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  • SFPD question

    I noticed in another thread that someone made a mention of a 1400 person waitlist to get into the SFPD... I imagine that is a very large wait-list...

    I just graduated college in New York and am considering a move to the west coast, and basically had targeted San Francisco as my most desirable area... However, i had intentions of joining the SFPD, yet that wait list seems very steep and the liklihood of landing a postion in the department appears slim based on that...

    Is this common for the SFPD? Is it considered a difficult police department to get into?

    As I said, I'm basically just a college graduate, with no previous law enforcement experience... Are there PDs in the SF BaY Area or in the LA area that I would have better luck applying to?

    I know that some people in the other thread suggested Santa Ana, or Santa Monica.. but I would imagine these are smaller PDs and probably even more difficult to get into...

    Anybody have any suggestions or should I scrap the idea and just go to law school

  • #2
    There are a ton of Sheriff's and Police Departments in both the SF Bay area and LA area whom are hiring.

    Check these websites out, they will give you a good breakdown:

    http://www.post.ca.gov/employdata/countymap.htm

    http://www.post.ca.gov/jobops/jobopslist.asp
    Hail hail the gang's all here, when the going gets tough I know my friends will still be there. - Drop Kick Murphys, "The Gang's all Here"

    Comment


    • #3
      NYBuck09-

      Don't know if the waiting list thing is true or not, but I do know it is hard to get into SFPD, especially as an entry-level applicant. As far as other local departments go, I know a lot about East Bay (near Oakland) and South Bay (near San Jose) depts, maybe SgtTom will come around to let you know more about SFPD.

      As for Santa Ana and Santa Monica, those are departments near L.A., totally different look & feel from the Bay Area.

      Tell us what type of department interests you, maybe we'll be able to suggest one.
      *Not a cop*

      Comment


      • #4
        I wondered why my ears were burning:


        To get on as an entry level, it's not that bad, it's what SFPD prefers. To get on as a lateral, nos that's Difficult...

        Got a question?, hit me up.

        We're going to be accepting applications soon (late October / early November). Applications are passed out for a few days then you have a week or two to get it in. The application is different than the regular city application so don't download the city app and send that in. Most folks wait in line the night before they are actually handed out BUT... just go to a District station (one of 10) or to the two city hall locations and pick one up.

        Yes, the waiting list is a large as you've mentioend but that list lasts for two / three years and the wash out rate is high (you have to work here to understand why)... Unlike LAPD, we don't do outside testing, i.e. go to outside of the city and offer testing. To get on the list, you have to pass the first three steps of the process. We do backgrounds depending on your ranking, i.e. first wave 1-500, second wave 501-1000, etc...

        LOTS of bay area PD's and SO's hiring. LOTS.

        Applicant review / qualifying only
        .
        Written Test - regular POST test
        Physical Agility - regular POST test
        Oral Accessment Board - special SF style. How would you feel about......

        Backgrounds - photo/print, background work, psyhe / poly, medical....

        SFPD offers tutoring classes for each phase of each test. I would encourage you to participate in this. Will actually help one out a bit...


        Tom

        PS: Want to get in a specialized unit? You have a LONG wait. How long? try oh, twenty year average and this is a minimum average - based on seniority ONLY.... (except a certain few units like the Tactical Unit aka SWAT, Bike Patrol)...
        Last edited by sgttom; 10-20-2005, 06:01 PM.
        ''Life's tough......it's tougher if you're stupid.''
        -- John Wayne

        Comment


        • #5
          Agencies taking apps:

          Sheriff:

          Alameda County
          Contra Costa County
          Marin County
          San Mateo County
          San Francisco County
          Solano County
          Sonoma County
          Napa County


          Bay Area PDs:

          UC San Francisco PD
          UC Berkeley PD
          Hayward State University PD
          San Jose State University PD
          SF State University PD
          Contra Costa Community College PD
          Redwood City PD
          San Bruno PD
          Burlingame PD
          Daly City PD
          Pacifica PD
          South San Francisco PD (not associated with SFPD)
          San Rafael PD
          Novato PD
          Berkeley PD
          Albany PD
          Alameda PD
          San Leandro PD
          Oakland PD
          Hayward PD
          Fremont PD
          Newark PD
          Union City PD
          Milpitas PD
          Hercules PD
          Pinole PD
          Walnut Creek PD
          Pleasant Hill PD
          Concord PD
          Livermore PD
          Pleasanton PD
          Antioch PD
          Pittsburg PD

          Special Districts:

          East Bay Regional Parks PD



          You want more?
          ''Life's tough......it's tougher if you're stupid.''
          -- John Wayne

          Comment


          • #6
            Thanks for the feedback guys, it is all very helpful...

            SgtTom: Does SFPD have a testing system like the LAPD for out of area or out of state applicants? I know in the LAPD you can finish the whole process in nine days or something if you are coming from outside the LA area..

            In addition, for those applying for an entry level position in the SFPD, do many of those individuals have some type of law enforcement background already.. whether it be working for another agency or academy training, etc.. I am a little bit worried given that I am not from SF or California, only have a 4 year college degree and some security work... Given the large amount of applicants, I would think I'd be going up against a lot of individuals who have military or other significant law enforcement resumes...

            I do not want to get up and move to SF, and be stuck searching high and low for other jobs because I do not have a resume that would make me an attractive hire to the SFPD..

            Sorry to ask so many questions, but I would also like to know more about some of the counties on your list... I would imagine many of those PDs and SOs are small in size which likely means that they would be more difficult to get into than a bigger city like San Francisco, Oakland, or south in LA or San Bern.. Am I correct regarding this?

            Just being a 23 year old college grad with no law enforcement experience, which of those PDs or SOs would be a realistic shot for me?

            Any help would be appreciated.. thanks...

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by lsmalibu
              NYBuck09-

              As for Santa Ana and Santa Monica, those are departments near L.A., totally different look & feel from the Bay Area.

              Tell us what type of department interests you, maybe we'll be able to suggest one.
              Thanks for the response... basically this is a move myself and some of my buddies are making... So of course, being young and just out of college, everyone wants to go somewhere near the coast and near a large city (mainly SF or LA)...

              So basically, with my interest in law enforcement I'm looking for jobs within a 20-30 miles radius of San Francisco or Los Angeles...

              Im still learning about all the different counties and cities, etc... in California, so i apologize for being pretty ignorant when it comes to the geography of the state...

              I basically just want to apply to any department I can, as long as it isnt too far inland and relatively close to LA or SF (as i said 20-30 miles, 30 min drive or little longer given the traffic out there)

              I've gotten a lot of info from here and a lot of websites to visit... I just kind of wanted to know if anybody had any insider info that could help me out, like a "this department is solid, etc..." or a "dont bother with this one, it's very selective, etc.."

              Comment


              • #8
                If you are looking to work for a big city department you should look into Chicago. Over the last two years we have been hiring about 500 officers a year. Just in case you were interested.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Thanks Wind-City... if I get over my hatred for cold weather, I'll consider that..
                  Last edited by NYBuck09; 10-20-2005, 08:16 PM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by NYBuck09
                    Thanks for the response... basically this is a move myself and some of my buddies are making... So of course, being young and just out of college, everyone wants to go somewhere near the coast and near a large city (mainly SF or LA)...

                    So basically, with my interest in law enforcement I'm looking for jobs within a 20-30 miles radius of San Francisco or Los Angeles...

                    Im still learning about all the different counties and cities, etc... in California, so i apologize for being pretty ignorant when it comes to the geography of the state...

                    I basically just want to apply to any department I can, as long as it isnt too far inland and relatively close to LA or SF (as i said 20-30 miles, 30 min drive or little longer given the traffic out there)

                    I've gotten a lot of info from here and a lot of websites to visit... I just kind of wanted to know if anybody had any insider info that could help me out, like a "this department is solid, etc..." or a "dont bother with this one, it's very selective, etc.."
                    Really, what I'm asking is, what kind of department do you want to work for? Richmond PD is going to be very, very different from Berkeley PD, even though they're 5 minutes from each other. SFPD is going to be much, much different from South San Francisco PD and both are going to be very different from San Bruno PD, even though they're all within a 10 minute drive of each other.

                    The Bay Area is a huge metro area with about 5 million residents, maybe 40+ law enforcement agencies and a ton of difference between all of them. Do you want to work for a city with a highly educated populace and the newest and coolest equipment? Try Palo Alto or Santa Clara PD. Do you like dealing with homeless people and a lot of political unrest and a liberal populace? Try Berkeley PD or Santa Cruz PD. Lots of drugs, gangs and violent crimes? Richmond PD or Union City PD might be your style. Want a calmer environment, where you wouldn't be afraid to raise kids? Try San Bruno PD or Fremont PD.

                    Maybe narrow it down a little and we can suggest some stuff for you.

                    BTW, if you're worried about the size of the city, San Jose is bigger than San Francisco. 1,000,000 vs. 750,000.
                    *Not a cop*

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by NYBuck09
                      Thanks for the feedback guys, it is all very helpful...

                      SgtTom: Does SFPD have a testing system like the LAPD for out of area or out of state applicants? I know in the LAPD you can finish the whole process in nine days or something if you are coming from outside the LA area..

                      NO, we are still backwards

                      In addition, for those applying for an entry level position in the SFPD, do many of those individuals have some type of law enforcement background already.. whether it be working for another agency or academy training, etc.. I am a little bit worried given that I am not from SF or California, only have a 4 year college degree and some security work... Given the large amount of applicants, I would think I'd be going up against a lot of individuals who have military or other significant law enforcement resumes...

                      No problem. As mentioned, SF prefers personnel without LEO experience. No bad habits to come over with.

                      Sorry to ask so many questions, but I would also like to know more about some of the counties on your list... I would imagine many of those PDs and SOs are small in size which likely means that they would be more difficult to get into than a bigger city like San Francisco, Oakland, or south in LA or San Bern.. Am I correct regarding this?

                      Contra Costa, Alameda Counties is what I'd shoot for. Metro cities: SF, San Jose, maybe Oakland. Big cities (over 100K population): Daly City, Hayward, Fremont, Santa Clara, Sunnyvale (but these guys are DPS police / fire), Concord, Antioch, Richmond, Berkeley, Vallejo. mid cities: 50-90K, Richmond, Redwood City, Union City, Milpitas, So San Francisco, Palo Alto, San Leandro. small cities: up to 50K Pittsburg, Martinez, San Pablo, Rohnert Park, San Rafael, San Bruno, Millbrae (probs with merging here tho), Albany, Emeryville, ...

                      Just being a 23 year old college grad with no law enforcement experience, which of those PDs or SOs would be a realistic shot for me? Any really. only a very few prefer laterals (those with experience).

                      Any help would be appreciated.. thanks...
                      YOU GO GIRL
                      ''Life's tough......it's tougher if you're stupid.''
                      -- John Wayne

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Just an FYI, I have a couple of friends who are officers with Vallejo PD. They tell me that VPD pays very well with great bennies and is a supportive department but they pretty much only hire laterals and recruits from their cadet program.

                        Also, Tom thanks for the heads up on good departments in the Bay Area.
                        Hail hail the gang's all here, when the going gets tough I know my friends will still be there. - Drop Kick Murphys, "The Gang's all Here"

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Welpe
                          Just an FYI, I have a couple of friends who are officers with Vallejo PD. They tell me that VPD pays very well with great bennies and is a supportive department but they pretty much only hire laterals and recruits from their cadet program.

                          Also, Tom thanks for the heads up on good departments in the Bay Area.
                          Yeah, I heard the same from a Vallejo PD recruiter, which was disappointing. I've heard the same thing about Vallejo as I did about Richmond PD and Salinas PD: you survive 3 years there, you can work anywhere you want.
                          *Not a cop*

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I had the privledge of going on a full 12 hour ride along in Vallejo. If most days are like that, then I believe it.
                            Hail hail the gang's all here, when the going gets tough I know my friends will still be there. - Drop Kick Murphys, "The Gang's all Here"

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Come "south,youngin' come south"(southern Calif)

                              Originally posted by NYBuck09
                              Thanks for the response... basically this is a move myself and some of my buddies are making... So of course, being young and just out of college, everyone wants to go somewhere near the coast and near a large city (mainly SF or LA)...

                              So basically, with my interest in law enforcement I'm looking for jobs within a 20-30 miles radius of San Francisco or Los Angeles...

                              Im still learning about all the different counties and cities, etc... in California, so i apologize for being pretty ignorant when it comes to the geography of the state...

                              I basically just want to apply to any department I can, as long as it isnt too far inland and relatively close to LA or SF (as i said 20-30 miles, 30 min drive or little longer given the traffic out there)

                              I've gotten a lot of info from here and a lot of websites to visit... I just kind of wanted to know if anybody had any insider info that could help me out, like a "this department is solid, etc..." or a "dont bother with this one, it's very selective, etc.."



                              The Bay area and Northern California are very expensive to live in (try so.Cal with an avg of $450K for a house compared to no. Cal with an avg of 650K).Also what I find weird is that many of the Nor.Cal agencies pay less than the avg So.Cal agencies despite the higher cost of living.Oakland PD,a poorer economy than San Francisco Pd, pays More in salary than SFPD ,and despite the rise in housing prices near Sacramento ,Sacramento PD and adjacent PDs pay lower than agencies in less developed parts of So.Cal. to me ,it seems that So.Calif agencies can whoop more butt still than the politically correct agencies "up north".even remember an "alternate lifestyle" female police "commizar" telling citzs to carry mini video cams to "catch" SFPD cops if they are believed to be screwing around! She even had the nerve to comment that the shooting of SFPD Officer Guelf(SP?) by an AK47 armed crazy "as part of the job".I know that at 23 , you want to "make a mark" and be part of the "action", but it gets real old soon, and any smart cop or advisor on this job will tell you to find a place and look to your own welfare.your decision is whether you want to work for a small agency or a large agencyany agency btwn 150-250 is part of a mid sized city (100+ thousand populace) and you can find closeness as well as opportunities to advance, 150 and less,smaller,less movement,but sometimes ,depending on the city and economy ,you can get pampered by the locals and have a good place to work.wehn you look at agencies of 500+ your you are talking big city woes as well as internal issues".i was "22" when I started and gave up a lot of personal "freedoms" to adjust to the "law enforcement" lifestyle-you'll miss the weekend get togethers with the "Bud",become less tolerant of knuckle heads,your girlfriend or friends won't understand your "backward" schedules,and holidays? you'll know that christmas is just another day at work or that Hannukah means an early dinner with the folks and roll call at 6pm! Like corporate america, this is a career-do your research,come out for at least 2 wks and rough it (cheap hotel,etc) in the area you really want to live and work-never allow yourself to be more than a (45) min drive from work!
                              "we're americans ! We don't quit because we're wrong, we just keep doing it wrong UNTIL it turns out Right"...

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