SF cops make the big bucks

If you’re considering a career in law enforcement then SF is the place to be for the big green. Well at least bigger than some of our other Californian cities that are actively recruiting. I looked at LA, Oakland and SF since those are the ones I’ve seen ads for recently on TV and in print.

Starting salary for the Los Angeles Police Department for high school graduates is $54,475. If you blew all your parents money on college and have at least 60 units under you belt with a GPA of at least 2.0 (!) then you get a bump to $56,668. If you have a BA or BS (the BS comes in handy on the mean streets of LA I hear) your starting salary is $58,881. I was always told a college degree would make you the big bucks and this is tangible proof that it works! If you can avoid getting shot for at least 10 years you might be able to pay of those student loans. (LAPD Salary and Benefits) LA does have one awesome upside though. They get cool recruitment films!

If you are looking to move to Oakland to start your career in law enforcement you can expect to make significantly more than your brothers in blue in the City of Angels. Starting salaries range from $69,162 to $87,172 with a base salary of $62,245 while attending the police academy. No specific information is given on their website about what qualifications rate a higher starting salary but they do mention bumps for college kids. (Oakland PD Salary and Benefits)

If you want to stay at home and protect our fair city then the San Francisco PD is where you want to be. The current annual entry-level salary in SF is $72,956 to $97,656. They also don’t disclose what the difference is on the website but a little digging uncovered that the higher end of the spectrum comes after 5 years on the force. Their recruiting site loses points for not disclosing that. With the large number of SFPD up for retirement in the coming years and their trouble with recruiting new officers now might be the perfect time to get in at the ground floor and work your way up the ladder much quicker. (SFPD Salary and Benefits)

For more information on what the crime rates in each of the cities is and how much fire you’re likely to take check out the FBI’s preliminary report on 2007 Offenses Reported to Law Enforcement for January-June 2007.

Recruiting sites for each city:
San Francisco – http://www.sfpdcareers.com/
Oakland – http://www.opdjobs.com/
Los Angeles – http://www.joinlapd.com/

Happy hunting and please leave the skateboarders the hell alone.

3 Comments so far

  1. Udayan Tripathi (udayan) on April 8th, 2008 @ 3:03 pm

    lolz @ the BS joke.

    But seriously, it’s definitely important to pay public servants well. We need people to do these jobs, and with money being the only currency (reputation is no longer considered) all players need to up their game. Including the public sector.


  2. Anna (sf_anna) on April 8th, 2008 @ 7:19 pm

    It’s puzzling, I’m constantly hearing about how our SFPD is understaffed, because of the early retirement we’re going to be really tight for a while, etc. But in contrast, I also know about 3 folks who were rejected, in various ways and techniques… shuttled off to reserve copdom, never passing the physical, etc. Part of me is glad, it should be a very selective role, but another side wonders if there’s something else at work. Sounds like a tough gig- a lot of bilingualism is required, and most of it is community outreach. Also, since it’s so expensive to live here I can see the salaries being adjusted to entice employees to actually live in the city where they work.


  3. SFPD Foot Patrol Pilot, is it working? | San Francisco Metblogs (pingback) on April 9th, 2008 @ 9:25 am

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