Saint Paul Police Department launches online 21st Century Policing report

The Saint Paul Police Department has launched a new website focused on its efforts to improve transparency, build trust and strengthen relationships with the people its officers serve.                                                                                   

The SPPD 21st Century Policing Report measures the department’s progress towards reaching recommendations outlined in the “Final Report of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing.”

In December 2014, President Barack Obama established the task force and charged it with identifying best practices and offering recommendations on how policing practices promote effective crime reduction while building public trust.

A few months later, the task force published its final report, which included recommendations, each with action items organized around six main topic areas or “pillars”:

  • Building Trust and Legitimacy
  • Policy and Oversight
  • Technology and Social Media
  • Community Policing and Crime Reduction
  • Officer Training and Education
  • Officer Safety and Wellness.

These recommendations were widely lauded by law enforcement agencies, advocacy groups and academics as the gold standard for community policing—and Saint Paul Police Chief Todd Axtell agreed.

“The report aligns nicely with our mission and values,” Axtell said. “We are totally committed to implementing its recommendations and action items to the best of our ability with the resources we have.”

Axtell launched a comprehensive review of the Saint Paul Police Department’s policies, practices and procedures to ensure that they align with the task force’s recommendations that applied to law enforcement agencies. Many of the recommendations the department was already achieving, some of were in progress and others required new initiatives.

The Saint Paul Police Department 21st Century Policing Report is a detailed analysis of the department’s work as it relates to the task force recommendations. It includes information about each of the more than 50 recommendations for law enforcement agencies, details about the department’s efforts to achieve the recommendations and links to reference materials such as the department’s Policy Manual. The Saint Paul Police Department believes it to be the first such report by any law enforcement agency in the country.

It’s goal, according to Axtell, is inform the people about what their officers are doing to build trust, be transparent and reduce crime—and allow the public to engage with the department.  

“There should be no questions among our community about what their police department is doing and how they are doing it,” Axtell said. “We will use the website to hold ourselves accountable. I hope the public will do the same and use it to see how hard their officers are working to keep them safe, reduce crime and build meaningful relationships.”

He stressed that is will be a living website that is updated as the department continues to work toward achieving the recommendations.

The report can be found at