Saint Paul Police Department releases 2017 traffic stop data

As part of its ongoing commitment to transparency, the Saint Paul Police Department today (Friday, Jan. 26) released 2017 traffic stop data online.

This is the second year in a row the department has done so, following last year’s release of 15 years’ worth of data related to the number of stops, the race and gender of those stopped, how many citations were issued, and how many searches occurred during traffic stops.

In addition, this year’s data includes reasons for traffic stops.  

In 2017:

  • Officers made 32,733 traffic stops, which is up from 26,640 stops in 2016.
  • Moving violations accounted for 78.38 percent of all stops.
  • Equipment violations accounted for 17.61 percent of all stops.
  • The number of stops with missing or no data was 139, down from 777 in 2016.

The data also show the races of drivers stopped:

  • White drivers accounted for 42.95 percent of stops.
  • Black drivers accounted for 32.81 percent of stops.
  • Asian drivers accounted for 11.9 percent of stops.
  • Latino drivers accounted for 5.61 percent of stops.
  • Native American drivers accounted for 0.43 percent of stops.
  • Drivers categorized as “other” accounted for 5.87 percent of stops.
  • Data related to drivers’ race was not available for 139 stops.

According to Saint Paul Police Chief Todd Axtell, the department’s commitment to improving data collection as well as having officers annually review their individual traffic stop data with supervisors is helping to ensure that traffic stops are being made based on drivers’ behavior and in the interest of public safety.

A review of the data shows that most traffic stops occurred in areas of the city that generate the most calls for service, where vehicle crashes most commonly occur and where reports of shots being fired are most common.

“There were 155 people struck by gunfire in Saint Paul last year, and reports of shots being fired were up significantly,” said Axtell. “Addressing this issue is our top priority as well as a top concern for our neighborhoods. We have heard the clarion call from those who are suffering and we’re committed to putting our resources in those neighborhoods to keep them safe.”

The complete data is available on the police department’s website,