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Staff study: St. Paul Police Department needs 104 more employees

Updated: January 13, 2020 10:34 PM

A newly released staff study by the St. Paul Police Department showed the department needs to add 104 employees to achieve proper staffing for current needs.

The study was conducted by 29-year veteran Cmdr. Jack Serier after Police Chief Todd Axtell requested it in January 2019.

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Police said the study focused on identifying major themes affecting the department's workload and service levels, including staffing levels, work culture, employee wellness, processes used by department units, business practices, policy development and procedural outcomes.

Serier's report indicated his goal was to determine how to best staff the department to meet current city needs, and identified the following challenges facing St. Paul police. 

Investigations are becoming more complex due to technology, specifically available video related to crimes.

Organizational structure hasn't evolved fast enough to meet rapidly increasing caseloads, particularly in the Homicide, Sex Crimes and Family Violence units.

Call loads have steadily increased with population, limiting patrol officers' ability to respond in a timely manner.

Serier said there were over 5,000 911 emergency calls which officers could not respond to in 30-seconds, or less, between the summer of 2018 and the summer of 2019.

"That puts officers and the public at risk and needs to improve," said Serier.  "And you have to remember it affects the wellness of our officers and families with the stress of having to do more with less."

Serier recommended adding 103.5 full-time positions, about 80 percent of which would be officers, in addition to hiring civilian employees to fill administrative positions that are currently held by sworn personnel. The report also advised increasing the number of investigative sergeants in the department, and reorganizing and refocusing units to improve efficiency and effectiveness.

Axtell said the report will be used as a guide for the department. You can see the study here.

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KSTP/Jay Kolls

Copyright 2020 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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