How to Become a Police Officer in San Francisco

The first step interested folks need to take to become a cop in San Francisco is signing up for the interest list here. You will be immediately notified once there are openings.

Before you start consider some of the basic qualifications to be eligible to apply:

  • Candidates need to be at least 20 years of age (no maximum age requirements)
  • Must have U.S. citizenship or permanent resident alien status.
  • Candidates don’t need to be a resident of San Francisco to qualify
  • Must have a valid driver’s license
  • No misdemeanor or felony conviction within the state of California or any other state
Here are the qualifications you need to be hired:
  • All new officers need to be at least 21 years of age at the date of employment
  • Must have a high school diploma or GED from a U.S. school or…
  • either a 2-year or 4-year diploma from a United States’ accredited college or university
  • Must have U.S. citizenship
  • Complete all the test requirements as well as the background investigation

Lateral Entry Program in the San Francisco Police Department

SFPD is open to certified peace officers out of state who have at least 2-years patrol experience to join.

Written Examination

This aims to look at a candidates abilities in reading comprehension and writing, this will be used to measure on were you rank among all the applicants.

Physical Agility Test

The PAT or Physical Agility Test is divided into five (5) separate events, all of which will be scored in a pass or fail basis. Take note that you need to pass all these events to move. This examination will be held in the San Francisco Police Academy at 350 Amber Drive, San Francisco, CA 94131.

These events include the following:

  • Obstacle course
  • Trigger Pull
  • Sit ups
  • Arm lift
  • Leg Endurance

Oral Interview

The oral interview or more popularly known as the board will be conducted by a panel of officers who will ask a series of questions and evaluate you based on your interpersonal skills, problem solving and oral communication skills. Make sure to be on time and to get enough sleep the day before this test. Although it is not required, it’ll be best if you put on your formal attire.

Participants are given the opportunity to review the oral interview questions prior to the test.

Background Investigation

All applicants are required to submit a complete background packet to be able to move through the background investigation.

Applicants must submit the following documents to complete their background packet:

  • Certified copy of birth certificate
  • Male candidates who are between 18 and 26 years of age are required to submit a copy of registration with the Selective Service System
  • Certified copies or High School and College diplomas
  • Sealed transcript of records from high school / GED and college
  • Military veterans must provide a copy of DD214
  • Marriage certificate(s) – if applicable
  • Divorce or dissolution decrees
  • Copies of restraining order(s) issued or filed
  • A copy of vehicle insurance policy
  • Passport sized photograph (must be recent)
  • Certified copies of bankruptcy proceedings (if applicable)
Applicants are also required to provide the following information (for the last 10 years):
  • places of residence
  • people whom they lived with
  • companies they are employed with
  • names of all co-workers and employers
  • all law enforcement agencies they applied with

For more information on becoming a police officer in San Francisco, visit the SFPD website or call (415) 734-3324.

Click here to check out the various police officer jobs in San Francisco.

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