St. Paul Wrecked it for the Rest of the State
After O’Connor’s death, his system lived on through two subsequent Police Chiefs. Minnesota accounted for more than 20% of the nation’s bank robberies, although this statistic was unsurprisingly lower in the city of St. Paul. But by 1933, the O’Connor system was eroding. The Hamm and Bremer kidnappings and the Dillinger shootout in 1934 happened within St. Paul borders, violating the terms of the agreement. The FBI caught and tried gangsters on federal charges. The FBI watched St. Paul law enforcement closely and exposed the corruption in the St. Paul Police Department. St. Paul’s mayor Mark Gehan and the new police chief Thomas Dahill declared a “war on hoodlums.” The O’Connor system was in turmoil, and with a police chief no longer on the take and criminals no longer being left alone, St. Paul was no longer the sanctuary city they had enjoyed during the O’Connor years.