fbpx

Latest Posts

Home

Facebook

Twitter

Search
About

St. Paul police study finds they need more than 100 additional officers and support staff to fulfill their duties

In a recent article for the Pioneer Press, I wrote that “to meet the national average of 2.4 sworn officers per 1,000 residents (a statistic taken directly from St. Paul budget documents), the city should add 115 new officers next year.” A new study from St. Paul Police confirms that.

The study, compiled by Cmdr. Jack Serier at the request at the request of the City Council, recommends adding 78 sworn personnel, including 33 sergeants, and another 25 full-time employees to fill administrative roles, as well as restructuring several investigative units to keep pace with growing caseloads. While the study doesn’t include cost estimates associated with the recommendations, Serier said each additional police officer requires approximately $90,000 to $110,000 for salary and benefits.

Cmdr. Serier’s recommendations may be no more than the department needs to adequately fulfill its duties. Reports of aggravated assaults, rapes, and robberies in St. Paul fell in 2018 while property crime reports grew by nearly 12%. The overall effect was a drop in violent crime of 10%. However, the city’s 30 homicides were the most in more than twenty years. And, as the study finds, between 2013 and 2018, the number of 911 calls in St. Paul rose 31%. In 2018, more than 5,000 high-priority 911 calls could not be dispatched within 30 seconds because not enough officers were available to respond.

Even so, these proposals are likely to find little support from the city’s government. Mayor Melvin Carter’s 2020 budget actually reduced the maximum number of sworn officers from 635 to 630, after staffing increases in both 2018 and 2019. And, instead of funding more officers or gunshot-detection technology, Mayor Carter proposed an additional $1.7 million for youth employment and outreach, recreation center programs, and streetscape improvements.

A friend of mine in the St. Paul police department tells me that morale among the officers is suffering from what they perceive as a lack of support from city government. How that government responds to this report – one it commissioned – will tell them a lot.

John Phelan is an economist at the Center of the American Experiment. 

Comments

Subscribe

Categories

Upcoming Events

  • Morning in Minnesota: St. Cloud

    Location: St. Cloud

    Sign up HERE! Courtyard by Marriott St. Cloud 404 West Saint Germain Street St. Cloud, MN, 56301 Please join Center of the American Experiment on Tuesday, July 21 for breakfast with Center policy fellow and education expert Catrin Wigfall as she explains K-12 education in the state and its persistent disparities despite decades of increased spending. Following her presentation, Catrin will lead a Q&A session. 7:30 AM Check In and Breakfast 8:00 AM Presentation 9:00 AM Conclude   Catrin Wigfall is a Policy Fellow at Center of the American Experiment. She is also the director of EducatedTeachersMN and EmployeeFreedomMN. Catrin’s…

    Register Now
  • Kristi Noem: The Courage to Reject a Shutdown

    Location: Online

    Sign up HERE! Join us Wednesday, July 8th for an interview with South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem over Zoom. In response to COVID-19, Noem defied the norm of a statewide shutdown and let South Dakotans choose for themselves what safety precautions to take. Tune in to this live online event to hear how Governor Noem preserved her state’s economy while still keeping citizens safe. Wednesday, July 8th at Noon CT Sign up HERE!  

    Register Now
  • Morning in Minnesota: Marshall

    Location: Marshall Golf Club

      Sign up for this event HERE! Please join Center of the American Experiment on Thursday, July 16 at Marshall Golf Club for a breakfast with Center economist, John Phelan, as he discusses Minnesota’s economic future. Following his presentation, John will lead a Q&A session. 7:30 AM Check In and Breakfast 8:00 AM Presentation 9:00 AM Conclude John Phelan is a graduate of Birkbeck College, University of London, where he earned a BSc in Economics, and of the London School of Economics where he earned an MSc. He worked in finance for ten years before becoming a professional economist. He…

    Register Now