The San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) is responsible for the maintenance of law and order in the City and County of San Francisco. It is one of the country’s top police forces with highly paid and well-trained officers at all ranks. If you harbor aspirations of joining this efficient public service department, here are all the things that you must know about.

San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) Eligibility Criteria

According to the SFPD, candidates:

  • Should be at least 21 years old. The SFPD does not have a maximum age limit to apply
  • Must not have a criminal record in any American state. This includes felony convictions, domestic violence offences, misdemeanors, charges on the unlawful use and possession of firearms, etc
  • Must be a legal United States citizen
  • Should have a valid California driver’s license/permit
  • Must possess a high school diploma at least. Other acceptable alternatives include the GED (General Educational Development) and CHSPE (California High School Proficiency Examination) certificates

Steps to Become a San Francisco Police Officer

  1. Complete and submit the online employment application
  2. Pass the initial test (also known as the FrontLine National Examination) administered by the NTN (National Testing Network)
  3. Clear the PAT (Physical Ability Test)
  4. Pass the Oral Examination
  5. Clear steps 2, 3 and 4 to have your name placed on the eligibility list
  6. Undergo and clear the SFPD’s background investigation

How Long Does It Take to Join the San Francisco Police Department?

Police training in San Francisco tends to be 6 to 8 months long. This is likely to be followed by a few weeks of field training. The entire process of becoming a police officer in San Francisco, from the date of applying until the completion of all required trainings, is expected to take around 1.5 years.

How Much Does a Police Officer Make in San Francisco?

As of October, 2019, the starting salary of a police officer in San Francisco is $89,856 a year as per the SFPD website. The SFPD pays its recruits the full starting salary from the beginning of the training period at the academy. After the completion of 7 years of service, a police officer in the Golden Gate City can earn as much as $135,096 annually.
In addition, following are the benefits enjoyed by a cop on the payroll of SFPD:

  • 10 paid vacation days every year for the first 5 years of service
  • 15 paid vacation days every year for the next 10 years of service
  • 20 paid vacation days every year after the completion of 15 years of service
  • 13 paid sick days every year along with various health plans
  • Special assignment pay and bilingual pay
  • 4 floating holidays
  • Retirement plans