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History Timeline

State Patrol "History Highway"



  • Minnesota State Legislature creates the Highway Patrol in response to the boom in automobiles.

  • The first chief was Earle Brown.

  • Initial force was comprised of nine men, including Brown.



  • Henry Ford’s Model A was the standard patrol vehicle in the winter. Patrolmen exchanged milk cans full of hot water for heat.

  • In the spring, summer and early fall, troopers patrolled on Harley-Davidson motorcycles.

  • The early years of the patrol were spent on “goodwill work” — courtesy patrols to help motorists in difficulty. Enforcement was mostly limited to warnings.



  • First patrolman killed in the line of duty: William Kozlak.

  • Patrol was authorized to enforce speed limits on trunk highways.

  • Many motorists arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol (even though prohibition.) The DWI cases were written up as “careless driving.”

  • The original trooper uniform — long grey coat, riding boots, grey knee-high pants and eight-corner hat — was replaced by maroon and gold uniforms. The change was made to honor the University of Minnesota football national championship team.


  • Traffic law enforcement took to the air. Patrol purchased two fixed-wing aircraft.



  • Highway Patrol was reorganized; official name changed to “Minnesota State Patrol.”



  • First drug detection dog (Pasja) begins work.