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San Francisco City Hall


Tuesday, January 16, 2024 

Contact: Mayor’s Press Office,


New Police Academy class starting today joins two other classes currently training at SFPD Academy – higher cadet levels reflective of efforts to strengthen recruitment through increased pay, expanded outreach, and streamlined hiring

San Francisco, CA – Today Mayor London N. Breed and Police Chief William Scott announced that the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) has welcomed its latest Academy Class, bringing the total of three Police Academy classes currently training. The presence of these three SFPD Police Academy classes is the highest number of cadets training at any one time since before the pandemic. This puts SFPD on track to graduate more recruits in 2024 than any year since the pandemic began. 

Current classes at SFPD Police Academy: 

  • Academy Class 282 starts today, January 16th, with 19 new candidates.  
  • Another 41 recruits are currently training in Academy Classes 280 (started in July) and 281 (started in September).   
  • Class 280 is scheduled to graduate in February and Class 281 is set to graduate in May.   

These three Academy Classes reflect the increase in applications the Department began to experience at the end of 2022, when applications to join SFPD began to increase back to 2018 levels after years of being down during the pandemic. Mayor Breed and SFPD have improved recruitment efforts by increasing pay, streamlining testing and hiring, and expanding outreach, including: 

  • Increasing starting pay for SFPD officers to be among the highest of any large Bay Area City. SFPD officers are paid more than officers in almost any other major city in the nation. 
  • Shifting to a dynamic academy class model to quickly start classes once they hit a certain level instead of waiting long periods of time between Academy classes, and losing out on recruits.  
  • Expanding outreach nationwide, including with a focus on Historically Black Colleges and Universities. 
  • Reducing the hiring process by up to three months by conducting Physical Ability Test (PAT), Oral Interview, and Written Test in one day. 
  • Expanding free one-day testing events to college campuses around Northern and Southern California and offering test preparation resources and practice sessions for potential recruits. 
  • Streamlining of the Lateral Hiring Process by immediately hiring lateral candidates as soon as they complete the hiring process rather than waiting to fill a class. 
  • Participating in the 30 x 30 Initiative to increase the representation of women in SFPD with the goal of 30% women recruits by 2030.  

These recruitment efforts, as well as key retention efforts have helped SFPD stabilize staffing and start building up again. While SFPD is about 500 officers short of its citywide staffing goal, police staffing has recently stopped declining. Now the efforts are focused on retaining the current officers, while bringing in new recruits to see police staffing in San Francisco begin to rise again. 

“Our work to strengthen recruiting and retaining officers and to build the support to have the best police force in the country is leading to results,” said Mayor London Breed. “A lot of this work has been happening behind the scenes for a long time, and now we are starting to see a real change in our Academy.  I’m thankful for everyone who is signing up to put on a uniform and serve our residents, our businesses, and our city. This is how we create a safer, more just San Francisco.”  

“Efforts to boost recruiting in San Francisco are paying off,” said Chief Bill Scott. “The SFPD is moving in the right direction, and I’m overjoyed to see so many applicants wanting to join our department. They have begun their journey to be part of one of the most historic police forces in the nation that stands as a model for how reform and public safety go hand-in-hand.” 

Despite staffing challenges, SFPD’s efforts have made San Francisco safer over the last year. Most recently during the 2023 holiday season: 

  • Larceny theft (car break-ins and retail theft) decreased by 48%  
  • Motor vehicle theft decreased by 17% 
  • Burglaries decreased by 26% 

Violent crime rates in San Francisco remain lower than other cities and both violent and property crime remain below pre-pandemic levels. SFPD’s homicide clearance rate is consistently far above the national average.   

The next Police Academy class will begin later this spring and applications continue to come in at a high level. For more information and to view career opportunities with the SFPD, visit this page.