In 2016, Saint Paul Police Chief Todd Axtell released 15 years of previously unseen data about traffic stops. Since then, the department has continued to release data about who is being stopped, where the stops are occurring and why officers are making the stops.

2020 Data: At a glance

  • Officers made 19,132 traffic stops
  • 12,810 traffic stops were made for moving violations
  • 5,463 traffic stops were made for equipment violations
  • 844 investigative traffic stops were made
  • 14 traffic stops were the result of 911 calls
  • 1 stop was made for other reasons. 

Traffic stops: a public safety tool 

  • Traffic stops are an important public safety tool
  • Most traffic stops occur in areas of the city from which the most 911 calls are made
  • Most traffic stops occur in neighborhoods experiencing the highest levels of violent crime
  • Officers are most likely to issue citations for behavior that leads to crashes, injuries and death:
  • Most of the citations are issued by officers with our Traffic and Pedestrian Safety Unit, which responds to community concerns about speeding, distracted driving and other dangerous behind-the-wheel actions that put our community at risk
  • Traffic stops help officers take illegally possessed guns off the streets—in 2020, more than 200 illegally possessed guns were recovered during traffic stops.

About Our City: Becoming more diverse   

Saint Paul is Minnesota’s capital city. It’s a vibrant and diverse community that’s home to more than 300,000 people. Our diversity is one of our greatest strengths, adding to the rich tapestry of arts, business, culture, educational opportunities and recreation that permeates the city’s neighborhoods.

And we’re becoming more diverse each year.

Growing diversity in Saint Paul

Where Traffic Stops Occur: Keeping streets and neighborhoods safe

The 2020 data show that officers make most traffic stops in neighborhoods experiencing higher levels of serious crime and where community members have shared concerns about speeding, distracted driving and other dangerous behaviors. These same areas tend to have higher levels of poverty and are among our most diverse. Our community has made clear that they want and need officers in these neighborhoods, deterring crime, helping victims, taking guns off the streets.

The following maps show that most traffic stops occur in these areas of the city—where officers are responding to reports of shots fired, helping gunshot wound victims, recovering illegally possessed firearms and following up on 911 calls.

Traffic stops and areas of concentrated poverty

Most traffic stops occur in areas of the city with the highest levels of 911 calls reporting violent crime. 

Traffic stops and firearms discharges

Most traffic stops occur in neighborhoods with the highest levels of 911 calls reporting shots fired.

Traffic stops and gunshot victims

Most traffic stops occur in neighborhoods with the highest levels of 911 calls reporting people shot.

Traffic stops and recovered firearms

Most traffic stops during which guns are recovered occur in neighborhoods experiencing higher levels of violent crime.

View the 2020 Traffic Stop Data

Last Edited: May 28, 2021