Minnesota State Patrol

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Minnesota State Patrol
Official Patch of the Minnesota State Patrol
Official Patch of the Minnesota State Patrol
Minnesota Department of Public Safety Logo
Minnesota Department of Public Safety Logo
Agency overview
Formed1929; 94 years ago (1929)
Preceding agency
  • Minnesota Highway Patrol (1929–1973)
Employees886 (as of 2017)[1]
Jurisdictional structure
Operations jurisdictionState of Minnesota, United States
MN - State Patrol Districts.png
Minnesota State Patrol Districts
Size87,014 square miles (225,370 km2)
Population5,628,162 (2018 est.)[2]
General nature
Operational structure
HeadquartersSt. Paul, Minnesota
Troopers591 (as of 2017)[3]
Civilian employees295 (as of 2017)[4]
Agency executive
  • Colonel Matthew C Langer[5]
Parent agencyMinnesota Department of Public Safety
Patrol Districts11
Minnesota State Patrol

The Minnesota State Patrol is the primary state patrol agency for Minnesota and serves as the de facto state police for the state. While Minnesota State Patrol troopers have full powers of arrest throughout the state, their primary function is traffic safety and vehicle law enforcement. The State Patrol is a division of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety.[6]


The Minnesota Highway Patrol was created in 1929 when Charles M. Babcock, the Commissioner of Highways, appointed Earle Brown, Sheriff of Hennepin County, as Chief of the Highway Patrol. On July 1, 1929, Chief Brown appointed 8 officers. In 1973 the Highway Patrol was reorganized and the official name was changed to the Minnesota State Patrol.[7]

A Minnesota State Patrol Trooper makes a traffic stop. Cruiser has older markings used from 1991–2007

The first training school was held January 18 to April 1, 1930. This school graduated the first 35 members of the Minnesota Highway Patrol. [8]

The patch[edit]

The patch worn by members of the Minnesota State Patrol evolved from "The Great Seal" which is placed on all official state documents.[citation needed]

Notable incidents[edit]

According to Bellingcat the Minnesota State Patrol was among the police departments which deliberately targeted journalists during the George Floyd protests.[9] In late May 2020, the Minnesota State Patrol was involved in policing the George Floyd protests in Minneapolis–Saint Paul. The State Patrol slashed tires of at least several dozen unoccupied vehicles parked near protests, admitting their involvement around a week later. Several journalists' cars, including from the Star Tribune, had their tires slashed. The Patrol said that the tactic was not a usual one, but they implemented it to prevent vehicles from being used as weapons.[10][11]


[12] While the State Patrol concentrates primarily on traffic enforcement and highway safety it also has a statewide law enforcement role. Troopers are also involved with crash reconstruction and commercial vehicle enforcement. The State Patrol capitol security division also handles the security for the Minnesota State Capitol complex and the Governor. Additionally, the State Patrol maintains a K-9 unit that focuses on drug enforcement interdiction, as well as a Special Response Team (SRT), that operates like a traditional SWAT Team.[13] Troopers are issued the Glock 17 Gen 5 9mm sidearm.


The State Patrol is headquartered in St. Paul. There are 11 Patrol Districts throughout the state, with 61 Patrol Stations. The current State Patrol Chief is Colonel Matthew Langer.[14] Each district office is led by a Captain and is staffed with troopers and investigators, along with communication and support staff to assist in the patrol's missions.[15] The Headquarters and State Patrol Command Staff are within District 2000, along with the Flight Section, Investigative Services Section, and Training & Development.

Patrol Districts[edit]

Patrol District District Office Station Offices Counties (or area) served
District 2000 Headquarters - St. Paul All (statewide):
  • State Patrol Headquarters
  • Flight Section
  • Investigative Services
  • Training and Development
District 2100 Rochester Albert Lea, Owatonna, Red Wing, Rushford, Wabasha, Winona Dodge, Fillmore, Freeborn, Goodhue, Houston, Mower, Olmsted, Rice, Steele, Wabasha, and Winona
District 2200 Mankato Fairmont, Hutchinson, New Ulm Blue Earth, Brown, Faribault, Le Sueur, Martin, McLeod, Nicollet, Sibley, Waseca, and Watonwan
District 2300 Marshall Marshall, Montevideo, Redwood Falls, Pipestone, Windom, Worthington Chippewa, Cottonwood, Jackson, Lac Qui Parle, Lincoln, Lyon, Murray, Nobles, Pipestone, Redwood, Renville, Rock, and Yellow Medicine
District 2400 Oakdale (East Metro) Forest Lake, Lakeland, Richfield, South St. Paul, St. Paul. Anoka (part), Chisago, Dakota, Hennepin (part), Ramsey (part), Scott (part), and Washington
District 2500 Golden Valley (West Metro) Cambridge, Chaska, Eden Prairie, Minnetonka, Maple Grove, Minneapolis, Mounds View. Anoka (part), Carver, Hennepin (part), Isanti, Ramsey (part), and Scott (part)
District 2600 St. Cloud Buffalo, Elk River, Morris, Sauk Centre, St. Cloud, Wilmar Benton, Big Stone, Kandiyohi, Meeker, Pope, Sherburne, Stearns, Stevens, Swift, Todd (part), Traverse, and Wright
District 2700 Duluth Duluth, Grand Marais, Hinckley, Scanlon, Two Harbors Carlton, Cook, Lake, Pine, and St. Louis (part)
District 2800 Brainerd Aitkin, Brainerd, Little Falls, Mora, Walker Aitkin, Cass, Crow Wing, Hubbard (part), Kanabec, Mille Lacs, and Morrison
District 2900 Detroit Lakes Alexandria, Fergus Falls, Mahnomen, Moorhead, Wadena Becker, Clay, Douglas, Grant, Mahnomen, Norman, Otter Tail, Todd (part), Wadena, and Wilkin
District 3100 Virginia Grand Rapids, Hibbing, International Falls Itasca, Koochiching, and St. Louis (part)
District 3200 Thief River Falls Bagley, Bemidji, Crookston, Hallock, Roseau Beltrami, Clearwater, Hubbard (part), Kittson, Lake of the Woods, Marshall, Pennington, Polk, Red Lake, and Roseau
District 4600 Capitol Security & Executive Protection St. Paul Minnesota State Capitol complex & grounds, Minnesota Governor's Residence, Protection of the Governor of Minnesota and other state executives and officials as needed
District 4700 Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Mendota Heights All (statewide), enforce laws pertaining to motor carriers and Commercial vehicles by performing Commercial Vehicle Inspections and operating statewide scales

State Patrol Chief[edit]

Since 1929, the State Patrol has been commanded by the State Patrol Chief, who has the rank of Colonel. The Colonel reports directly to the Minnesota Commissioner of Public Safety, who is appointed by the governor and serves in the Governor's Cabinet. In 1997, Anne L. Beers was appointed Chief of the State Patrol, as the first woman to hold the rank of Commander of a State Police Agency in U.S.[16] The following is a list of those that have held the title of State Patrol Chief:

Name Year(s)
Earle Brown 1929–1933
John Arnoldy 1933–1938
Martin Murray 1938–1939
Eldon Row 1939–1945
Earl E. Larimer 1945–1954
Paul R. Martz 1954–1960
Leo M. Smith 1960–1966
John S. Harbinson 1966–1973
James C. Crawford 1973–1979
D. Roger Ledding 1979–1989
Kevin L. Kittridge 1989–1991
Anthony Kozojed 1991–1993
Mike P. Chabries 1993–1997
Anne L. Beers 1997–2005
Steve Mengelkoch 2005
Mark Dunaski 2005–2011
Kevin Daly 2011–2015
Matt Langer 2015–present

Rank structure[edit]

Rank Insignia
Colonel US-O6 insignia.svg
Lieutenant Colonel US-O5 insignia.svg
Major US-O4 insignia.svg
Captain Captain insignia gold.svg
Lieutenant US-O1 insignia.svg

Note: Each state patrol district station has 1 sergeant who oversees all station operations. The official field supervisors throughout the district are lieutenants.

Fallen troopers[edit]

Since the establishment of the Minnesota State Patrol, eight troopers have died while on duty.[17]

Rank Name Date of Death Cause of Death Age Location
Trooper William S. Kozlak 04-25-1934 Killed in a motorcycle crash 32 On Minnesota Highway 52 near Osseo, Minnesota
Trooper Roy C. Lichtenheld 10-03-1934 Killed in a motorcycle crash 30 On Snelling Avenue in St. Paul, Minnesota
Trooper Ray X.F. Krueger 11-20-1959 Killed in a head-on car crash 47 On Minnesota Highway 210 near Brainerd, Minnesota
Trooper Glen A. Skalman 12-27-1964 Succumbed to gunshot wounds sustained on 12-17-1964 during a traffic stop 29 On US-61 near Forest Lake, Minnesota
Trooper Donald Bert Ziesmer 10-15-1973 Shot and killed while sitting in his patrol car on a traffic stop 46 On Minnesota Highway 61 along the north shore of Lake Superior
Trooper Roger Curtis Williams 02-22-1978 Struck and killed by an out-of-control vehicle while helping a motorist change a flat tire 53 On I-94 near Brandon, Minnesota
Corporal Timothy Joseph Bowe 06-07-1997 Shot and killed as he and 3 county deputies approached a house where a shooting was reported 36 10 miles east of Cambridge, Minnesota in Chisago County
Corporal Theodore Joseph "Ted" Foss 08-31-2000 Struck and killed by a tractor trailer while on a traffic stop 35 On I-90 near Lewiston, Minnesota"After 15 years, trooper's death is a reminder".</ref>

See also[edit]


External links[edit]