San Francisco Police Department
File:SFPD Patch.gif
MottoOro en paz, fierro en guerra
Operational structure
Sworn members2000+

The San Francisco Police Department or S.F.P.D., is responsible for policing in the City and County of San Francisco. The department's motto is the same as the city and county: Oro en paz/Fierro en guerra (Spanish for Gold in Peace/Iron in War).

SFPD 1980s patrol car logo.
SFPD 1980s patrol car logo.

The SFPD began operations on August 13, 1849 during the gold rush and under command of Captain Malachi Fallon. Chief Fallon had a force of one deputy captain, three sergeants and thirty officers.

In 1851, Albert Bernard de Russailh wrote about the nascent San Francisco police force;

"As for the police, I have only one thing to say. The police force is largely made up of ex-bandits, and naturally the members are interested above all in saving their old friends from punishment. Policemen here are quite as much to be feared as the robbers; if they know you have money, they will be the first to knock you on the head. You pay them well to watch over your house, and they set it on fire. In short, I think that all the people concerned with justice or the police are in league with the criminals. The city is in a hopeless chaos, and many years must pass before order can be established. In a country where so many races are mingled, a severe and inflexible justice is desirable, which would govern with an iron hand."

It was not until 1898, a reorganization of the force was a modern police service created and responsible to the city.

A list of commanding officers of the SFPD:

City Marshalls - 1850-1856

Chief of Police

In 1997, the San Francisco Airport Police merged with SFPD, becoming the SFPD Airport Bureau. Unlike SFPD, Los Angeles still has separate departments: LAPD and Los Angeles Airport Police.

The S.F.P.D currently has over 2000+ sworn officers.

Heroes of the SFPD

In 1937 Police Captain Arthur Layne, father-in-law to Edmund G. Brown, reported on police corruption in the ranks.

Famous cases and events

SFPD Fallen Officers

On Sunday, May 2nd, 1937, Patrolman George Burkhard, trophied marksman, shot his wife and two grown daughters in the back and then committed suicide in the midst of his prosecution for falsifying documents related to graft prosecutions.

1969 - officer Joe Brodnik, killed by somebody, prosecution of Los Siete De La Raza

In 2006, SFPD faced the loss of three officers.

1. Officer Darryl Tsujimoto, 41, a 13-year veteran of the SFPD, died of a heart attack during K9 training on Treasure Island.

2. Officer Nick-Tomasito Birco, 39, died in a vehicle accident when his patrol car was struck from behind by a van carrying four robbery suspects fleeing from other officers.

3. On December 22, 2006, Officer Bryan Tuvera, 28, a four-year veteran of the SFPD, was fatally shot in the head by a jail escapee from San Bruno in the Sunset District. The suspect was shot and killed by other SFPD officers.


The head of the SFPD is the Chief of Police. The current Chief is Heather Fong. Chief Fong works with four Deputy Chiefs (Field Operations, Investigations, Airport, and Administration), two field commanders and an airport commander.

Overall operations is split between two divisions: Metro and Golden Gate. Each division has 5 stations under command for a total of 10 overall.


Compared to the 2000 census for San Francisco;


Law Enforcement Management and Administrative Statistics, 2000: Data for Individual State and Local Agencies with 100 or More Officers


The S.F.P.D. currently has 10 police stations throughout the city.

Pay As A S.F.P.D. Officer

Current pay for a starting S.F.P.D. officer is $64,347 - $84,513

Duty Weapons

Current sidearm issue for S.F.P.D officers is either the SIG Sauer P-226R in .40S&W or SIG Sauer P229R in .40S&W (officer's perference). The inspectors are issued the SIG Sauer P-239 in .40S&W.

Important S.F.P.D. Phone Numbers

Non-emergency, low priority phone number for the S.F.P.D.: (415) 553-0123