the Team Police Evaluation Unit of SPPD found, more significantly, that

[The new] command structure appears to have led to the intended increase in accountability and initiative within the Patrol Division. All team lieutenants, and especially those with prior supervisory experience within the Patrol Division, indicate that they now have a clearer definition of their role and responsibilities than before. In all teams there have been examples of aggressive reactions to specific crime problems, ranging from the use of patrol officers on bicycles to a highly coordinated effort to search for an active rapist. The team structure also provides the opportunity to experiment with alternative management strategies…. While it is not being suggested here that previously nothing was done in reaction to serious crime problems, nor that innovations were totally lacking, there is some evidence that these kinds of activities are more likely to occur in the team structure and that they are more readily coordinated within the on-going routine of patrol operations.

Accounts are mixed as to whether decentralization changed the basic orientation of patrol operations around 911 and responding to calls for service. As the evaluation notes, maintaining “basic patrol services—essentially having enough patrol cars available to assure timely response” remained the first priority. At the same time, under team policing the work of police officers was redefined to include a broader range of functions, to cover greater investigative responsibilities as well as an explicit prescription for increasing contact with and responsiveness to citizens. Some reports today suggest that line officers themselves were doing a significant amount of problem solving in neighborhoods, and carrying out many of the activities later promoted by community policing, while senior management staff who were more removed did not “buy in” to the same degree.

Retired Commander Larry McDonald provides an account of one type of problem solving that his officers carried out when he was Lieutenant in A3, under team policing. Late in the 1970s, problems arose around Harding High School with drug transactions taking place near the school, in full view of citizens. McDonald appealed twice to the Narcotics Unit downtown for help, but they wouldn’t bother with such a minor problem. McDonald recounts: “I’m catching hell at this point from citizens in the area…. I told my Deputy Chief Griffin, who was on the school board at the time, I’ve got to get some relief. I’m going to put out my own patrol people, and reassign them, and we’re going to carry on a surveillance, we’re going to gather all the information.” Deputy Chief Griffin reminded McDonald that this was really breaking with tradition—but told him to go ahead. McDonald set up his surveillance unit: he took officers out of uniform and had them gather evidence of marijuana use and take photographs; one young officer, working undercover, enrolled in the high school and lived in Roosevelt housing project (with help from some residents there). McDonald himself trained all the officers in proper techniques for evidence gathering. When they went before a judge, the evidence was so good that warrants were issued immediately for all the juveniles from whom buys had been made. Things were tense with SPPD’s Narcotics Unit after this—and the school wasn’t too happy at being kept in the dark either. But the outcome was so successful that the same strategy was picked up and utilized by other teams.

Nevertheless, on the ground, patrol officers were expanding some of their investigation activities as part of solving problems. In surveys conducted for the two year evaluation of team policing, responses from patrol officers suggested strongly that they were spending more time investigating crimes under team policing. Two months after team policing was implemented, at a meeting of all unit heads in the Department, Chief Rowan decided that some increase in response time would be tolerated in order to achieve the goal of expanding the patrol role in investigations. In addition, the Department adopted the federally funded “Managing Criminal Investigations” program that provided for the introduction of revised report forms. These forms were explained to all patrol personnel during in-service training for team policing, and implemented along with it. An automated fingerprint identification system (MAFIN, Minnesota Automated FP ID Network) also became operational in 1979. Planning for the system included patrol operations, since patrol officers were (and are) responsible in Saint Paul for obtaining most fingerprints from crime scenes.

Nevertheless, the more serious property crime investigations, and most crimes against persons, continued to be handled centrally: robbery and burglary are investigated in the districts; while fraud, forgeries, auto thefts, homicides, assaults, and sex crimes are handled centrally.

COMMUNITY RELATIONS AND COMMUNITY RESPONSES TO TEAM POLICING: One of the most positive reported outcomes of the first two years of city-wide team policing occurred in the area of community relations:

In terms of citizen-police interaction goals, all teams have contacted numerous business and citizen groups… every team has held an open house…. Representatives of the teams have also attended less formal citizen meetings…all team lieutenants have publicized the availability and willingness of themselves and other team members to participate in any citizen meetings…. These contacts with citizens and business people have led to a number of activities by patrol personnel. As a result of requests from the business communities, many teams occasionally utilize a roving foot beat…there has been more rigorous enforcement of liquor and other park use regulations…. [T]eams have become more active in crime prevention programs…. [I]t was anticipated that team policing would be a two-way street requiring effort both on the part of police and on the citizens served; this interaction appears to have happened in St. Paul.22

Perhaps most striking was the finding that citizens overwhelmingly preferred team policing to the previous system. While overall calls for service increased in the City, complaints filed with Internal Affairs dropped, fear of crime appeared to decrease, and the attitudes of minority citizens showed large improvements toward police behavior in several areas (for example, perceptions of police prejudice toward non-whites dropped). Within the business community, nearly three-quarters were found to prefer team policing over the previous central office organization.23

Sustaining Team Policing through the 1980s

In 1982 Saint Paul faced severe financial cuts: with the indexing of income tax at the state level, and the recession of 1981, the City had to find 5-6 million dollars out of an operating budget of 65 million at the time. When the mayor gave City departments the option of how to deal with the cut, Chief McCutcheon made the decision to cut back team policing to two sectors. Some interpreted his stance as playing hardball, holding a popular program (team policing) hostage to a particular level of funding for the Department. Another interpretation is that personnel changes caused the Department to lose the ranking officers (especially captains and lieutenants) necessary to operate and manage all the teams—about forty to fifty police officer positions were lost, and there were thirty lay-offs at SPPD (because of seniority, primarily from the midnight shift), as well as several demotions—so that McCutcheon had no choice. (At that time, the Department went to a low of 490 sworn personnel: the decision was made to downsize the whole Department, rather than cutting only line officer personnel.) In addition to personnel issues, although most of the team offices had been donated or else were situated in City buildings (such as A3, in an old fire station, and B4, in an old school), maintenance costs were a concern. Therefore six Teams were consolidated into two sectors—East and West. The A2 headquarters became East Sector Headquarters, and the B5 Headquarters became the West Sector Headquarters; the other four offices were abandoned.

Management and the Culture of SPPD under Team Policing

The Saint Paul Police Department was a relatively stable organization throughout the 1970s and 1980s. Chiefs changed infrequently (for example, Latimer notes that during the time SPPD was headed by three chiefs—McAuliffe, Rowan, and McCutcheon—Minneapolis had nine). Police officers who joined SPPD did so in large numbers for life—they were relatively well-paid and well-treated within the organization. The Department’s reputation was one of integrity, and officers from other departments frequently sought entry, as they still do.

Although patrol operations were decentralized during the late 1970s and throughout the 1980s, recollections from officers at all levels inside SPPD indicate that even under Chief McCutcheon, communication and decision making moved from the top down.24 Nevertheless, some “old timers” in the Department believe the transition to team policing was the “biggest change to appear” in nearly thirty years. As one officer recalls from his experience on a team, the lieutenant who commanded it was in charge of a neighborhood “was basically forced to deal with his community. He was responsible to the chief of police through his involvement in those teams. He…identified through the community what the problems were… . We all participated in team meetings…then it was up to us to make it work on the street level. We didn’t have a whole lot of information when we first started as to exactly what they wanted us to do.” Some complained about the lack of centralized management. The evaluation of team policing reported, however, that a positive attitude toward supervisors grew even more favorable with team policing, and that officers were much more satisfied with their jobs on patrol. Anecdotal accounts suggest that positive responses from neighborhoods also contributed to officers’ satisfaction.

All in all, team policing appears to have caused patrol officers to pay much greater attention to problem solving and to identify more closely with their “turf.” The leaders of team policing in the Department—sergeants and lieutenants in the teams, some of whom moved up into command positions—also bought into the approach. (Again, Larry McDonald, Commander of Southwest Team in the late 1980s: “When you get older and you’ve been around for a while, you’re not as afraid to challenge people, to do what you want to do.”) Yet it was not until community policing began to supplant team policing that top management came around to really adopting this view as well.

The Late 1980s and early 1990s: From Team Policing to Community Policing

By this time, SPPD was already carrying out (and in some manner had been since the 1970s) many of the practices proposed by community policing advocates at Harvard. Latimer himself describes SPPD as operating through “neighborhood deployment, with a pretty high level of sophisticated problem solving, and good use of technology (they were already tracking deployment of force according to incidence of crime in 1977).” Latimer’s belief was that most people, with some exceptions, felt relatively safe in Saint Paul’s neighborhoods: there was little apparent out-migration due to safety concerns. Although the question of whether to create a civilian review commission had been raised a number of times, Latimer had examined the issue and concluded that the City would not benefit from it. And he saw enough evidence of a responsive, problem-oriented team effort, supported by the community, that he didn’t “force” the issue of community policing on McCutcheon.

Yet McCutcheon’s top managers were clearly pursuing community policing: Captains Mike Smith and Larry McDonald went to Houston in 1988 to look at Lee Brown’s model of community-oriented policing. The Department brought PERF in to hold training sessions for managers, and Chris Braiden came in from Edmonton to discuss problem-oriented policing. Larry McDonald, who worked with Braiden, comments, “what Braiden was talking about was no different from what we had experienced…basically it is trying to solve people’s problems as if you had the problem.” Bringing in Braiden, an acknowledged expert, an outsider, re-affirmed for SPPD managers that they were on the right track; Braiden would work first with top management. But by this time there was already a critical mass in terms of supervisors in SPPD with substantial experience in policing in neighborhoods, schooled in decentralized team policing and problem solving. No single leader pushed or pulled the Department into community policing at this time; rather community policing as a strategy was congruent with the principles and experiences of many officers in SPPD, at both line and supervisory levels, and for many, eventually would seem the next logical step to take.

In 1990, Latimer decided not to run again for mayor: he had won with 84 percent of the vote in 1986, and remained popular—it was simply time to move on. He was replaced as mayor by James Scheibel, a liberal Democrat. Under Scheibel’s administration, general interest in community policing continued to grow. With assistance from outside the Department, two highly visible new programs—ACOP and FORCE—were in the planning stages, ready to begin operations. They would prove to be a significant plank in the Department’s bridge from team to community policing.

A New Chief: William K. Finney and the Formal Move into Community Policing

Bill Finney recalls that when he first sought to join SPPD, in addition to being African American, he was “too tall, too educated, and wore glasses”—there were plenty of obstacles. Having grown up in Saint Paul, Finney attended Mankato State University, where he began working as a reserve officer in the Mankato Police Department. In 1971, after graduating, he returned to Saint Paul: he was hired provisionally at SPPD for ten months; this was followed by six months of probation. After serving for six years Finney joined the Army, and was commissioned. Returning to SPPD, Finney’s upward progress was steady, albeit with a few lateral diversions: he made sergeant in 1978—the second African American to achieve this rank; he was the first African American to be promoted to lieutenant (in 1982); and to Captain in 1987. But his progress was not necessarily welcomed or facilitated by all in upper management in SPPD. Finney cultivated an attitude that he recalls having learned in the military: “Bloom where you’re planted.”

In 1986, Finney was appointed to head the Parking Services Unit. At this time, he approached the Chief to request the creation of a Parking Enforcement Officer position that would facilitate the “affirmative hiring” of minorities, giving them four years to obtain their credentials for full hiring (including two years of college), and offering them promotional rights into the police officer ranks. By 1987, when Finney made captain, he had three more years before he could make Deputy Chief.26 Chief McCutcheon appointed him head of Training and Personnel Sections, and Finney then used his new position to begin to address diversity issues in training, and to convince the Chief that certain individuals—in particular some minority officers—should be promoted to acting sergeant positions from patrol officer. When Finney left Training, in about 1989, he was made executive officer for detectives. Finally, he was assigned to command Central District, which included three distinct neighborhoods: the West Side (Latino), the Rice Street area (with working class and poor white residents), and the downtown commercial area. This gave him an opportunity to become involved with BOMA, and to renew relationships he had formed many years earlier with people in the downtown area.

Nevertheless, after making Captain, during the late 1980s, Finney felt “stymied” at the top of the organization, as if he was being defined as “not ready for upward mobility within SPPD.” He was already well-known in the City, to business and civic leaders as well as citizens, and began to look outside the Department. In 1989, Finney ran for and was elected to the school board. And he continued to develop professionally: in 1985, he applied for the position of chief of police at the University of Minnesota; in 1991, he was offered the post of commissioner in Cambridge, MA. He declined the first because he lacked twenty years service that would bring his retirement pension, and because former Chief Rowan convinced him to stay. Then in 1991, when the Cambridge offer came, his wife was established in the area professionally, and an editorial in the local newspaper urged him to “stick around.” Finney stayed. He knew Chief McCutcheon’s term would be up in 1992—if he didn’t make Chief then, he would go.

But the Cambridge experience convinced Finney that he could “make it,” and gave him the confidence to wait. In the meantime, he had been invited in 1990 to attend the FBI Academy’s National Executive Institute, which he completed. He also attended the Police Executive Research Forum’s Senior Management Institute for Police. Since then, as a senior executive and then Chief, Finney has served on numerous local and state government and law enforcement commissions and task forces, and as an executive board member for the National Association of Black Law Enforcement Executives, IACP, and the Minnesota Chiefs of Police. In 1997 he was Vice Chair of the United Way of Saint Paul.

1992: Becoming Chief in Saint Paul

After Chief McCutcheon announced that he would not be a candidate for another term, early in 1992 Mayor James Scheibel announced that a citizens’ commission would be formed to consider applicants for the position of Chief of Police. Fifteen citizens (out of 70 who applied) were selected by the City Council to serve on the commission, which then considered 28 candidates. Seven of these were Saint Paul officers; three were from outside the Department. After receiving written statements from and interviewing ten finalists, the citizens’ commission sent Mayor Scheibel a list of the top five, which included, along with Finney, then SPPD Deputy Chief John Sturner, Superintendent of the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) Mark Shields, SPPD Captain Ed Steenberg, and David Dobrotka, Deputy Chief of the Minneapolis Police Department. Finney was the mayor’s choice, and in July, Scheibel appointed him Chief.

Why Finney? Among the top candidates, Finney was viewed as a close fit with Scheibel’s liberal Democratic political leanings and had strong advocates on the City Council. He also had a great deal of popular support from various constituencies in the City. As Commander of Central Patrol District, which included the downtown commercial area of the City, he had developed a good working relationship with leading business persons in the City. Bill Buth (who served on the citizens’ commission that narrowed the list of applicants for Chief), president of the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA), explains:

There was a call, he never passed it off as . . . ‘it’s the business fat cats.’ He responded. Ninety-nine times out of a hundred it was in person; otherwise it was on the telephone. He listened intently to what we were talking about.... [S]ometimes business is not recognized as being a neighborhood.... He said ‘You called. You’ve got a concern. I’m here to respond because I have that team with officers in the downtown area.’ He had the people skills.

Another consideration for members of the citizens’ commission at the time Finney was selected was “where are we going with this police department? You’ve got an in-migration of cultures. How are we going to deal with that?” Earlier on Finney had emerged as a peacemaker in the eyes of many, able to communicate with people throughout the community during the period following the Rodney King incident, when tensions were high in the City. At the same time, a debate was taking place in the City over whether community-oriented policing should be more fully implemented. With Finney’s appointment, there was no question: SPPD’s move into community policing was assured.

Taking the Helm at SPPD

Soon after taking office, Finney submitted a memo to the City Finance Chair setting out an immediate reorganization plan for the Department in light of the 1993 Budget. These first proposals indicated the general direction that Finney would move in the next few years—flattening the organization, decentralizing and moving more operations out into the community, and bringing patrol and special unit functions closer together. As a first step, Chief Finney decided to move from four divisions (Detectives, Patrol, Administration, and Support Services) to three: Administration, Operations, and Support Service. The Deputy Chief of Administration would assume responsibility for many of the executive duties of the Chief’s Office; he would also command the Special Investigations Unit (including Vice), FORCE, Police Community and Volunteer Services, Personnel/Timekeeping, and the Watch Commanders Office. Reporting directly to the Chief were the heads of the Research and Development Unit (a civilian professional who would oversee grant writing and evaluation, fiscal affairs, and the Crime Analysis Unit, thus helping to “focus on the development and evaluation of new police programs geared toward community policing”27), Internal Affairs, and Inspection. Finney also announced that he was working with the Mayor’s Task Force on Police Priorities to develop some form of Civilian Review Board.

The new Operations Division would combine previously separate Patrol and Detective Divisions. In Patrol, Chief Finney brought the Downtown Foot Patrol, then a separate organization in which the sergeant reported directly to a Deputy Chief of Patrol, directly into the chain of command of Central District. Up to this time, headquarters, including the Communications Center, also had operated completely separately, even though it was located within Central District. Finney demoted Deputy Chief John Sturner but made him commander of a unified Central Patrol District that included headquarters and the Communications Center, as well as the Downtown Patrol. Turning to Investigations, Finney proposed consolidating several units into two: Crimes Against Persons (CAPERS), and Crimes Against Property (CAPROP). To create a closer working relationship with patrol officers and neighborhoods, many investigators would be assigned directly to Patrol Team Commanders.

Finally in the Support Services Division, civilianization of the Emergency Communications Center (with a lieutenant and nine sergeants supervising civilian telecommunicators and dispatchers) was to be completed by the end of 1992. This action was being taken in accord with a City Council directive to civilianize police operations wherever possible. Finney also proposed to combine several units within the Division to free up additional officers.

While still new in office, Chief Finney invited Chris Braiden back to Saint Paul. Braiden worked with Finney’s management team at a week-long retreat on community policing. Every manager then received three days of intensive training in COP, and each officer attended at least one day of training. But most in the Department recall the development of programs and concepts already in existence or else in the planning stages in SPPD as most significant in moving toward community policing at this time.

When he took office, Chief Finney inherited one program that many in SPPD identify with the initiation of “community policing,” ACOP, and essentially developed another, FORCE, that existed only in skeleton form. Even in ACOP, however, the new chief made significant changes to bring it into line with his own goals and mission for the Department.

ACOP (A Community Outreach Program)

Beginning around 1990, SPPD had applied for and received three years of grants, totaling more than $1.8 to provide police services, interpreters and social workers to assist public housing residents solve problems and prevent and fight crime. The program began as the Asian Outreach Program in McDonough housing project, in the Central Patrol District. At the time nearly 90% of residents in public housing were refugees from Southeast Asia, mostly Hmong. About 90% of them were living in poverty. Most had no understanding of Western culture when they arrived in the United States, and continued to feel that their family had adjusted little to American life. Problems were arising from the clash in values associated with traditional Hmong culture and an American way of life; when young Asian children assimilated to American culture rapidly while their elders did not, these problems became acute. In addition, SPPD itself was struggling with how to provide better service, given the cultural and language differences that were present in the housing projects, and between officers and residents. Earlier SPPD projects in public housing provided a model. When a legal challenge was raised on the grounds that the program should address the problems of all residents, and not just Asians, it was transformed into ACOP.

From early on ACOP officers reached out to elderly and disabled residents living in several high-rise buildings that fell within their territory. When Larry McDonald began supervising ACOP operations, he and the other ACOP officers started storefronts in the high-rise buildings (in office space donated by the Housing Authority). Once the officers gained their cooperation, elderly residents began staffing the office, and monitoring a police radio placed there. ACOP officers began to carry pagers so that residents could reach them directly. McDonald recounts an experience when, after earning the trust of these older citizens, getting a tip from one panned out:

In the storefronts, I put a picture of every ACOP cop, I put his squad number and his pager number there, so if you had a favorite cop you could page him any time you wanted to…because you get favorite cops and you are not afraid to ask them for a favor…. When something went wrong we got tips—we had a lady that calls Jim and says, “this guy just ripped off this other guy and stole his TV and they are selling it for crack down the hallway…. Send Ray, because he is black and these guys are black.” So Ray went down and talked to her…and we ended up taking her pop money (from the pop fund where we sell pop to our employees) to buy the TV back. I had to call another team to find a black female to make the buy…and she was four months pregnant and on the desk, and she volunteered. Then I had to call the FORCE Unit…because they have undercover guys that do all these stings. So this was a cooperative effort…. But I got in a little trouble because I did not turn the TV in, I gave it back to the guy—well, he was handicapped, and the only entertainment was his TV, and they wanted to hold it down in the property room for four months for trial. The city attorney gave me a good _____, and then the county attorney gave me a good _____, and I said well, the guy was really happy, he got his TV back…. We photographed it, took affidavits, serial numbers, everything we had to have…. Is community policing screwing your citizens to make a prosecution or is it…?

When Chief Finney took office, he had some changes in mind for ACOP that he believed would make it more responsive to community needs. In 1992, ACOP was expanded with a new $740,000 grant from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, to include one sergeant, eight officers, two social workers, and three interpreters/community liaison workers currently enrolled in law enforcement studies. Eventually it would cover four housing projects and three high-rise buildings. Late in 1992, the new chief approached Sergeant Dan Carlson about stepping in to head ACOP. Carlson, then an investigator in the Juvenile Division, had been named Minnesota Officer of the Year by the Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association for his coordination of efforts to curb violence by Asian youth gangs. He had lived in Thailand, spoke Thai, was married to a Thai woman, and had significant ties to the local Asian community. Carlson had become something of a “catch-all” to whom any SPPD problem involving Asian residents would be assigned. Carlson himself had two ideas about how to improve ACOP before he even began: first, he wanted officers assigned who he thought would be effective as role models and who could communicate with residents. He asked the chief for a young African-American officer who could work days with African-American youth in public housing, and a female officer, since many of the residents in the projects were single mothers. Second, Carlson suggested that ACOP officers be available to represent and assist the Asian community outside, as well as inside, the projects. To this end, he proposed replacing Community Service Officers with Community Liaison Officers (CLOs) who would be recruited for specific language skills (many spoke not only Hmong but other Asian languages as well): eventually, the position began to serve as an entry route into SPPD for Asians with the necessary language skills who were prepared to study law enforcement and train to become SPPD officers. When the CLOs showed how effective they could be in handling calls from persons who did not speak English well, a three way patch was established with ACOP and the Emergency Communications Center so that calls coming in from around the City that required any language assistance—Ethiopian, Russian, whatever—would be sent through to ACOP. CLOs could take time with the caller to determine whether an immediate response was needed, and then get back to the ECC. The Asian community throughout the City benefited, but so did speakers of many other languages.

Since ACOP began operating, most ACOP officers have actively sought assignment to the program: once in it, they become intimately involved with life in the housing projects. Monthly meetings with resident councils are held in each housing project, but ACOP officers are regularly involved as well in dispute settlement among residents, dealing with problem properties from which drug dealing or other illegal activity emanates (sometimes with the help of the FORCE Unit), general problem solving (for example, reducing the number of unauthorized guests on the properties), crime prevention, drug arrests, and running swimming programs, sports teams, and homework study for youngsters. Close involvement with residents gives ACOP officers access to information that enables them to monitor youth involvement in gangs, and in collaboration with the Asian Gang Task Force in the City and County (which began in ACOP), to work at reducing gang violence. As one officer describes:

…even though a lot of the gang members have moved out of public housing…they [the Asian Gang Task Force] know all the gang kids and all the gang kids know them, and it is because of their close working relationship in the community—the kids talk to them all the time. The kids are always turning in guns to them, when the kids get in trouble and they know they are going to be arrested, they page them at home, ‘come and get me.’ When their house gets shot up, before they call 911 they will either page us or call the task force guys off duty and say, ‘hey, can you help me? They are shooting at me, I have got squads outside my house and I do not know what to do,’ and it is because they know us, that is why it works.

Recently juvenile and adult probation have joined the Task Force and ACOP in their attempts to reduce youth violence.

Although ACOP is not responsible for families once they leave public housing, the relationships that ACOP officers form often last long after a family moves away. ACOP officers are frequently contacted by former residents, some of whose youngsters are involved in gangs, to assist when problems arise. They handle calls within the housing projects, with back-up from the district squads when necessary, and occasionally will respond to calls for service involving Asian citizens outside the projects. ACOP also works closely in planning two major yearly events in the City—the summer Soccer Tournament (held over the fourth of July), and the Hmong New Year celebration. The Soccer Tournament attracts thousands of Asians from throughout the country: SPPD’s success in reducing crime and violence surrounding the event in recent years has won much support from the Asian community in Saint Paul, including the Lao Family, which has worked hard to convince its members that they should cooperate with SPPD officers and set aside the fear of police that lingers from experiences in Southeast Asia. The Lao Family has also helped to recruit Hmong who are entering SPPD as community liaison officers, and has worked through ACOP to solve problems that arise between Asian residents and SPPD officers. For a time, the Lao Family provided training on Asian culture as part of the Police Academy for new recruits; this role has gradually been taken over by Hmong police officers themselves.

Many in Saint Paul see ACOP as the “flagship of community policing.” Its effectiveness is widely recognized: when a federal housing grant failed to materialize a couple of years ago, the Public Housing Authority polled its employees to ascertain where cuts should be made. One ACOP officer remembers that PHA employees, from managers down to line employees, responded by saying “you cannot cut ACOP,” and they laid off twelve people to save the program. ACOP officers themselves say the real benefit is “we have got time to work with the kids so they know us…and that makes a big difference. It is hard to measure prevention…but we know that when they do get involved…when there is a crisis, we become a resource then and are able to solve the issue, solve the crime, a lot faster because we know who the players are.”

FORCE (Focusing Our Resources on Community Empowerment) Unit

The FORCE Unit became a core component of community policing in Saint Paul in that it was designed to respond to public and safety priorities set by residents themselves, and in particular to reach out to neighborhoods experiencing drugs and drug-related problems. As one officer explains, “…people call us and know us by name, know more about us than they ever would if you drove around in a squad car. And you get to know them…. It’s truly community policing, what this unit does as opposed to anywhere else in the City, other than maybe a beat officer out there….”

FORCE was similar to (and some contend an outgrowth of) the Street Crimes Unit developed by Chief McCutcheon earlier in the 1980s. City Council President Bill Wilson was the first to learn about and investigate personally the Tampa, Florida, QUAD (Quick Uniform Attack on Drugs) Program that was initiated in 1989, and would provide the model for SPPD’s creation of FORCE. In reading reports of research on communities and policing, Wilson found a description of the Tampa Bay program, and went down alone to observe it. Soon after, he also went to visit an expedited drug prosecution program in Chicago in which:

…they could expedite the prosecution of and expedite. What I found different and interesting was…in Tampa the process had more to do with disrupting and not so much apprehending. I was interested to see if you could combine the two. But it turns out in St. Paul, of course, the prosecution’s done by the county attorney…so I talked with him (Foley) about how we could expedite processing cases when we got them. How do we insure that there are good working relations between the county and city—the county prosecutor’s office and the city’s police department? This was all before the program was created—kind of a mind’s eye of what could happen here. If we involved the FORCE officers without getting them all tied up in the court system, because they needed to be out in the streets not tied up…whereas the officers who do the final apprehension and confiscation of drugs—they could. So you had to have officers who would be willing to let other officers handle that kind of detail and give up the case…. And that’s something the department had to work out. And so that began to tie into the liaison between the FORCE unit and the substations.

When Finney became Chief, he had funding, but no extra staff for FORCE. He was able to use sergeants and officers from the Emergency Communications Center as a personnel pool, moving them out of the ECC and replacing them with tele-communicators who could be promoted to dispatcher. By December 1992, FORCE was up and running. Chief Finney appointed Lieutenant Gary Briggs as the first commander of FORCE, and was able to establish the (civil service) position of community crime prevention specialist, who would generate and coordinate more block clubs. Briggs recalls:

…one of the things that we learned from the block clubs was that the police department’s priorities were not necessarily the community’s priorities. We tend to focus resources towards the big cases, the big homicides, and all those kinds of things…and the community was interested in small things, the quality of life issues.… The thing they were telling us that they were most concerned about was narcotics and gangs….and we recognized that there are basically two groups out there. You have got the dealers that move big money…and all these small time kids on the street corner….What we were going to do was focus on those kids out selling the dope and coordinate with them [Narcotics] and free them up a bit so they could focus on the bigger players. We were going to work with the block clubs on the kids, and a number of other issues…some prostitution….

Three types of strategies were—and continue to be—employed. The first was crime prevention: initially, two crime prevention officers and three crime prevention coordinators (civilians) worked with citizens, neighborhood groups and the District Councils to organize block clubs throughout the City. A big part of the job is public education. By the end of 1993, 915 block clubs were active; by 1997, there were 1452. Adopting the Minnesota Crime Free Multi-Housing Program, FORCE has trained landlords, tenants and property managers to prevent and control illegal activity on rental property using the basic principles of CPTED. As part of Graffiti, Inc., which began in 1993, FORCE officers and crime prevention coordinators have taken the lead in a collaboration with private agencies, City departments, and citizen groups to abate and remove illegal graffiti, educate the community about graffiti vandalism, and identify and redirect taggers to legal environments for painting.

FORCE’s second strategy was targeting street level narcotics. For these efforts, FORCE has expanded from six officers in 1992 to 20 enforcement officers and three sergeants (one administrative and two who lead teams in Eastern and Western Districts, sharing Central) in 1997. From the beginning, Lieutenant Briggs made sure that his officers learned how to do search warrants as part of their routine activities. To facilitate receiving information from community members, officers carry pagers and give out their numbers so that they can be contacted directly.

The third strategy involved targeting and taking appropriate action on (or at times closing) problem properties by working with the Health Department, City agencies, and the County Attorney’s Office, and relying on nuisance abatement legislation as well as the excessive consumption of police services ordinance.29 FORCE employs a full time Housing Inspector to condemn, vacate, and close housing units, moving dealers and addicts out of neighborhoods, and requiring residences to be repaired and brought up to code or else they will be placed on the vacant building list for possible demolition. In 1995 the Saint Paul Tenants’ Union (SPTU) challenged FORCE’s practice of having a housing inspector accompany the police on drug raids, contending that innocent individuals were being mistreated during the raids, and that entire families were being forced out of their homes when a husband or boyfriend was found to be dealing. The matter was discussed on the City Council and with Chief Finney, who directed that the commander of FORCE meet weekly with the SPTU and Council representatives: an accommodation was reached with SPPD agreeing not to have the inspector accompany FORCE on drug raids, and for FORCE to produce a brochure advising tenants of their rights.30

Because so many of FORCE’s activities involve working with other City or County agencies, at the very beginning Lieutenant Briggs started monthly meetings in which FORCE officers would get together with individuals from agencies and departments all over the City, with a different host and presenter at each meeting. These meetings have been replaced by a more formal Information Exchange group, chaired by the Fire Department. Some reports suggest, however, that the informal setting of the previous meetings was more conducive to officers and other workers getting to know each other and sharing useful information. FORCE officers have sought and received training in CPTED and other strategies and skills useful to their specific activities.

How does FORCE interface with the rest of SPPD? On a day to day basis, as one officer reports,

We’ll get a call from Commander Sturner [of Central Patrol District] who says, ‘hey, there’s drug dealings at bus stops during the daytime when people are coming to and from work and coming downtown to shop. Can you guys do something about that?’ Well, we can, on a moment’s notice, we can gather enough resources and bodies to say that for the next two days, we’re going to work daytime hours at the bus stops and concentrate on this problem. Or if we get a call in a specific area, whether it be at the end of the month, beginning, or middle, if they’re having problems with street level narcotics or prostitution, we’ll get everybody together and we’ll do a street saturation and we’ll hit a particular area. We’ll do patrol, high calls for service areas, basically what we do as street beat officers in the unit, whatever problem it may be, we’ll go and deal with that in the community.

FORCE officers cooperate closely with the City Attorney on loitering and prostitution cases (one assistant city attorney is assigned to flag their cases, so that stay away orders are issued). FORCE also targets the Weed and Seed area—Railroad Island on the lower East Side (three new ones are starting up—another on the East side, and two in West—in which FORCE will also work). FORCE officers routinely field non-emergency calls from throughout the City—returning calls to people who have questions, doing background checks. And at times they are called out to respond to calls around the City.

FORCE officers report that one appealing aspect of their job is the high degree of discretion they are generally afforded by their supervisor:

He’s got twenty-two years, and I’ve got eighteen, and we love police work but there’s a point in time when, let’s try something different…. When I came in, it was fun because it was more challenging, we’re not so closely supervised. I have much more discretion on how to handle things, you have to be more creative…. It’s hard to work with a boss that cuts down the discretion, in this situation, because you’ve got so many different things to do…it’s kind of tough if you respect the people working for you, to make them clear everything you do with the Unit commander. Micro-management hems us in, because you can’t do what you want with the public. You can’t say the things that you think you should say.

A New Approach to the Community

With ACOP and FORCE in place, during the last half of 1992, after taking office, Chief Finney looked for other ways to immediately step up community policing efforts.31 One of his first acts was to assign desk officers to each of the City’s four team houses, making them available seven days a week: residents could now go to an officer right in their own neighborhood if they needed to speak with someone from SPPD. Additionally, tele-serve (crime reports by phone) was decentralized to allow for team office staffing.

Chief Finney took another important step when, some time later, two youths shot at each other in Town Square Park, in the skyway. Trouble had started several days earlier; then when the two saw each other by accident in the skyway, “all hell broke loose.” Bill Buth recalls: “I heard about it, and I don’t have any qualms about calling the station—these are my officers....” By the next morning, a meeting was scheduled for Chief Finney and several of his top management staff to meet with BOMA. “The words that went out were wild, and we make sure that we knew and understood exactly what the facts were.” Chief Finney called and said “This is what we’re going to do. Are you okay with that?” He filled Bill in, and “what he tried to say was, ‘while we can’t be everywhere, and you can’t expect us to stop these random acts of violence, we will respond with all the force that we’ve got in order to assure you of the fact that we’ve done everything in our power. And in fact we have.’”

For Chief Finney, it was crucial that he hear the concerns of business owners and residents alike, so that police responses could be developed before the concerns became larger issues. Business was not the only recipient of his overtures. The chief therefore assigned Chris Nelson, in Inspections, to network with advocacy organizations in the community. Nelson recalls, “it was at that point that I got involved with gay and lesbian organizations…. They had some concerns. [Earlier]…we were involved for many years with what we call now the Ramsey County St. Paul Police Department Mental Health round table…. We deal with mental health issues that impact upon police and mental health professionals…. Really, our major focus…was to reach out and work with these groups and be a conduit back into the Police Department.”

In 1994, Republican Mayor Norm Coleman took office after defeating former Mayor Scheibel. Originally from New York, Coleman had previously worked in the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office, as Solicitor General, and a policy advisor to the Attorney General on criminal matters. He helped start the DARE program in the state, and wrote much of the early legislation dealing with the prosecution of child abuse and violence against women. Although Mayor Coleman and Chief Finney differed in their political affiliations and views, their power bases and sources of support within the community often overlapped—Finney calls himself a “conservative Democrat,” and Coleman a “liberal Republican,” but the Chief also says he is fiscally conservative and liberal when it comes to diversity issues. Both have support from the business community.

Since 1994, Mayor Coleman has continued to come through with more police for the Department—adding funding for ten officers in 1995, eleven in 1996, and another fourteen in 1997. He holds strong views on where policing priorities should lie, but describes his actions as setting out a direction, rather than micro-managing SPPD:

I want tough, rigorous enforcement on gang members…. I want to see more police-community interaction. I want the police out on the beat. I want them in the street. I want to see aggressive enforcement. I work with the County Attorney very closely to deal with issues such as truancy, graffiti, that kind of stuff. So, what I do is…I am involved by very clearly and publicly setting a tone…. When mayors start running police organizations, they get in big trouble. It becomes political decision-making rather than good policy. I can’t tell you that I agree with every decision of my chief. I don’t have to. But I have confidence in his leadership and I will support him. I let the chief manage.

1993-96: Moving Into Community Policing – Organizational Changes in SPPD
Developing A New Mission

But in the simplest of terms, Finney’s own vision of this new mission requires “opening up” the Department—to women and minorities, to civilians, to media access and ultimately the public who want to know about it. Creating an organization that is more reflective of and responsive to the community by opening it up has meant changes in Planning, in Operations, and in Management.

To carry out this mission, SPPD would adopt “community policing” as its operational strategy. In recent Annual Reports, the Department has provided several statements of what it calls the “continually evolving concept of community-oriented policing.” In 1993, community policing was presented as “a philosophy of cooperation with, and service to the community. It recognizes that police departments and communities must work together to solve problems in the neighborhoods before they lead to serious crime” (p. 10). The next year it became “full service personalized policing where the same officer patrols and works in the same area on a permanent basis, from a decentralized place and interacts in a proactive partnership with citizens to identify and solve problems” (1994, p.14). By 1995, the Annual Report referred to SPPD as having “totally integrated the community-oriented policing philosophy.” Together these statements, along with the strategic plan and operations described below, suggest that SPPD not only seeks to represent and reflect the community, but views that community as a full partner, dynamic and motivated rather than passive, working with police not only in identifying but in solving problems.

Strategic Planning

Shortly after taking office, Chief Finney initiated a planning process in SPPD to formally implement community-oriented policing. Deputy Chief Ross Lundstrom oversaw the process and was instrumental in writing the first plan in 1993; it was then updated in January 1995, 1996, and 1997.33 The evolving document became both a guide for future development (into 1998), and an assessment of progress to date. It was organized around four questions: Where is SPPD now? Where does it want to go? How will it get there? How is SPPD doing?

Where is SPPD Now?

The 1996 plan (written at the end of 1995) began by setting out the Department’s strengths: SPPD and the community were fully aware of the impact of public safety on the local business climate; both the Chief and the Department had broad public support (including substantial commitments from public and private corporations and foundations); the City had strong neighborhoods (along with a small-town attitude and lifestyle) and a history of successful neighborhood-based policing programs; the Department had a reputation for professionalism and a stable workforce of highly educated sworn officers, many of whom stayed on for their entire career; and Saint Paul had a relatively low crime rate (although the arrest rates and incidence of violent crime were rising). The plan also cited weaknesses, such as resistance to change and the persistence of a hierarchical organizational structure that was not conducive to decentralized decision-making, communications problems and disparities in resources created by community-oriented policing, outmoded data processing technology and the need for resources sufficient to support increasing numbers of street officers, inadequate service levels of civilianized staff in the Emergency Communications Center, and a lack of coordination between SPPD and the Sheriff’s Office. Along with the opportunities arising out of the strengths, the plan noted that social problems such as a growing youthful population, and numbers of children living in poverty, posed threats for the immediate future.

Where Is SPPD Going?

Where did SPPD want to go? The plan set out a series of steps to take the Department through 1998: by that year, the Department would see “a substantially completed transition to a COP philosophy and structure” with “decentralized decision making, the majority of residents acquainted with their local team of officers, and problem solving as the primary policing strategy.” Effective communication between citizens and police (line officers, investigators), city government, and other law enforcement agencies would develop, buttressed by appropriate technology. Finally, as the Department changed its organizational structure to focus around Neighborhood Service Areas (NSAs, created in 1994—see below), officers would relate to “turf” rather than shift assignments. In creating the NSAs, the Department would build upon the structure of the seventeen districts and councils, which “serve as a catalyst for self-definition in each particular neighborhood and its interaction with the city as a whole…. The district councils have enthusiastically embraced the concept of COP and have played an important role as the philosophy has proceeded in its implementation.”

A Strategy for Getting There

To achieve SPPD’s mission, four implementation strategies were planned: comprehensive training of both sworn and non-sworn personnel in COP; involving neighborhoods in public safety decisions and maximizing police-community interaction; flattening the organization to a participatory, horizontal model; and implementing a communication system to support and manage the decentralized system. Both internal and external components of the strategies were laid out. Internally, training would focus on line supervisors and line officers; recruitment, reward, and field training would all reinforce COP by emphasizing creative problem-solving and neighborhood involvement; decentralization would proceed further as the Department replaced the four teams with three police districts (Eastern, Central and Western), each divided into Neighborhood Service Areas (NSAs) as the basic unit for delivering police services; support for decentralization would occur through the development of buildings, substations, communications and information systems and an infrastructure.

Externally, “the direct application of COP into each neighborhood has been the creation of the Neighborhood Service Area[s].” NSAs were delineated in consultation with community members: each contained one, or a combination of several, self-defined neighborhood(s), reflecting both perceived and natural boundaries. Five service areas were established in Eastern District, four in Central, and seven in Western: they varied in real size, population density, and calls for service, and therefore in numbers of officers assigned. Each district would be assigned one sergeant per service area, plus three additional sergeants to handle administrative tasks on the three shifts.

In addition to creating the NSAs, other external components included: managing calls for service by diverting them increasingly to district offices; re-educating citizens (including businesses) concerning new aspects of service delivery; exploring various opportunities for building partnerships within the community (for example, in Eastern District Commander Winger initiated meetings with security personnel in the Stroh Brewery and 3M companies); forming multi-agency collaborations such as the Mobile Crisis Team (MCT), which involves the Ramsey County Human Service Department, the Youth Service Bureau, and SPPD, and places teams of social workers on call for domestic crises in where a child is in need of immediate mental health intervention services; assisting block clubs and offering community justice education; operating a Citizen Police Academy and volunteer programs (such as Neighborhood Assistance Officers); and putting officers out in neighborhoods through Bike Patrol, substations, FORCE, and other COP programs.

How Is SPPD Doing?

Because no model was available to undertake a formal evaluation of community policing efforts as of late 1995, Department planners proposed assessing their efforts briefly, year by year: they continued this process through 1997, when SPPD began working with Hamline University Graduate School to develop and evaluation model that will be applied to the NSA program and structure.

Structuring the Organization for Community Policing

In 1997, SPPD had two divisions: Operations (including patrol, investigations, and some special units) and Support Services (which brings together a Services Section and another section that includes records, communications, and personnel). In addition, two smaller sections—administration, and proactive services, report directly to the Chief. In greater detail, these divisions and the Office of the Chief include:

Office of the Chief

Police/Civilian Internal Affairs Review Commission

Administrative Section

    Public Information Coordinator


    Internal Affairs

    Research and Development

    Asset Forfeiture


    Executive Aide-Accounting

Proactive Services Section
headed by Executive Officer

    Fleet/Parking Enforcement Officers

    Narcotics/Special Investigations

    Community and Volunteer Services (including crime prevention)

    FORCE (Focus Our Resources on Community Empowerment) Unit


    East Metro Gang Task Force

headed by a Deputy Chief

Patrol Districts*


Central Downtown Patrol, Park Rangers, and Downtown Beat)


Traffic and Accident

Mounted Police

Youth Services


School Liaison


Investigations CAPERS (Persons)


Sex Crimes

Field Referral Unit

(domestic abuse)

Investigations CAPROP (Property)


Auto Theft




Asian Youth Task Force


(Critical Incident Response Team)

*Each district headed by a commander.

Support Services Division
headed by a Deputy Chief

Services Section
Headed by an Executive officer

      Impound Lot

      Property/Central Supply

      Building Maintenance

      CSM (Communication Services and Maintenance)


      Records/Evidence (Crime Lab, Records, and Systems)

      Station Commander

      Emergency Communications Center

      Training (Training, Health and Wellness, Target Range, and Resource Center)

      Personnel (Personnel, Payroll, Employee Assistance Program)

Community Policing in Action: Operations


In 1994, the Department reorganized from four teams to three districts (West—with two offices, north and south; Central; and Eastern Districts), according to SPPD’s annual report “more representational of call loads among the areas, and providing a better balance of personnel and resources.” District offices have become centers not only for police activities, but for community involvement as well. For example, Eastern District’s new office, in the former Hamm’s Brewery Garage, opens its large community room on a regular basis to the local District Council, Boy Scouts, Merrick Community Center, block clubs, the Red Cross, and church groups.

Each district operates as if it were a small Department, with commanders exercising substantial autonomy in assigning personnel and directing activities toward particular problems. As Deputy Chief (of Operations) Al Singer explains:

Central, East and West [commanders] all have their own different leadership styles. Don Winger is Mr. Nice Guy…very mellow. He gets his stuff done subtly by suggestion as opposed to order or anything. And one thing about Don, he knows everything that’s going on in this community, and it’s not because he heard about it, but because he was probably there…. Now John Sturner delegates a lot…but Central is probably the most efficient team. They never fail to get in all of their work on time. I don’t care what the detail is, it’s done properly and very well. And as far as production per officer, Central probably has the highest of any District, as far as arrests and citations, and their community work is way up there…. Dick Gardell is different. Dick is an assertive guy, and he’s kind of like a hard charger running through, but Dick gets his stuff done, too. He certainly improved his officers in [their] taking the initiative and doing their job.

you’re in charge, and this is your District.... I try not to make personnel decisions and so on without their input. I try not to go into a program without their input. And so you develop that ownership—‘this is mine.’ The Commander feels proud of the District. We give responsibility to our patrol officers for specific areas throughout neighborhood service areas—again, this is mine, it’s the ownership thing.

Within districts, the trend has been toward decentralization, achieved with the creation of satellite offices, and Neighborhood Service Areas, through which policing services are delivered. Since 1993, when the first two police substations in over twenty years were opened (one on the East Side at Payne and Arcade; a second on Selby Avenue), SPPD has been continually expanding the number of satellite offices in the form of substations and storefronts. By 1997, twelve storefronts were operating: Central District had three ACOP offices and one storefront in the Mutual Building downtown; Eastern District had five; and Western District, three. In addition, there were four substations: the West Side; Downtown Beat (to which both SPPD officers and Park Rangers report);34 ACOP at McDonough; and the Canine Unit.

Not surprisingly, storefronts and substations have gained a lot of support from residents. One district commander explains:

One of the downsides of the storefronts is that everybody wants one, and we do not have the resources to do as many as we would like to, and sometimes the expectations are too high. There is real ownership, and at times we have had to adjust hours and people say no, you cannot change his hours, and we say yes, we can and we will, we need the coverage…. One officer who has thirty years on the job, transferred to another district for a couple of years, and recently came back [here]. One day, he said “you know, you don’t hear the calls along Payne Avenue or Third and Marion like you used to.” He noticed it…people wait for the store front officer to come around, they get hold of him by pager, and they know that he’ll be around. Each of the five storefronts is different, but they all have one theme. As I go to community meetings, it is how wonderful that police officer is.

The West Side substation, to which a sergeant and fifteen officers are assigned, is situated in a community that is largely Mexican. The sergeant, who grew up in the neighborhood, describes the area and how the station started:

A lot of them are old families that live here. They still hold their traditions, and speak Spanish…. There were a lot of problems where officers didn’t understand what some of the complainants were calling about, and vice versa, they didn’t understand what the officers were looking for. So, one of the things we started was a program with them where a large group of citizens got together and we looked for officers in the police department that could help them, that they could call their own…. They asked if they could have a substation down here…and if they could have Spanish-speaking officers…. Thanks to the commander, he was able to talk to some of the deputies and chief, and try to get some officers who spoke Spanish. The community just loved it—all of a sudden they weren’t afraid to talk to them.

…the officers have started to adapt to it. They feel that they’ve become part of the community. It’s not easy to do, especially if you don’t live in the area…the less you have to do with the people, if you just come here to work and head back out to the suburbs, the less you feel a part of the community. The more you interact, the more you understand community policing and the more you perform it unconsciously after while.

Within patrol, once a year officers bid for each of the three patrol districts, and shifts: they receive assignments on the basis of seniority. Officers work four-day weeks, with shifts of ten hours. The shifts have varied starting times: the day shift is 7 am to 5 pm; the afternoon shift has two starting times of 4 pm and 7 pm; the midnight shift starts at 10 pm. But supervising officers can vary these times as problems demand. The commander of each district assigns officers to specific Neighborhood Service Areas: it is not unusual for officers to remain in the same NSAs for years at a time.

Neighborhood Service Area (NSA) organization was begun as a prototype in Eastern District in 1994 under then Lieutenant Dick Gardell, and expanded throughout the City the next year. The NSA incorporates a well-defined neighborhood into a police service area. A complement of police officers and a supervising sergeant (who coordinates community-oriented policing activities) are assigned primary responsibility for each NSA. Each NSA sergeant has authority over all three shifts, and assigns officers to specific districts in the form of beats (which refer to foot patrol) or areas. Those NSAs that contain a storefront will have an officer assigned responsibility for its operation: the officer reports to the NSA sergeant. The goal in NSAs is for residents, businesses and police officers to get to know each other better, and to be able to work together on issues that affect the quality of life and public safety.

How have the NSAs affected policing? One officer describes a growing sense of identification with that turf, that geographical area, covered by the NSA:

Within the last four years, especially, it’s becoming a more formalized situation in that we not only have a supervising sergeant, but you have someone who actually is focused on a neighborhood service area no matter what the shift is—days, midnight, or afternoons—we’ve formalized more on the team area as complaints for information come in and then that is dispersed down to the officers on the street…if a complaint comes in from a sergeant, that neighborhood service area sergeant will actually get ahold of us and say, “hey, my colleague is working this area, I’ve been hearing this, can you tell me about it?” Then I can give him names, addresses, phone numbers, information…. I can say “this is the complaint….” If something’s really happening, it doesn’t take long to get feedback.

Officers report that the system (begun two or three years ago) of tracking information and police reports generated within an NSA in the District station (by computer) has been immensely useful for NSA officers. This information pool gives them an overview of what is happening in the NSA beyond their own individual beat. Patrol officers within one NSA also provide back-up for each other: “We’re all each other’s information chain, and if one is tied up, I can expect that I’m going to be sent there, too.”

All patrol officers are encouraged to do NSA “projects” that are essentially problem-solving efforts. To provide a permanent record, NSA projects are recorded on NSA worksheets, with documentation attached that chronicles the project’s progress and resolution. One officer maintains that the “process has always been there…we’re just probably documenting it a little more than we ever had to before.” Officers doing a project work through their sergeant if they need assistance, and can also go outside the District for additional resources. For example, if an officer needs help from the FORCE unit, s/he will have talked it over with the sergeant, but can also communicate directly with FORCE officers. As Deputy Chief Singer (of Operations) explains, “If it can be handled at as low a level as possible, that’s great.”

During 1997, NSA projects addressed such problems as: people congregating around a Mission and victimizing or harassing passersby; repeat burglaries at particular businesses; disputes between neighbors; juveniles gathering (loitering, skateboarding, blocking sidewalks, intimidating clientele) in business districts and raising concerns of store owners; theft from auto incidents in the downtown commercial area; and excessive noise and music coming from a particular residence in a neighborhood and disturbing neighbors.

In spite of the problem solving efforts undertaken by patrol officers, over the past few years, calls for service have continued to increase. Citywide in 1995, Operations responded to 181,739 calls for service, a 2.3% increase over the previous year; in 1996 officers responded to 188,360 calls.

Bike Patrol, begun in June 1993 in the Northwest and East Teams, now operates out of every district. The original bike team (Lucia Wrobleski and Tim Bradley) is based in Eastern District, although they have trained bike officers around the City. Community responses have been overwhelmingly positive—in the first week of the program, officers received dinner invitations from residents in the neighborhood. They are a known, and welcome, presence for citizens. Bike officers have chased down stolen cars, responded to calls, and made arrests: “One drug dealer who was arrested complained that it wasn’t fair for the police to use bikes because he couldn’t hear or see them approaching.”35 But they also spend considerable time on quality of life issues: with juveniles (educating them about bicycle safety, making certain that groups of young teenagers hanging around homes after school are not engaging in illegal activity, and teaching younger children Tim’s “rap” song on the bike cops!), checking on “hot spots,” tagging abandoned vehicles, warning individuals who blast music from cars or “boom boxes” to lower the volume. The officers who ride bike patrol claim that it is an essential part of maintaining their mental and physical health, and several say that it is a strong attraction for their remaining police officers.

Investigations and Special Units

In 1993, Chief Finney reorganized Investigations: since then, thefts, burglaries, and robberies have been handled by investigators (all of whom are sergeants) working out of the districts. Crimes against property, including fraud, forgery, arson and vehicle theft, are handled by investigators in the CAPROP Section that operates from downtown.

CAPERS, the Crimes Against Persons Section, combines homicides, sex crimes and serious assaults (with investigators working out of headquarters and doing all types of cases); and the Field Referral Unit, which is composed of two officers working on domestic abuse cases in the City Attorney’s Office. Sex Crimes merged with Homicide in 1996: because of the complexity of the different types of investigations, however, each is headed by a lieutenant. Homicide has been commanded by Lt. Joe Corcoran, since 1990. The clearance rate for homicides is approximately 85%, well above the national average, which Lieutenant Corcoran attributes to several factors. First,

we throw a lot of resources at the homicide: some departments send one or two investigators. I send three….Overtime is never a consideration. I’ve never been criticized for using too much overtime because the results show that we have to throw as many resources [as possible] towards the crime within the first 48 hours, because after 48 hours, the curve falls off on solving that crime. The community adjusts to the crime…within the first 48 hours, they’re willing to help you, to jump in. The suspect, after 48 hours, he or she justifies the crime…so they’re not as easy to get and then you get them, they’re not as easy to talk to.

Lieutenant Corcoran also emphasizes SPPD’s good relationship with the media, and a corresponding responsibility to the public. In contrast to the last administration, under Chief Finney, “we became very open with them. We recognized them then as a tool….We have solved quite a few crimes by using the media and we keep them informed. In fact we invite them to our homicide scenes.” On a small number of occasions, such as when the Section has been investigating a series of rapes, getting to the public via the media was deemed more important than apprehending the offender:

…public safety was more of a concern to me than apprehending him [the rapist]…you reach a point where you have to inform the public so that they can take steps to protect themselves….On the second incident [of rape] we went right away to the media…someone could come and say “had you told us, we may have not been raped,” and how do you justify that in your own mind?…It’s a balancing act…I’m victim oriented and if I can prevent victims from being victims that’s just as important as me arresting the people that are responsible.

When homicides do occur, an effort is made to help the families of victims: family members are kept up to date on what is happening all the time. “It really helps them to recover from that . . . it helps to give them closure . . . .” The Unit has a victim counselor, and the investigators also work with the families throughout the investigations. Homicide also sponsors the Victim Intervention Project (VIP), an advocacy program for survivors of homicide, suicide and accidental death victims.

During 1996 and 1997 the Sex/Child Abuse Crimes Unit, under Lieutenant Lisa McGinn, was gearing up for, and then implementing, community notification of sex offender releases, as prescribed by a Minnesota law mandating public information procedures on the whereabouts of released sexual offenders. SPPD is the lead agency in this process. According to Lieutenant McGinn, the Department’s handling of community notification is consistent with its approach of sensitivity to specific neighborhoods:

because we feel that community notification really fits with our vision of community-oriented policing, the chief granted me the ability to go forward and make a plan that incorporated doing verifications and doing community notifications…. We will handle community notification differently [in accord with state guidelines but tailoring them to] every different neighborhood in the City, because we know the personality of the neighborhoods. And if we don’t know it well enough, we’re going to go to the district council or some of the other agencies, or neighbors in that area, and say “what works here?”

For low level offenders (with less chance of recidivism), notification is made to the patrol areas and district commanders, or the lieutenants assigned in each district to work with the Unit, other law enforcement agencies, and the victims. As the level of potential risk goes up, district councils are notified, media notices go out, schools and groups around the City are contacted, and community (both educational—crime prevention—and informational) meetings may be held for high risk offender releases.

The Field Referral Unit is an investigative unit, located in the City Attorney’s Office, that screens and then prepares domestic violence misdemeanor cases in which no arrest was made. (Felonies are handled by the Homicide Unit, and prosecuted by the County Attorney). Sergeant Chris Nelson developed the program in its current form: assigned by SPPD to work in the City Attorney’s Office in a position that had been in existence for several years, primarily to do intake and follow-up with domestic assault situations where suspects were not apprehended at the scene. Nelson found that numerous impediments were placed in the paths of victims—and started working to eliminate them, by contacting victims, meeting and talking with them about their concerns, and telling them about the police/prosecution system. By Nelson making himself available, and accountable, to victims, more and more responded by coming in.

Today two SPPD sergeants carry out investigations, contacting victims and witnesses, and prepare the cases for as assistant city attorney assigned to handle domestic abuse cases. They also participate on multi-agency domestic violence committees and task forces, such as St. Paul Intervention. During 1997, approximately 43% of domestic cases in the City were occurring in Eastern District. Field Referral Unit sergeants provided domestic abuse training to patrol officers in that area, including orientation for a new domestic abuse project that was started in the district by Commander Don Winger. A small portion of the work of the Unit officers also involves reviewing supporting documents sent over from other SPPD investigative units for cases that the City Attorney has charged.

Overall, maintaining the flow of communications among the districts and downtown investigators in CAPERS poses the biggest challenge to investigations, according to Lieutenant Corcoran. In spite of weekly meetings attended by district lieutenants and the investigative units, Corcoran believes a crime analyst would also be helpful for compiling city-wide data. So far, the funds for such a position have not been available.

CAPROP: Property crimes investigations are split between the districts and the special unit that operates out of headquarters in which investigators have inter-district assignments. Regular communication across districts, and between district investigators and those operating out of headquarters, is the rule rather than the exception: every Thursday, all investigators from the districts meet at headquarters to share information; all unit commanders meet monthly in Operations Division management meetings; and some investigators and investigations are shifted from the districts, to headquarters, and back again to the districts, as appropriate. For example, tracking of auto thefts started out in headquarters, but recently has moved out to the districts.

In one district, patrol officers describe how they work with investigators assigned there: “Traditionally, investigations were separate from patrol, but now…we interact all the time.” “…rather than coming out at 4 pm and knowing by the time roll call is over, I’m not going to get down to headquarters…I can leave a note on someone’s desk, and know it is going to be followed up on.” “I can stop by the Lieutenant’s desk and say, ‘I’m not sure who has this report, but here is some unofficial information, here’s the rumors…or I can’t substantiate this information.” “The other thing that happens is that citizens often become really excellent sources of information and once they get to know investigators, just as with any police officer, they are just as comfortable calling someone and saying ‘I know you’re not handling this case, but you did a real good job with mine, and I just thought I’d let you know this so you can pool your information….’” “The response from investigations and community officers has been so positive in the community that we’re getting feedback from officers all the way up.”

VICE: In 1997, the Pawn Shops Project was on-line: all pawn shop transactions are reported electronically to SPPD. Using a shared database, the Automated Pawn Shop (APS) System, the Minneapolis and St. Paul Police Departments are able to search quickly for persons or things. APS is not self-sustaining at this time; however, the VICE/APS unit is adjusting the fee schedule so that it should be self-sustaining by the end of fiscal year 1998.

In the last two years, the Vice Unit has initiated two new anti-prostitution efforts. First, in 1995, SPPD collaborated with St. Paul’s housing code enforcement program in an operation to apprehend johns by setting up a bordello.36 In October 1997, in an effort to crack down on prostitution in the Frogtown area, the Department began publishing photos of alleged female prostitutes and men accused of being their customers on the Internet.

NARCOTICS/Special Investigations Unit (SIU): Narcotics and SIU are combined in SPPD because of the overlap recognized between narcotics, career criminal organizations, and violent criminal gangs. The Narcotics Unit targets mid- and high-level drug operations, as opposed to the street activity addressed by FORCE. SIU is responsible for intelligence gathering, centralized gang information, and career criminal tracking. Personnel from Narcotics and SIU are assigned to each district as liaison officers.

Narcotics/SIU supports district patrol and investigative officers in two ways: first, whenever a narcotics-related arrest is made by any district officer, the Narcotics Unit processes all “hold book” matters and manages the evidence. Hold book procedures include the initial charging process, interviewing the subject in custody, applying to a County Attorney to authorize charging, and subsequent review by a District Court Judge to facilitate issuance of a complaint specifying a warrant or setting of bail. Second, when the district handles a narcotics offense involving a serious drug trafficking operation or an organization that is beyond the capacity of the district to address, the Narcotics Unit adopts the case and conducts the investigation, using specialized resources available only to it.

One officer from the Unit is also assigned primary responsibility for processing all FORCE hold books, and managing associated evident. This agent interacts daily with the FORCE Unit to provide feedback and regarding matters such as training and conducting operations with the FORCE Unit. Where FORCE officers encounter a narcotics offense or organization requiring measures beyond their capabilities, the Narcotics Unit also adopts these cases.

SIU also assists district patrol and investigative officers with organized criminal activity, serial criminal offenses, and career criminal activity. SIU’s tactical capabilities enable it to conduct intercepts, conduct surveillance, and use informants; it also can make available sophisticated technical and electronic measures to assist district officers.

YOUTH SERVICES: Youth Services is far more than a special investigative unit. During 1996, under Lieutenant Gary Briggs, a group of pro-active FORCE officers served in the Unit; later that year, those officers were transferred to the East Metro Gang Unit, and Youth Services was moved from the Proactive Services Division into the Operations Division. Nevertheless, the Unit retains a proactive orientation. While investigators (a lieutenant and ten sergeant investigators) perform follow-up investigations on juvenile offenses, assist Homicide and Narcotics with their investigations, and serve as a general resource for other investigative units, the Unit is a repository for a large amount of background information on juveniles. It also provides officers for D.A.R.E., and the School Liaison program, and is involved in the county-wide Truancy and Curfew Collaborative. Youth Services officers work with the Ramsey County Juvenile Officer association, the County Judiciary Oversight and Warrant committee, the County Youth Gang Task Force (a collaborative chaired by a sergeant from the Juvenile Unit), the POST Board (to help write sections on juveniles and gangs), restorative justice groups, Graffiti, Inc., and they give presentations on various topics related to juveniles for community and professional organizations throughout the state.

Juvenile enforcement has been decentralized with the designation of one officer in each district as a probation liaison officer, and another as truancy officer—responsibilities taken on as a collateral assignment by the patrol officers involved. One sergeant in Youth Services is assigned as a liaison with probation in an enhanced probation project that focuses on the Asian community, and juvenile investigators are participating in a local replication of Boston’s Operation Night Light. The Unit’s nine School Liaison officers (SLOs) are assigned full time to sixteen middle and high schools, where their mission is to provide safety and security: they patrol halls, conduct premise checks, and maintain high visibility within the school. They are present when students arrive in the morning, and at dismissal in the afternoon. Although SLOs and juvenile investigators regularly attempt to target juveniles at risk of becoming offenders, during 1997 Youth Services was attempting to develop a formal county-wide program (and apply for grants to support it) that would bring together SPPD, school officials, probation, social service agencies and youth service providers, to monitor at risk juveniles and be prepared to refer and place young persons whose parents are unable or unwilling to control the juvenile’s behavior.

The Truancy Collaborative, involving the St. Paul School District and Youth Service Bureau—a program resulting from the Youth Collaborative Committee that SPPD coordinates, began in 1994 when a Public Schools Attendance Center for truants was set up as an attempt to reduce juvenile crime, particularly in the skyway. Youth Services’ School Liaison Officer program head was assigned to assist in management of the Attendance Center. A curfew component was added to the Collaborative (making it the Ramsey County Truancy and Curfew Center Collaborative) as it became clear that juveniles were increasingly becoming victims of crime after curfew hours (in 1995, juvenile cases were up 10% and juvenile assaults up 10.8%). In 1996, a Curfew Center was opened, several curfew sweeps were held, and investigations (leading to prosecutions by the County Attorney) began under the new curfew law that permits prosecution of parents who neglect their duties to educate children.37 In 1997 the Juvenile Unit was recognized nationally by the Office of Juvenile Justice Delinquency Prevention as a particularly innovative program for effectively addressing truancy problems.

MOUNTED POLICE and CANINE Units: Created in 1995, the Mounted Police Unit patrols throughout the City, particularly in the downtown area. Its new beat program in each of the three districts is viewed by the Department as an extension of its community policing efforts. Both Mounted and Canine Units have gained immense popularity with citizens in St. Paul. SPPD’s Canine Unit is a supportive unit for patrol, with at-large and district-specific assignments. It is also used to conduct building inspections. The Unit regularly wins the top spot in national canine unit competitions.

Support Services and Administration


In 1996 SPPD employed 768 persons, of whom 201 were female, 51 African American, 29 Hispanic American, 19 Asian American, 7 Native American, and 45 disabled.38 Of 571 sworn officers, 82 were females. (When Chief Finney took office in 1992, there were 21 sworn female officers.) This was the first year in which 50% of new recruits joining the Department were either minorities or women—17 women joined the sworn ranks, as did 6 individuals representing minority groups. The Department was under no court order. There were 73 resignations, and 36 changes in title took place.

RECRUITMENT and PROMOTIONS: Competition for jobs in SPPD is high. Applications are received from many officers currently serving in other departments, including Minneapolis. Several programs provide stepping stones into the Department for those who do not qualify for immediate entry: in addition to the Parking Enforcement Officers program (started by Finney in 1986 to help minority youth enter SPPD), the Park Rangers and Community Liaison Officers are also programs that provide entry opportunities for individuals wishing to study law enforcement and become police officers.

In 1996, there were 21 lieutenants; 10 commanders; and 2 deputy chiefs in SPPD. Sergeants and above have civil service tenure (except for the Chief and Deputy Chiefs, who do not), but the Chief has flexibility in assigning even ranking officers to patrol or special units. Of 140 sergeants, 70 are supervisors, while the others are investigators. Job openings are publicized department-wide, along with criteria to be applied in the selection process.39 A career opportunities sheet is also circulated. Candidates are interviewed for special openings, and the Chief is concerned with identifying and bringing especially talented individuals up to work in different areas. For imminent promotions, the Chief has recently used a problem-solving task as part of the selection process. For example, when the last promotions for sergeant occurred, there were five candidates for three openings. Chief Finney asked for recommendations from candidates on how best to address theft from auto, which was up in the downtown area. Each candidate presented to him orally—one particular officer was especially impressive in the problem solving, and as a result, got the promotion and the job of developing the project itself. She proved herself quickly: after speaking at a monthly meeting for business groups downtown in the skyway in August, she received immediate calls from numerous companies asking how they could facilitate the project; she is now working on it city-wide.

SPPD has a low yearly attrition rate, most of which is due to retirement. About 10% of candidates are lost in the academy and through field training. Traditionally, entering officers stayed in the Department for twenty-five to thirty years or more, through most of their professional lives. This may be changing, however, due in large measure to a 1994 pension plan change, when a private retirement system was dissolved and officers joined the Public Employees Retirement Association. The old system set benefits for everyone from Chief to patrol officer at 40 or 50 percent of a standard police officer’s top annual salary. Under the new system, benefits are based on the five highest earning years (including overtime), multiplied by about 3 percent for each year of service. The limit for most is 100 percent of the average of the five highest years. In addition, benefits are portable to other agencies. In 1997, 17 officers retired; 15 did so the previous year, and 16 in 1995. Virtually all older officers will be eligible for full benefits by 1999, when the Department expects that only about one third of its remaining officers will have spent ten or more years with the force.

TRAINING UNIT: In the first full year of Chief Finney’s administration (1993), every sworn officer and civilian employee attended a multi-day training session with consultant Chris Braiden, retired superintendent of the Edmonton Police Department, in community-oriented policing. Later in the year, SPPD also held a community policing reception in which city leaders and residents were invited to hear Braiden as well.

Training standards overall have continued to become more rigorous and demanding over time in SPPD. The Minnesota Peace Officer Standards & Training (POST) system requires every new officer to have at least a two year associate degree and twelve weeks of skills training. Current SPPD recruits are then required to undergo 14 weeks of training in the Academy, plus 14 weeks in the Field Training Officer program. The curriculum of the Academy, along with specific skills and legal training, includes cultural studies focusing on several different ethnic groups living in Saint Paul, including Asian, African American, and Hispanic components, as well as classes conducted by the County and City Attorney Offices and social service providers. Of the approximately 385.5 hours of instruction, about 78 hours are devoted to COP, including an eight hour segment dedicated to problem solving. Field Officer Training also focuses (in part) on COP through participation in COP projects, attendance at neighborhood meetings and working with residents. In 1996 40 new police recruits graduated from the Academy—the largest in 19 years.

SPPD officers also must complete sixteen hours per year of continuing education, also referred to as in-service training. The specific training offered varies from year to year, but always includes training in weapons proficiency, since SPPD officers are required to qualify eight times a year. In addition, during the last year, the Ramsey County Domestic Abuse project offered presentations, as did the Homicide Unit, the Crime Laboratory, K-9, and the Gang Unit; in addition, a simulated “officer survival skills” exercise was conducted for all personnel in the Department. (SPPD is one of three to four agencies that the State POST Board has approved as an accredited sponsor for CE credits.) In addition to this required in-house instruction, individual officers take numerous classes at other local and national institutions and facilities. The Department favors this approach of encouraging officers to select courses of interest to them individually or that they find would be useful to the specific job they are doing. During 1996, approximately 11,000 credits were taken by SPPD officers.

Finally, the Department has created the Professional Development Institute, bringing in professionals from throughout the country to teach in training programs held at SPPD that are offered to officers from throughout the region. This arrangement defrays the costs for SPPD officers who attend these sessions as well. PDI series topics in 1996-97 included Street Safe (officer survival), a graffiti symposium, background investigations, Reid technique of interview and interrogations, workplace violence, supervision of police personnel, risk management, peer support training, Field Training Officer, and critical incident/SWAT.

VOLUNTEER SERVICES: Saint Paul Police Department’s volunteer programs are decades old. The Neighborhood Assistance Officer program began in 1976 after the Department’s Research and Development Unit studied the NAO program in Dayton, Ohio. Its creation was sanctioned by the City Council. The NAO program is based on the assumption that citizens themselves can make a large contribution to preventing crime by assisting police officers in non-enforcement types of activities. NAOs are trained citizen volunteers who assist police in the neighborhoods in which they live: they watch houses when people go on vacation, do home security checks and tell people how to secure their houses, go on detail to special events (a church rummage sale, bazaar, or fair). They might also monitor troublesome youth in neighborhoods. Police Reserve Officers direct traffic and are assigned to special events for crowd and traffic control. This program dates back to World War II. Both NROs and NAOs must complete the Citizens Police Academy, and are further trained by the Community Services Unit of SPPD. They do not carry weapons or engage in actual law enforcement activities.

INTERNAL AFFAIRS: Prior to this decade, Internal Affairs used to review all complaints against police officers, including not only formal complaints, but lower level accusations of rudeness or unsatisfactory behavior. Late in the 1980s, this was changed: in order to eliminate what seemed to be too much of a “them against us” image, with the Department lining up against citizens, resolution of lower level complaints was moved to the Districts. IA then coordinated all investigations, with lesser complaints taken care of at the District level by the Commander, who was responsible for investigating and writing the letter to the citizen, responding to the complaint. If complaints are made repeatedly against the same officer for the same type of incident, the Commander will usually take some action. The process therefore has moved closer to community level resolution.

The Commission is made up of five civilian members (appointed by the Mayor) and two police representatives (members of the Police Federation, chosen from within SPPD and presented to the Mayor) who served for three year terms. It is charged with reviewing serious allegations of misconduct by members of SPPD—excessive force, improper conduct, improper procedure, inappropriate use of firearms and any other complaint referred to it by the Mayor and/or Chief of Police. Completed Internal Affairs investigations of police misconduct are reviewed by the Commission, which recommends a final disposition, and disciplinary action when warranted, to the Chief.40

There has been no significant change in numbers of complaints filed and reviewed over the last few years. In 1996, Internal Affairs reviewed 114 cases; there were 58 charges involving use of force and 56 non-force; final dispositions resulted in 30 unfounded allegations, 27 not sustained (insufficient evidence), 38 exonerated (lawful and proper act), and 19 sustained. There were 17 firearms review dispositions, only one of which was found not justified.

Emergency Communications Center (ECC) and Technology (Records/Evidence)

ECC: Late in 1992 the ECC was civilianized, and all sworn police officers were reassigned to patrol functions. Sergeants remained in the ECC as supervisors, while twelve new dispatchers were hired and trained. For the next two years, incoming calls continued to increase: in 1994, there were 1.16 million incoming calls, a 6% increase over 1993. ECC generated 191,653 calls for service. By 1996, incoming calls were up 4% to the ECC, with 188,360 calls for service generated. Dispatch uses a five-tiered priority ranking system: priorities 1 (officer down, or needs immediate assistance) and 2 (crime in progress or urgent matter) for immediate dispatch; priority 3 (domestics, suspicious persons, accidents without injury) for 15 minute response time; priority 4 (offense reports with no suspect present or threat, non-emergency matters) for 45 minute response time; and priority 5 (miscellaneous requests, barking dogs, loud parties, parking complaints) for 1 hour.

RECORDS/EVIDENCE: The challenge for SPPD in decentralizing so many of its operations has been how to ensure access to information and facilitate the flow of information across districts and between the districts and centralized units, to all personnel. In 1993, terminals were placed in and computer links were upgraded with the four team houses so that each Team had a link with the CAD system (which had been put in place in 1988); a new system was also added so each team could track incidents and look up warrants and criminal histories of suspects. The tele-serve system was moved out to the team offices, making it possible for property crime victims to file a police report and obtain necessary documents for filing insurance claims there. At the same time, a system was designed for department-wide access to intelligence information. In 1994, the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Department took over the management of the IDENT (Criminal Histories and Identification) Section, which was a consolidated SPPD/County Unit, freeing up SPPD officers for other assignments.

Since 1995, the Records Unit has obtained a number of grants enabling it to further develop and modernize various functions, and to move toward providing greater access to information electronically. In 1995, it received $890,000 in federal grants (BJA and COPS) to upgrade and computerize the report process over the next two years. The next year, the Unit received three federal grants to update the MDT system, develop an Internet presence, and build an “intranet” within the department.

SPPD’s crime statistics are collected now in an automated Single Incident Tracking System (SITS). They are coded and entered into a database that allows queries by address, name incident type, and other subjects. The City is divided into 200 grids: advanced analysis is conducted by grid, and through combining grids, by neighborhood. All data for SITS are contained in an Oracle database, and during 1997, SPPD was completing the conversion of all inquiry commands into a Windows based Delphi graphical user interface, as well as further automating the incident reporting process, and placing more information on-line for use by city and county attorneys as well as SPPD.

What have these technological innovations meant to line officers? All SPPD Officers have access to all Department information systems—for example, master name information, complaint information, criminal history, warrant information are all easily available. Patrol officers in squad cars can use MDT terminals to obtain wanted person, vehicle registration, and stolen vehicle information. One officer who is not particularly keen on “community policing” nevertheless finds that the new systems save him work, and enable him to cooperate with his team in getting out to respond to citizens more quickly:

What’s nice about the mobile dispatch terminal is that you don’t have to be constantly writing down addresses…but the big thing is if you do have a little spare time and you want to clear up your calls, you can pull up the pending calls in a certain area, and you can take those before you even dispatch. A lot of us will do that. We’ll pull up these calls…we can get in there, get the report, move to another call and take it before we even dispatch…. When it’s a team effort and everybody is doing their share to clear up their calls…[we] have them cleared so that we’re available if something happens.

Research and Development/Grants (COPS Grants)

Research and Development has been an important resource to Chief Finney, as it was to Chief McCutcheon before him, for gathering information on innovative policing practices around the country. Chief Finney has used the Unit much more, however, for successfully obtaining grant funding—from federal, state, local, and private philanthropic sources. Through the end of August, 1997, SPPD had applied (during that year) for 27 grants totaling over five million dollars, and had already been awarded 14 (totaling nearly 2.5 million), denied 3, 11 were pending.

GRANTS: COPS funding began in SPPD in 1993. The primary grant writers were the civilian heads of Research and Development--Stacey Becker, later replaced by Carrie Wasley—guided by Deputy Chief Ross Lundstrom, who also did the strategic and group planning for community policing. COPS grants (along with BJA grants) have provided resources to SPPD to support development in several areas: hiring of additional personnel for community-oriented policing; support for technological infrastructure development (that results both in enhanced communication and information management, and in freeing up officer time for greater involvement in problem solving and other activities associated with community policing); directly funding problem-solving activities; and training.

The following BJA/COPS federal grants have been received:

BJA Police Supplemental Hiring Stabilization Grant (1993, $750,000 for three years). As a lead-in to some of the COPS grant-funded activities, this grant provided SPPD with ten additional law enforcement officers to be used in the Citygrids (precursors to the NSAs).

BJA Automation Grant (1994, $200,000): SPPD received funding to design and implement an integrated communication system (a computer network).

Community Oriented Policing II: COPS Network II (1996, $200,000). This grant extended the BJA Automation Grant, to further enhance the network and create remote access capabilities, intranet development, and access to internet information.

Community Policing: COPS More Technology (1995, $658,082). SPPD received funding to develop an improved Records Management System, specifically computerized report taking and data management and electronic transmission of police information for case management.

Community Policing: COPS Ahead Officer Hiring Supplement (1996-98, $1,050,000 for three years). Hiring fourteen new officers.

COPS Problem Solving Partnership Grant (1997, $89,250). A Problem Solving Partnership Grant was received in 1997, to form a collaborative (ENABLE) that would use the SARA model to address the problems of increasing levels of victimization, and accompanying fear, among Southeast Asian business owners (specifically, harassment by gangs and youth, and repeat victimization, arising in part from cultural differences) along the University Corridor. The grant was just starting up in the fall of 1997.

Community Policing: COPS More Technology II (1997-98, $677,945). SPPD will convert from mobile data terminals to CDPD technology, replacing MDTs with a wireless infrastructure that would create interactive data transmission in squad cars. It would permit the redeployment of 27 FTEs. This grant had just been finalized as of the end of 1997, and involved a determination by the City that it could contribute 25% in matching funds.

In addition to receiving these grants, in 1997 SPPD (through the City of Saint Paul) received $995,000 in COPS funding, along with the Minnesota League of Cities and the Minnesota Community Policing Institute, to establish a COPS Regional Training Institute, thereby expanding and enhancing the activities of the existing Minnesota Community Policing Institute, which offers statewide training and technical assistance program. Former SPPD Commander Don Winger left SPPD late in 1997 to assume the directorship of the Institute. SPPD also received $1,000,000 in funds as a designated COP Demonstration Center.

Grant funds have proved significant for allowing Chief Finney flexibility, discretionary action, and the opportunity to try out new ideas and programs that have enhanced SPPD’s development and reputation as a center for community oriented policing regionally and nationally, as well as locally. Grants enable him to develop the Department in line with his own priorities, independent of funding from the City; at the same time, raising grant funds indicates to the City Council and Mayor that SPPD is making a good faith effort to minimize the burden placed upon the taxpayers by policing operations. Chief Finney states unequivocally that he could not have done what he wanted to without these grants. First, the additional monies available to supplement hiring has been crucial: “They have been absolutely indispensable: I could not have developed the Department or been flexible in terms of designing my vision for service in the City without the money that’s been there.” Finney notes that when Norm Coleman became mayor, Coleman’s stated goals were to increase services while cutting costs and reducing personnel. Bill Finney contends that without grants, he would have been unable to conform to the constraints imposed by these goals without sacrificing community-oriented policing programs in the City.

I could not have done it or been responsible at all. The first casualty would have been FORCE. It would have been gone, which would have created a greater crime problem inside the City of St. Paul. I would not have had the additional police officers. Police officers are expensive…. I’d probably still be standing at 512 or 519—I still feel St. Paul should be somewhere around 650 or 700 police officers…. FORCE is absolutely crucial in terms of doing patrol servicing in depth. Street officers that answer calls, 911, don’t have the time to go out and work on problems. FORCE, even though it’s a small unit, works on problems and has such a large impact on neighborhoods.

But Finney also recognizes the importance of grant funding in developing the technology that is required to support COP, and ultimately, to fulfill his vision of community-oriented policing: “If you are going to have any kind of coordinated command and control—in terms of the philosophy of the Department, to be more reflective of and responsive to the community we serve—the only way you can do it is to have the technological means to communicate that simultaneously.”


The breakdown for the most recent budget available, 1997, is:

Total SPPD Budget: $54,225,794

Funding Sources:

Chief’s Office (including Administration): $ 9,276,662

Support Services $11,953,837

Operations $32,995,295

Actual expenditures are either at or slightly below these figures.

Management for Community-Oriented Policing: Opening Up the Organization

Among his most significant contributions to the Department’s community-oriented policing efforts, Chief Finney cites his recruitment and advancement of greater numbers of minorities, women, and civilians, and increasing communication and participation among all these groups within SPPD. As Finney says, “From the smallest to the biggest things, from the lowest levels, even civilians need to know what is going on in the Department.” The Chief makes clear that he is talking not only about situational communication—he consults directly with district commanders when some type of planned action is required, soliciting their views; he then makes the decision and action is taken through them. Beyond this, however, in terms of communication and participation, Finney wants to increase the flow of information and access to job opportunities throughout the Department. Job openings are posted for sworn and non-sworn positions. Chief Finney has tried to break down walls between sections—such as among detectives (Capers and Caprop), and across districts. Finney came up as uniformed officer, out on the streets, and he recalls that detectives didn't talk to street officers much. He wants them out there together, talking as partners, to citizens.

Chief Finney also sees a contribution that non-sworn employees can make to the Department, and to management. His Management Team consists of 46 individuals, and includes both sworn and non-sworn managers from various levels within the Department. The Chief’s Administrative Team of six includes the two deputy chiefs, his civilian aides, and the Public Information Coordinator. Ensuring diverse composition is deliberate on his part, for it affords him the opportunity to hear views from both sworn and civilian sources. Because he values the input of civilians, Chief Finney has sought to increase civilian career choices in the Department. He civilianized the position of head of the Research and Development Unit, added the responsibility of grant writer to the position, and hired two females in succession to run it. His administrative assistant, Amy Brown, who held the same position under Chief McCutcheon, has recently become the third civilian female head of Research and Development, adding the responsibility of overseeing Fiscal Affairs as well. Finney views her as a key staff member, and has succeeded in changing her post to a civil service position.

Other changes in management that Chief Finney has made have been more directly related to his need to consolidate authority after taking office, bring together a management group that would help plan and implement his own vision of policing, and then move the Department more formally into community policing. Finney has made more than one round of changes in deputy chiefs and commanders of the districts. As Deputy Chief for Support Services, Ross Lundstrom played a central role in the strategic planning process that Chief Finney initiated soon after taking office; once the initial planning was completed, Finney moved Lundstrom to the position of Deputy Chief of Operations, where he implemented several of the community policing tactics that had been planned—in particular, development of the NSAs and several storefronts.

In line with his goal of decentralizing SPPD, Finney collapsed the departmental rank structure from the top down: between 1992 and 1997, he reduced the number of deputy chiefs from three to two, commanders from sixteen to eleven, and lieutenants from 26 to 22. Sergeants remained at a consistent level of 140 (with half supervisors and half sergeant/investigators). Additionally, the Chief placed a number of new supervisors in key positions, selecting those who had, in the words of one, “deep roots in the community,” and giving them orders to “breathe fresh air” into pre-existing programs that Finney thought could be more effective in responding to and working with citizens.

A central element of Chief Finney’s management style has been to emphasize the patrol officer: as one staff member comments, “if we get new cars, they go to patrol. Any of the latest equipment goes to patrol.” As some supervisory staff have noted, it is possible in SPPD to remain “in uniform and get to the top”—that is by working primarily in patrol—although most supervisors have moved throughout the organization, gaining experience as investigators and in Support Services as well as patrol while they moved up in rank. Finally, unsolicited comments from several officers suggest that the Chief displays sensitivity to and concern for the well-being of his line officers off the job as well as on, in matters that affect their families and health as well as productivity as police officers.

In fact, most issues taken up by the Federation are managerial, involving labor-management conflicts. The Federation, in the words of one officer, has a “strong history of doing a lot of negotiations with our Chief and [we] haven’t had a lot of conflict over many issues.” There are no substantive issues currently under dispute other than the current contract: during 1997, federation members were still working under the 1996 contract because of disagreement over finance issues.

Policing Saint Paul in 1997

The Community and Private Sector

…we have an Afro-American chief that I have seen deal with problems in an Afro-American setting that I couldn’t deal with. They hurt, they listened, they understood. It wasn’t some foreigner walking in there and trying to schmooze them over a little bit. By the same token, he’s come down and dealt with a predominantly white central business district and he’s told it the way it was. We may not have always liked what we got back but there’s always that old story that you can certainly disagree without showing disrespect. And I can’t think of anything that we haven’t mutually agreed upon.

Business leaders know that they have continuous and direct access to the police at every level—for example, all skyway officers carry business cards and voice pagers that allow community members to have direct and immediate contact with an officer at any time. Furthermore, business is taking its views to city government, determined “that the city fathers understand the complexities of the job that they [the police] have . . . and it’s going to get more complex. [We want]…to make sure that the finances, the dollars are there to be able to keep the strength of the department where it should be.”

While there have been some questions raised about whether Chief Finney has concentrated too much on building ties to the business community at the expense of neighborhoods, this view is by no means universal. And community support for SPPD extends far beyond business backing the Chief: for all members of SPPD, one series of events in 1994 seemed to crystallize the esteem in which they are held by Saint Paul’s citizens. When two police officers and a working SPPD dog were killed by an offender that summer, the entire City mobilized, and there was a citywide outpouring of anguish, sentiment, and emotional support. Even the crustiest of officers recalls with today the community’s very genuine and positive response; perhaps the least surprised by it were those officers who had been working closely with citizens in neighborhoods—Larry McDonald, Dan Carlson, ACOP and FORCE officers.

One issue facing SPPD now in its relationship with citizens is what to do about changing crime patterns in the City. As crime shifts over to the East Side, and demographic changes there make more low-income housing available, the big question is: how can and will SPPD (and the City) respond? Will citizens be willing to allow some substations or storefronts close so that others can be opened in higher crime areas? How can SPPD move services ahead of the curve, respond to changing demographics, and prevent neighborhoods from seriously declining?

Local Government and Criminal Justice Institutions

In spite of any divergence in priorities between the City and Chief Finney over the appropriate size of SPPD, relations remain essentially positive between the City and the Police Department. As one city official relates,

There have been few incidents of police brutality or even acting out, and virtually none of these have occurred at an arrest scene. Everybody has allegations, occasionally, but there has been little of this. There’s been a good strong sense of discipline in this department, of controlling its behavior and its arrest situations. And that makes a tremendous difference, because the people who you’re looking for to communicate with you are the neighbor of, the cousin of, the friend of, the associate of, or some kind of relationship to people who become offenders. In campaigns and mayoral races, the issues become contracts, salaries, benefit plans…but no one runs on the bad behaviors of the police department.

These comments were made during the same week in September, 1997, that the City Council approved a $225,000 settlement with a plaintiff who alleged police brutality after a chase scene in which SPPD was involved. This was the first major use of force suit in many years. Nevertheless, city attorneys as well as City officials reported that the process was not acrimonious, but characterized by cooperation—from the Chief, litigators, internal investigators, and Internal Affairs—and resulted in the best possible result for the City.

By all accounts, Saint Paul is a city in which innovation and new initiatives in criminal justice and public safety are being pursued, and led, by many actors—the City Attorney, County Attorney, the Mayor, the Probation Department, and SPPD. As one assistant county attorney explained,

…we have to look at what the community needs are as far as how we are going to structure and services we are going to provide, and depending upon what the particular issue is, certain agencies will take the leadership role. And secondarily, it depends on who is running that agency as well…. People are leaders, systems are not…. A lot of police initiatives in Ramsey County may not have taken place under the former police chief but they are now.

Within the City and County, SPPD is continuing to play a leading role in devising new collaborative efforts. It is not only Chief Finney himself, but several in SPPD top management who are taking the initiative. During 1997, SPPD’s three district commanders not only led their districts, but were serving as representatives of SPPD city-wide, and undertaking projects in line with their own experience and interests. Commander Richard Gardell was trying to initiate a joint effort with the Sheriff's Department, County Attorney’s Office, and state and social service offices, to create an intervention program for female offenders (women charged with drug possession) and their children—the idea was to move the family into a controlled, safe environment, provide counseling, treatment, and other services, and help “turn the family around.” Commander John Sturner was working with the state on developing helicopter patrol for the metropolitan area. Commander Don Winger was taking the lead in a domestic abuse pilot project, working with the City Attorney and Mayor’s Offices to create a domestic abuse unit in Eastern District and train officers to work with it.

SPPD is also participating in Minnesota Heals, a collaborative that began in Minneapolis with the goal of addressing the high homicide rate in that City, motivated in large part by Honeywell and other corporations that were considering moving their corporate headquarters. Honeywell was joined by representatives of other businesses, the faith community, schools, both Minneapolis and Saint Paul Police Departments, the U.S. Attorney, county attorneys, federal criminal justice agencies, and local activist groups. With assistance from PERF (the Police Executive Research Forum) in setting an agenda and taking initial steps in a problem solving effort on the order of Boston’s gun project and Operation Ceasefire, the collaborative brought in David Kennedy, of the Program in Criminal Justice at the Kennedy School of Government, who was asked to do a study of homicides in the City. Following the study and implementation of new tactics in Minneapolis, homicides declined 42% in 1997 over 1996. The focus of the collaborative is now shifting to narcotics.41

The City Attorney’s Office

Current City Attorney Peg Birk came to the job in February of 1997 from civil practice. Reports from attorneys in her Office and SPPD suggest that a positive and constructive working relationship has been maintained since Chief Finney took office. There are a number of areas of mutual interest, in which SPPD officers and assistant City Attorneys are collaborating closely: first, domestic violence unit attorneys are working with the domestic violence project in Eastern District, helping to train officers in videotaping and gathering evidence from domestic abuse victims. Second, the Office has sent attorneys to be housed and work with some special SPPD units—first with FORCE—and attorneys from screening/charging rotate at the Homicide Unit at SPPD headquarters. The goal is to make these attorneys available to many officers who might have legal questions, and to expand opportunities for communication between the attorneys and police officers. Assistant city attorneys who prosecute misdemeanor cases, including domestic violence, are required by their supervisor to ride with police regularly; they have also benefited from having SPPD’s Field Referral Unit officers present in their office:

…we are very dependent on them, and having them close by is wonderful because they answer a lot of police questions that the attorneys have as well—how do we get this information, what does this record mean? They have access to all of the police records as well, we get criminal histories from them, if we need a victim picked up for a jury trial they call and get the squad. It has just been crucial having that link, and it has really opened up the communication between the police department and our office by working has broken down a lot of the stereotypes we have of each other…we have become trusting of each other. It is also very effective to have someone in the Field Referral Unit go to [domestic violence] training…and talk about why it is so important for [officers]…to put certain information in the reports…it is not just some attorney sitting up in an ivory tower “who does not know what we do out on the street”—it makes a big difference.

The positive relationship between police and city attorneys seems to facilitate problem solving rather than casting blame: when a number of citations were dismissed by assistant city attorneys in 1997, and SPPD did not feel this was justified, one of the deputy chiefs met with an assistant city attorney. It soon became clear that one of the problems was an overload of work for that office. So the Chief offered a sergeant for three months to work with the city attorneys, helping to clear up some of the backlog. The deputy chief also asked that tags that were going to be dismissed be sent to him for review so that he could identify the problem, pass the documents along to the districts where the officers and sergeants involved could correct the problem, and improve the quality of police work.

The Ramsey County Attorney’s Office

Current County Attorney, Susan Gaertner, a Democrat, is serving her first term, and is up for re-election in 1998. Gaertner is generally reputed to have broken from the more traditional reactive focus of her predecessors, and to be both innovative in her own right and sympathetic to SPPD’s community policing efforts. In two areas of common interest the County Attorney’s Office and SPPD have formed an active and ongoing alliance: first, assistant county attorney Patrick Hest works with the FORCE Unit to close down, or abate nuisances on, problem properties. Under the state nuisance abatement statute, two nuisance events in a year (two drug violations, two warrants where drugs are recovered) are sufficient grounds for commencing a suit to abate the nuisance through loss of use of the property for a year, even though the owner must continue to pay taxes. Another joint effort is the Gun Suppression Program, which began in 1995.

SPPD: Looking to the Future
Operations: the View from the Line

How do line officers and first-line supervisors experience policing in Saint Paul today? Sergeants report one big change in the organization that is apparent on the streets: officers didn’t used to be trusted with telling the “company line;” the Department didn’t want them telling citizens what the police were going to do. “Now they kind of trust police officers a little bit more to go in and say, ‘Well this is the plan.’” Supervising sergeants also report that they see officers initiating more action—“…you don’t have to be a sergeant or lieutenant to see what needs to be done. Now they’re there [officers] and they’re talking to people. People are telling them what the problem is, and ‘okay, what are you going to do for me?’ Now they have the opportunity to come up with their own ideas, rather than me just saying ‘go do this.’”

And the change in what line officers can do produces new demands from citizens. Sergeants hear the reports:

…there is a lot of feedback from these people that you go out and meet with and talk to, because if an officer tells them something, they expect that level of service…. Sometimes you get feedback from them saying that the level of service they got exceeded what they originally requested and they would like to compliment the police department, or in particular some of the officers they dealt with. Or their level of service…didn’t meet their expectations, so maybe we can have another meeting….

For some line officers who have been on the streets for twenty to thirty years, today’s “community policing” is but another name for team policing, and it ultimately depends upon the availability of sufficient numbers of patrol officers :

When you talk about team policing and the other things, you can look at it at different levels—the patrolman [who] actually does the work, the level of the sergeants and lieutenants, and all the way…to the top. Each level has a different…concept [as] to what team policing is…. I’ve gone through all different types of programs they’ve had. This team policing, it’s a fine idea I guess if you’ve got the manpower, and we don’t have that—where you can take time out if someone has a problem and you think you can help, you can take 35 minutes, 40 minutes, more than what you wanted to normally…to get them in touch with an organization or group that would help them…. [Now] at least in certain areas of the city, you can’t afford that time…. If you take…a report call…and [you’re] out for two and a half or three hours…the other officers that are taking his calls are going to be irritated, so there’s going to be peer pressure to say why were you out three hours on a call that should have been forty-five minutes?

A big gripe of these officers is the proliferation of special units under Chief Finney—bike patrol, storefronts, FORCE—and to staff them, “patrol is always the first place they take from.” Some sergeants also notice this: they argue that patrol is getting depleted, more and more. Some of the special units—FORCE, and Downtown Patrol—do work that patrol officers and sergeants can see is actually contributing to a reduction in the workload of patrol officers. But other units don’t contribute at all in their eyes. Another concern is that newer officers are being moved into some of these special units after as little as three or four years with SPPD, without having had the extensive experience on patrol that the older officers think is valuable.

Several accounts from both inside and outside SPPD suggest that the creation of the NSAs may be the biggest innovation in community policing under Chief Finney’s administration so far. Specifically, it is cited as the only non-programmatic, turf-based organizational unit, operating on a twenty-four hour basis. Are line officers actually “buying into” the NSAs? Are they identifying with the NSA area, and trying to problem solve? At least one interpretation is that during the early 1970s, line officers did more problem solving and actual community policing, while administration didn’t know much about it; now, according to this account, the situation has been reversed, and top management has “bought in” more than the line officers. As for the sergeants, many describe—and like—having more responsibility, being accountable for more, with the creation of NSAs. One concern, however, is paperwork—especially documenting the NSA projects: “I average I would say one day a week where I’m real lucky if I get out of the office. And if I do it’s to run down here [headquarters] with the reports from the previous shift and run right back and get right back into it.” Another comments, “They’re restricting our time quite a bit. Yet they want us to be accountable for those officers and how they are doing and why aren’t they handling this call right, and things like that. When we can’t—they’re not giving us enough time to go out there and supervise them.”

Together, many differing reports and observations suggest that the extent to which line officers themselves are doing problem-oriented policing with the NSA as the primary focus varies considerably across districts. More than one officer (patrol officers as well as management) suggests that a very real impediment to more problem solving today is the increased level of violence on the streets, so that line officers have become concerned about different things than they were in the past.


Chief Finney describes his first three to four years in office as a time in which he pushed through a lot of change in SPPD; then he sat back to “tweak” the organizational changes. He has accomplished his primary objectives: developing a new and positive mission; reaching out to the community; initiating creative new programs; and hiring people representative of the community. Now, Finney says, he is thinking about what more needs changing—for example, how to extend his mission further, and increasingly about how to increase and improve problem solving in the Department.

In recent months, SPPD has been undergoing a dramatic turnover in personnel with the speeding up in retirements of commanders, and lieutenants. Since September of 1997, Chief Finney has promoted and appointed three commanders in their early 40s, two of them females, to head the Districts. (He also has two female lieutenants.) Only half a dozen officers over the age of 55 remain in the Department, and within the next three to five years, about 75% of the department will have turned over under Finney’s administration. While some officers have concerns that the change is proceeding too quickly, depleting the force of experienced older officers who can, they believe, provide stability and possess significant knowledge, the Chief sees this as a real opportunity—to create a more ethnically diverse police force, hire more women, and recruit better-educated officers who will be more committed to community policing.42

Perhaps one other aspect of this rapid turnover is worth noting: if the overall progression to community policing in Saint Paul began with experiences tied to team policing in the 1970s, and can be credited to the efforts of many SPPD officers who were part of that history, the torch is passing quickly as that group leaves. Bill Finney is one of the few who remain in SPPD with the ability to look backward as far as the 1970s, as well as forward. He is in a powerful position to shape the vision of community policing that his newer staff are developing as they take their cue from him, and less from the past.

1 Elections are held in November of odd-numbered years. Six years ago the electoral system changed from city-wide to ward representation by council members.

2 Saint Paul City Charter Sec. 12.12.4.

3 See Paul Maccabee, John Dillinger Slept Here: A Crooks’ Tour of Crime and Corruption in St. Paul, 1920-1936. Minnesota Historical Society Press, 1995.

4 “Team Policing in St. Paul, Minnesota, An Evaluation of Two Years Implementation,” November 5, 1979, p. 4. Draft, prepared by the Team Police Evaluation Unit, SPPD.

5 In an editorial published on June 27, 1979, the day on which Rowan announced his intended retirement at the end of the year, The Saint Paul Dispatch, concurred.

6 DARE is now funded by public sources, and continues in city schools.

7 SPPD, Annual Report, 1992, p. 24.

8 Selby Avenue was an area with many African-American residents, and one in which crime problems were especially serious. The storefront opened after the assassination of SPPD Officer Sackett. It remains a focus for police efforts today in Western District.

9 Ballard still serves in the Department today, while Hudson later resigned and is now a minister.

10 “Team Policing in St. Paul, Minnesota, An Evaluation of Two Years Implementation,” November 5, 1979, p.4. Draft, prepared by the Team Police Evaluation Unit, SPPD.

11 Civil Service was unable to come up with a pool of candidates at this time.

12 In 1975, 12 African Americans were hired: 11 male and 1 female; in 1977, 12 more were hired, again 11 male and 1 female. In 1978 and 1979, two minorities were hired each year; however, they were not African Americans.

13 During this same period POST standards were being raised in Minnesota: according to some in the Department, the raising of these standards also set back attempts to hire minorities.

14 LEAA, Department of Justice, Discretionary Grant Progress Report—Housing Environmental Liaison Police Program (HELP-P), Grant No. 72-DF-05-0023, Interim Report, October 1, 1973 (covering the period 3-15-72 to 3-14-73). A copy of this document is available in the SPPD Library.

15 Ibid., p. 6. All of these problems were later identified in the original Team Policing grant application, written in 1976. See “St. Paul Neighborhood Team Policing,” Grant Application No. G-25-77, August 16, 1976, 00. 3-3b.

16 Public Administration Service, Chicago, Illinois, “Individual Technical Assistance Report,” August 24, 1973. Cited in “Team Policing in St. Paul, Minnesota, An Evaluation of Two Years Implementation,” November 5, 1979, p. 11. Draft, prepared by the Team Police Evaluation Unit, SPPD.

17 “Team Policing in St. Paul,” p. 11-12, citing St. Paul Police Department, “Patrol Accountability Study,” April 1, 1975, and St. Paul Police Department, “Reorganization Study,” September 30, 1975.

18 “Team Policing in St. Paul, Minnesota, An Evaluation of Two Years Implementation,” November 5, 1979. Draft, prepared by the Team Police Evaluation Unit, SPPD.

19 Ibid., p. 9.

20 Ibid., p. 22.

21 “Team Policing in St. Paul, Minnesota, An Evaluation of Two Years Implementation,” November 5, 1979. Draft, prepared by the Team Police Evaluation Unit, SPPD.

22 Ibid., pp. 24-26.

23 Ibid., pp. Ch. IV, pp. 127-160.

24 Former Chief McCutcheon was unavailable for interviews when data were collected for this case study due to an illness in the family.

25 In preparation for the move to four sectors, Chief McCutcheon approached the four lieutenants who were in line to be team commanders, in advance, to obtain their input and discuss where the boundaries would be. Finney was one of the four. Just before the teams were implemented, McCutcheon changed his mind and decided that captains would head the teams.

26 Soon after Finney was appointed lieutenant, the rules changed for ascending to Deputy Chief: in 1982, it had been a tested, civil service position, so that even detectives could take the exam, and if they passed, skip lieutenant and captain grades, to become Deputy Chief. After the change, the requirement was that an individual had to achieve the rank of captain, and then spend three years in the grade, before making Deputy Chief.

27 Memo to Finance Chair Rettman from Police Chief Finney, October 6, 1992.

28 Funds were raised by increasing the City’s share of parking fines (proportionately with the County), and receipt of two Office of Drug Policy grants.

29 The Excessive Consumption of Police Services Ordinance is a civil statute permitting the City to charge individuals a fee for police services if there are more than five nuisance calls to a single address within a thirty day period. As it is enforced, the Police Department is attempting to change the behavior at issue or solve the problem rather than actually bringing suit.

30 Edward G. Goetz and Kirby Pitman, “Drug War in St. Paul,” SHELTERFORCE, March/April 1997, p. 20.

31 Many of these are documented in SPPD’s 1992 Annual Report. This and subsequent SPPD Annual Reports include basic data on organization (charts), demographics of employees, general fund budget allocation (by use, by division), medals of valor/merit/commendation honorees, letters of recommendation, promotions, retirements, in memory of…, chief’s award, SPPD Honor Roll, arrest data (Part I and II by offense, age), incident data, calls for service total/per patrol officer, and Saint Paul demographics.

32 Chief William Finney, Memo to All Managers and Supervisors Re: SPPD Mission Statement and Organization Values, SPPD, September 21, 1993.

33 Saint Paul Police Department, “Strategic Plan 1997 Update,” unpub. Document. The 1997 update involved only minimal additions to the full version completed in January 1996: thus, the 1996 plan is described here.

34 In 1995, the Park Rangers, formerly under the St. Paul Parks Department, were transferred to SPPD jurisdiction and now operate out of this substation.

35 SPPD Annual Report, 1993, p. 10.

36 Acting Commander Gary C. Briggs, “Investigators Switch Tactics to Fight Street-Level Prostitution,” Community Policing Exchange, Community Policing Consortium, November/December 1996, p. 6.

37 See “Ramsey County Curfew Center Evaluation Report,” Prepared for the Ramsey County Truancy and Curfew Center Collaborative by the Wilder Research Center, Saint Paul, MN, April, 1997; and “Ramsey County Truancy Center Evaluation Report,” Prepared by the Wilder Research Center, Saint Paul, MN, July, 1997.

38 SPPD Annual Report, 1996, p. 20.

39 Applicants proceed through a screening process conducted by mid-level managers, who rank them as highly qualified, well qualified, qualified, or not ready at this time. Finney himself will select from the top three categories.

40 SPPD Annual Report, 1994, p. 17.

41 See “A round table on crime in Minneapolis,” Saint Paul Star Tribune, Opinion, September 21, 1997, p. A25.

42 Heron Marquez Estrada, “St. Paul Police Department Grows Younger,” St. Paul Star Tribune,  January 5, 1998, p. 1B.