City of Saint Paul


Our Community First Public Safety (CFPS) framework seeks to transcend crime response to build a compelling violence reduction strategy for Saint Paul which is informed by deep public engagement, research, tracking and analysis of real time data, and cross sector collaboration of stakeholders. 

Community-First Public Safety Framework

CFPS comprehensive framework chart


#1: Enhancing The Capacity Of Our Public Safety Systems
People who trust that law enforcement systems and personnel will treat them fairly are more likely to follow the law, assist investigations, and call 911 in an emergency.
#2: Improving Community Connectivity And Supports
Residents who are financially stable and connected to community are less likely to commit a crime or be victimized by criminal activity.
#3: Leveraging Research And Localized Data To Inform Policy And Strategies
CFPS partners share respective data, dashboards, metrics, grids, logic models, and report outs to analyze and inform collaborative work.
#4: Collaborating To Create Shared Expectations, Process & Outcomes
CFPS partners build trust and cohesion to ensure support and leverage of respective projects/initiatives for the greatest collective impact on violence reduction.
#5: Designing Public Spaces For Safety
The quality of our built environment strongly influences the outcomes and behaviors that occur within. Public spaces that are well designed, well-maintained and well-lit proactively improve quality of life, and limit opportunity for undesirable activities.


Community Ambassadors
Downtown Alliance
Saint Paul Fire Department
Unsheltered Workgroup
Returning Home Saint Paul
Right Track
Healing Streets
Parks and Recreation Department
Community-First Public Safety Partners engage in bi-weekly convenings that include:
  • Assessments and report outs on partner work, as well as reviewing ongoing and proposed mitigation efforts
  • Crime reports and gun violence reduction updates from the Saint Paul Police Department
  • Initiative updates and identification of opportunities for collaboration 
  • Review of data framework and dashboard to inform ongoing collaboration, data sharing and program evaluation. 


Jamond Glass, left, and Joel Franklin of the Community Ambassadors Initiative walk along Rice Street in St. Paul’s North End on Thursday, May 5, 2021. (Scott Takushi / Pioneer Press)
The Community Ambassadors Initiative (CAI) is a multi-sector project that employs multiple intervention strategies to reduce youth violence and provide positive, culturally specific developmental supports and redirection to hard-to-reach youth. It tests a coordinated approach to redirecting at-risk youth from crime using experienced, culturally specific youth workers (“Ambassadors”) that guide youth to needed programs, services, and employment.  

Ambassador Contacts

The Community Ambassadors initiative combines street outreach and engagement services with skill-building programming and services delivered by community organizations. While engaging youth who are not connected to positive efforts, Ambassadors work to connect youth with a variety of appropriate service providers.  The initiative aims to meet youth where they organically congregate and intervene to reduce the likelihood that crimes will be perpetrated. 

Types of Contact

Outreach: This includes multiple intervention strategies to reduce youth violence and provide positive, culturally specific developmental supports and redirection to hard-to-reach youth. It tests a coordinated approach to redirecting at-risk youth from crime using experienced, culturally specific youth workers (“Ambassadors”) that guide youth to needed programs, services, and employment.  

Community Events: The Community Ambassadors play a key role working with youth present at an array of events across Saint Paul including Rondo Days, Cinco de Mayo, Rice Street Parade and Saint Paul Police Safe Summer Nights.  

Direct Services: These services include work readiness training, building life skills, educational support, tattoo removal and other services delivered by partnering community organizations.  


The Community Ambassadors intervene and de-escalate disputes involving guns and other weapons on a regular basis.  Between January 2021 and September 2021, Community Ambassadors have been involved in de-escalating:

58 incidents involving a gun

4 incidents involving a knife

About Community Ambassadors
The Community Ambassadors Initiative (CAI) is a citywide project that serves to reduce youth crime by redirecting at-risk youth from criminal behavior, incarceration, providing responsive services and positive developmental supports. The initiative uses a coordinated approach using experienced, culturally specific youth workers ("Ambassadors") that guide youth to needed programs, services and employment. CAI uses intervention strategies guided by best practices to decrease involvement in the criminal justice system and provides meaningful supports to traditionally hard-to-reach youth. Learn more here.  


The Downtown Alliance Street Team is a consistent and friendly presence in and around downtown St Paul, working to keep the area clean while engaging with people to provide resources for the area.

Reduction of Crime in Downtown

The Downtown Alliance has made significant investments into the creation of the Downtown Improvement District (DID) and its Safety Communications Center starting in the beginning of 2020. The DID deploys a Street Team to clean up litter and graffiti, providing wayfinding to help visitors, and acting as another set of eyes and ears for public safety responders.
The Street Team is a key element to the Downtown Alliance’s overall strategy to increase cleanliness, vibrancy and safety downtown. Supported by these efforts including Community-First Public Safety Partners, downtown crime for June, July and August in 2021 was 23% lower than 2020, and 10% lower than the five-year average.

Downtown Alliance Street Team Contacts with the Public

In alignment with the principles of the Community-First Public Safety framework, the Downtown Alliance's efforts help support safety and vibrancy downtown, through a combination of public activations around art, music and the hospitality of the Street Team. The map below shows the public contacts made by Street Team members throughout downtown from March to August 2021, helping to display how their presence supports safety and vibrancy in downtown. Over this time frame, the program gradually increased each month starting with 2 street team members and growing to 16. 

About Downtown Alliance
The Saint Paul Downtown Alliance is a nonprofit organization that represents downtown businesses, nonprofits, government entities, residents, and entrepreneurs to create and maintain a vibrant, economically successful, safe, and attractive downtown that benefits the entire city and region. Feeling safe has been found to be the top priority of residents, workers and visitors who frequent our downtown area.
The Downtown Alliance was instrumental in the creation of the Downtown Improvement District (DID) which opened the new Safety Communication Center in order to effectively communicate with DID property owners and their security teams about emerging public safety issues and trends. The DID also deployed a highly visible Street Team to provide an extra set of eyes and ears to our streets in a very public manner. Through extra cleaning services including sidewalk and gutter sweeping as well as graffiti and trash removal and increased foot patrols the activity is expected to have a positive impact on crime and a person’s perception of safety in downtown Saint Paul. Learn more here


ETHOS is a program based in restorative justice principles for low-level, non-violent criminal cases. This process clears the participant’s criminal record and minimizes the collateral consequences that are so often a result of criminal charges around housing, loans, and jobs.  


60 Expungements (11 additional pending)
from January - December 2021
The number of expungements as a result of healing circles, which also reflects the number of healing circle agreements completed

Healing Circle Participation

104 Referred Cases
from January - December 2021
The number of qualified people (both victim and participant) that have agreed to use the healing circle process.


Success Rate: 97%
Calculated based on 1 year after completion of the program. There are 29 people who have been out of the program for more than a year.

Victim Cases and Participation

22 cases had a victim that were not a big business.
All victims approved of ETHOS.
5 sat in the circle.
7 submitted victim impact statements for circle.
10 did not want to participate. 

Offense Types Resolved

The following data is the count of criminal offense types that have been resolved using the ETHOS diversion program.

Reconciliation Types

The following data is the count of the types of reconciliation agreements that have been resolved using the ETHOS diversion program.
About Ethos
ETHOS is a program based in restorative justice principles for low-level, non-violent criminal cases. Participants are diverted from the traditional criminal court process to engage in a restorative justice circle with members of the community who have been trained in the program goals and values. Unlike most restorative justice programs where a victim and offender might sit in a circle and discuss the harm done by the offender’s conduct, many of the participants we enroll in the program are there for conduct that did not involve an identified victim. Instead, the circle members are made up of people who represent the community and can discuss the harm done to that community by the incident. If there is an identified victim, that person may also participate, as may others who are specifically affected by what happened.
The participant and other circle members discuss the harm done to any victim, the community, and the participant. They then reach an agreement about what the participant can do to repair some of that harm. They also discuss some of the root causes behind what happened and try to shape the agreement to address those causes. The participant then fulfills the requirements of that agreement. When they have completed that work, the case is dismissed, and a motion is filed stipulating to expungement with the court. This clears the participant’s criminal record and minimizes the collateral consequences that are so often a result of criminal charges around housing, loans, and jobs. Learn more here.


Healing Streets supports a safe space for youth who have been impacted by group/gun violence. 

Grief Circle Sessions


January - August 2021 
Grief Circles meet twice weekly and are run by Restoration Inc out of The Creative Space in downtown Saint Paul.  The goal is to give families and individuals tools to begin their own specific journey towards healing.

Community Mediations


January - August 2021 
Community Mediations allows Healing Streets to intervene when there is conflict, or potential conflict within the community. The referrals come from, corrections, law enforcement, community members, or through organic connection in community. 

Red Wing Group Completions


January - August 2021 
Working in the Redwing Correctional Facility allows Healing Streets to support youth on their path toward healing. This is achieved through building strong connections and providing young people with the opportunity to remain connected to Healing Streets after they are released.

Family Support


January - August 2021 
Healing Streets remains engaged with families by connecting them to resources and supports tailored to their specific needs, along with in-person group work. Referrals come from corrections, law enforcement, community organizations, or individuals. 
Healing Streets Project
The Healing Streets Project is a community-centered healing based approach to Violence Prevention, Intervention, & Healing group/gun violence in Saint Paul and Ramsey County. Centered in the narratives and lived experiences of those most impacted by group/gun violence, The Healing Streets Project works to reduce group/gun violence through the direct service work of School Based Violence Prevention, Hospital-based Violence Prevention, and Healing/Grief Services for Survivors of group/gun violence. 


Recreation and community centers across the city provide children and families alike with a welcoming space to engage in a variety of activities designed to help participants learn, stay active, and socialize. Serving as community gathering spots that offer an array of programming, these facilities contribute to interconnected neighborhoods, and safer outcomes across our community. 


The Awakenings program is a violence prevention and early intervention program for youth participants between the ages of six and fourteen. The program engages young people to share and reflect on their unique experiences, while expanding their capacity for resilience and healing.
Awakenings is centered around weekly cohort group meetings and weekly connections to Awakening staff that incorporate a health and wellness curriculum alongside traditional youth engagement activities that build and strengthen relationships, and connect our young people to our broader community. 
Awakenings staff collaborate with a contracted mental health professional who engages in ongoing guidance and support program development, staff training, data collection and evaluation methods, as well as qualitative measurement tools.

Households Served


January - September 2021

Program Evaluation

Evaluation of the Awakenings Program is comprised of questions for youth and parents to provide information regarding the program and their perspective on how the program could be improved.
Evaluation measures for parents include perspectives on the changes in behavior, habits, communication, relationships, decision making and accountability of their child. Evaluation measures for youth include perspectives on their experiences in the program including mindfulness, wellness, positive relationship building, communication, community leadership, self-awareness, anger management, and empathy.
Awakenings also monitors school attendance and suspensions as a means of feedback to assess the impact of youth participation in the program. 

Recreation In Motion

Recreation in Motion offers free youth programs to neighborhoods across Saint Paul at Parks and Recreation Centers in collaboration with an array of partners.

Recreation in Motion Attendance Numbers

Recreation in Motion Partnerships

Rec Check

Our Recreation Centers offer free after-school and other out-of-school time care for youth in grades 1st through 5th at an array of locations across the City. Children participate in a variety of structured, supervised activities that are recreation focused including arts and crafts, community building games, quiet time, and homework help during the school year. 
To promote health and fitness, participants engage in daily physical activities, staffed with community recreation leaders on a 15-1 participant-to-staff ratio. Rec Check is also offered for extended periods during Non-School Days. Learn more here.  

The percentage of children who participate in Rec Check from low-income families:


Participation Numbers

Participation by Location

Trauma Training

Recreation Services works in collaboration with Ramsey County to offer frontline employees a training opportunity that focuses on mental health and trauma, and provides resources for employees addressing a crisis situations.

51 staff trained

Recreation Services Manager: 1
Recreation Program Supervisor: 4
Community Recreation Coordinator: 4
Community Recreation Director: 14
Community Recreation Specialist: 28

Tech for All - Summer Swarm

Summer Swarm builds on the success of Tech For All programming which includes pop-up gaming and drone racing events in Saint Paul neighborhoods. These events create safe spaces for youth who aged out of other recreational opportunities, while sparking interest in STEM careers through engaging, hands-on activities. 
Summer Swarm activities this July and August furthered these efforts with programs and pop-up events that include activities focused on robotics, coding, drone racing, video production, engineering and other STEM topics. Learn more here
Tech for All - Summer Swam data below shows estimated attendance figures per event, alongside youth participant survey results. 

Tech for All - Attendance Numbers

Tech for All - Summer Swarm Survey Data

About City of Saint Paul - Parks and Recreation
A nationally accredited and gold medal award-winning organization that manages 179 parks and open spaces, AZA-accredited Como Park Zoo and Conservatory, 25 city-operated recreation centers, more than 100 miles of trails, an indoor and two outdoor aquatic facilities, a public beach, a variety of premium sports facilities, municipal golf courses, and Great River Passage.


The  Returning Home Saint Paul (RHSP) pilot is a partnership between the City of Saint Paul,  HousingLink and Ujamaa Place designed to help successfully house up to 20 residents returning to our community from incarceration. This program seeks to increase housing access, bridge the transition from reentry to self-sufficiency and mitigate perceived risk in the housing market. 

Program Participation

4 participating landlords
4 individual landlords are participating in the pilot.

4 families have signed a lease
4 participating families have signed a lease and 3 housed participants have both felony and gross misdemeanor level offenses as barriers to housing.
7 participants searching for housing
7 participants are actively seeking housing. 
HousingLink staff has connected with over 65 Saint Paul landlords to inform them about the RHSP pilot and encourage their support. Housing search is being supported by Ujamaa Place. The length of time and effort to obtain housing varies by participant. Of the 4 participants housed:
One inquired with 20 landlords
One inquired with 22 landlords
One inquired with 25 landlords

Amount of rental application fees paid

Each participant is awarded up to $60.00, which can be adjusted based on need.
Amount of security deposits paid

Each participant is awarded up to $500, which can be adjusted based on need.
Incidents of reoffence by participants

Identifies number of  participants who have re-offended during their participation in the pilot.
Amount of access funds dispersed

A report of $0 is a positive indicator  - meaning no claims or funds have had to be used to mitigate a loss to property owners for expenses incurred that exceed normal wear and tear and the security deposit.  

Program Updates

City staff and partners continue to evaluate pilot success and barriers to adapt the approach.  
Current strategies being considered include: 
Need/Barrier #1:
Increase the number of households searching for housing 
Strategy #1: 
Development of a broader participant  referral pipeline to Ujamaa Place 
Need / Barrier #2: 
Participant income insufficient for market rate rents, landlord heightened awareness of inability to pay  
Strategy #2:
Considerations for additional financial assistance in the form of rental assistance and/or owner incentives 
About Returning Home Saint Paul
Returning Home Saint Paul (RHSP) leverages community partnerships’, relationships, and knowledge to enhance the coordination of resources for residents and property owners. Ujamaa Place provides comprehensive wraparound support to each participant during the course of the pilot and  HousingLink serves as the access fund administrator, providing technical and navigational program support to the city and partner organizations. RHSP is partnering with the Minnesota Justice Research Center (MNJRC) to measure, track and report on program impact and success both in outcomes and qualitative participant and landlord experiences. 
RHSP builds off of the current offering from HousingLink, Beyond Backgrounds, and creates a Saint Paul specific program that enhances the current offerings on the market. Learn more here


Right Track brings together the City of Saint Paul, the Saint Paul Public Schools, local businesses, and community-based organizations to provide employment opportunities and professional skills training for youth. Together we are building a skilled and diverse workforce for the future.

2021 Youth Placements

695 Placed in internships or professional development opportunities
1653 Total Applicants
42% Placement Rate

2021 Map of Right Track Participants and Employers

This map includes a heat map of youth participants as well as the point locations of all the employers that are hosting the participants.
Heat Map of 2021 Applicants to the Right Track Program

Youth Participant Gender

Youth Participant Race

% qualified for reduced lunch: 89% 
One or more parents born outside of the U.S.:  57% 
Self-Identified as having a disability: 9% 
Self-identified as having a barrier to employment: 32% 
Total number of participants: 695 
Youth who participated in Online Professional Development: 184 
Employer organizations we partnered with: 68  

2021 Survey Data

2021 Participants: 
  • 87% of interns felt that they strengthened their skills and abilities (gained new skills or improved existing skills). 
  • 84% stated that they gained more confidence in their skills and abilities. 
  • 87% reported they were provided opportunities to interact with people they would not have met otherwise. 
  • 89% of interns felt their opinions were valued. 
  • 93% of interns reported their supervisor was open to listening to their concerns.  
2021 Employers:
  • 84% of employers reported that their intern brings energy and enthusiasm to work. 
  • 76% of employers reported that their intern actively looks for ways to help other people. 
  • 85% of employers reported If they had a job opening, they would hire their Right Track intern. 
  • 87% of employers reported they would recommend their intern to a colleague, for a similar position.
About Right Track
Right Track is the City of Saint Paul’s youth jobs initiative for building a diverse future workforce, while providing opportunities and financial support for young people right now.  Right Track engages nearly 1,000 young people from cost-burdened homes throughout Saint Paul in a variety of internships.
Since last fall, Right Track has developed and improved new systems to recruit and connect with youth and families in a virtual setting, created a YJ2 school-year program, and expanded their partnership with Saint Paul Public Schools.
Link to more information:


The Saint Paul Fire Department protects the people of Saint Paul with public education, fire suppression, rescue, and emergency medical services, partnering with our community to mitigate risks, and respond to all calls for service with skill, dedication, and compassion.

COVID Vaccinations

Vaccination clinics held are under the guidance and scheduling of SPRC-PH (Saint Paul Ramey County Public Health). 

COVID vaccination events

Events Held: 20
In coordination with 
Saint Paul Ramey County Public Health

COVID vaccinations

Approximately 3,500 administered
We provided medical response for 19,500 vaccinations 

Staff supporting
vaccination events

Vaccinators, in additional to various on duty crews: 17

Hours worked at
vaccination events

Hours administering vaccinations: 173.5
Hours as medical support: 149.75
Hours at the State vaccination clinic: 365
Total Hours Spent: 688.25
About Saint Paul Fire Department
The Saint Paul Fire Department protects the life and property of the people of Saint Paul, through its all-hazard response comprised of firefighters, public educators, support staff and maintenance personnel - creating an effective team that are proud to serve the residents of our Capital City.


The City of Saint Paul Unsheltered Response Workgroup is a collaboration with community providers, Ramsey County and City Departments to manage issues faced by individuals experiencing homelessness. This work is guided by a commitment to:
Find long-term and permanent options to serve our unsheltered population
Respond to the immediate needs of individuals living in encampments,
caves and under bridges
The work of managing homeless encampments in the City of Saint Paul became a growing emergency at the onset of the pandemic with the number of residents sheltering outdoors growing tenfold. To better understand the needs of our unsheltered residents, the City conducted a survey in partnership with Ramsey County of residents seeking shelter outdoors. Needs identified in the survey resulted in:
  • Offering storage for belongings of homeless individuals when an encampment is closed
  • Expanded Safe Space shelter
  • Transformation of Bethesda Hospital into Bethesda Shelter in Saint Paul
  • Re-occupancy of Mary Hall as a downtown overnight men’s shelter
  • Converting Stub Hall at Luther Seminary to a shelter serving women and couples.
  • Freedom House on West 7th Street was also activated to serve as a day-time, drop-in and referral center
Through these vital partnerships with Ramsey County and the provider community, the number of residents sheltering outdoors has decreased to pre-pandemic levels. The City of Saint Paul is committed to keeping previously closed encampment areas cleared and transitioning unsheltered residents to available shelter spaces and ultimately housing.
This work is intentionally aligned with our Community First Public Safety framework as we partner with community providers, businesses and Ramsey County to reopen work sites, recreational and public spaces, and create a welcoming and safe environment for all.


2020 Budget Supplement Proposal


Community First Public Safety Work Group Updates

City Council Presentation - May 26th, 2021 

Briefing on Saint Paul efforts to support unsheltered residents

Presentation to the Saint Paul City Council - August 4th, 2021.
Image of the City's presentation to the MN House Preventing Homelessness Division

Responding to the Housing Crisis and Covid19

Presentation to the Minnesota House of Representatives - House Preventing Homelessness Division - March 17th, 2021
To see the video, click the image to the left or use the link:
Image of CFPS Commission Report with link to pdf document

Community First Public Safety Commission Report

This is a direct link to the  final recommendations from the 48-member Community-First Public Safety Commission to the Saint Paul City Council and Mayor Carter. You can view more information about the Commission at this link: