Department History

The following copyrighted excerpts are from the 1987 South St. Paul Centennial History and are reprinted here with the permission of the South St. Paul Historical Society.

Establishment of the South St. Paul Police Department

One of the first actions undertaken by the 1887 Common Council of the City of South St. Paul was the establishment of a police department. In fact, Ordinance No. 1 passed on March 22, 1887, decrees the formation of that branch of governmental responsibility. The mayor was named the chief executive officer of the police department and instructed to appoint two or more policemen to safeguard the city.

Police Car

On April 16, the Council confirmed his appointment of C.F. Rhodes, Timothy Sweeney, James S. Callan and C.H. Cummings as officers. Rhodes had been a policeman in South Park under the authority of the Township of West St. Paul. The station, if it could be called such, was a little two-room shack on the north side of Central Avenue. Since Rhodes was to be paid $60.00 a month and the others only $26.67, it may be safe to assume that he had been named the first chief of the department?

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Police Department History Photos