Reserve Police Officer Program

The SFPD continuously seeks and accepts applications for the position of Reserve Police Officer.


Welcome | Minimum Qualifications | Duties | Benefits | Levels | Training | How To Apply | Contact


Are you interested in taking the first step in discovering an exciting career within the San Francisco Police Department?

We offer a unique opportunity to work in an environment that is unavailable anywhere else. The San Francisco Police Department offers qualified individuals a chance to experience working with diverse cultures and communities.

The Police Reserve Officer Program is comprised of community members, such as yourself, who wish to volunteer as a Police Officer. These officers supplement the full-time officers in a variety of duties throughout the Department. They patrol in vehicles, on foot patrols, or on bicycle patrol. Most Reserve Officers work with officers, but others can qualify to patrol on their own. This program is ideal for individuals who have an established career and do not wish to make a full transition to full-time Police Officer. Reserve Officers can enjoy the best of both worlds, maintain their chosen career while helping to police an internationally known city.

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The minimum qualifications for Reserve Police Officer is as follows:

  • Be at least 21 years of age at the time of appointment;
  • Not have any felony or serious misdemeanor convictions that would prohibit you from possessing a firearm;
  • Be a United States citizen or have applied for U.S. citizenship;
  • Possess a High School diploma or GED equivalency;
  • Possess a California driver's license;
  • Successfully pass a complete Peace Officer Background Investigation;
  • Successfully pass a polygraph exam, psychological screening, & medical examination;
  • Possess the required P.O.S.T. training certificate (either Basic Police Academy, Reserve Officer Level I, Level II, or Level III);
  • Successfully pass an Oral Interview.

Some testing may be waived for lateral Peace Officers recognized by P.O.S.T.

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A Reserve Officer performs general law enforcement, which includes street patrol, conducting preliminary police investigations, report writing, collision investigations, traffic control, issuance of citations, and other basic law enforcement functions.

Reserve Officers are also utilized at special events such as parades, street fairs, or security for major sporting events. Other duties include support services to other units within the Department, narcotics or vice crimes investigations, DUI checkpoints, Marine Unit patrol, or be assigned to the Inspector's Bureau. Reserve Officers perform most of the same duties as a full-time officer.

Reserve Officers are required to work during maximum deployment assignments such as, New Year's Eve, Halloween, major disasters, or major events. Reserve Officers may be required to work extended 12-hour shifts.

A typical Reserve Officer performs at least twenty hours of service each month. A Reserve Officer can volunteer to work more than the minimum twenty hours a month, if they choose. Reserve Officers can request to be assigned to any of the ten district stations within San Francisco or work within one of the many specialized units. Reserve Officers will receive and additional four hours, per month, of training each month various regarding topics.

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The Police Department does not offer financial compensation for it's Reserve Officers, but we will provide you with the standard uniform and equipment of a San Francisco Police Officer. You will be issued a Department-owned firearm, custom fitted protective vest, crowd control equipment, leather gear, and other related equipment. If a Reserve Officer regularly meets his/her monthly obligation of service, that Reserve Officer will be allowed to request a voucher for additional uniforms (on an annual basis).

Reserve Officers are eligible for continued professional training, outside training courses, and any other course taught at the SFPD Academy at no-cost to that Reserve Officer.

If a Reserve Officer is injured in the line-of-duty, he or she will receive Worker's Compensation benefits.

Reserve Officer is strictly a non-civil service volunteer position and does not receive any payment.

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The SFPD appoints Reserve Officers of all levels. We accept Level I, II, III Reserve Officers who have previously been certified by a P.O.S.T. accredited institution. If you have completed a Basic Police Academy within the last three years, you are qualified to be a Reserve Officer.

Level I Reserve Officers may be certified to work alone or with another Reserve Officer. He/she must successful pass a 400-hour Field Training Program prior to being released to work alone.

Level II Reserve Officers cannot work alone and must work with a fulltime officer or a Level I Reserve Officer.

Level III Reserve Officers cannot work alone and are assigned mostly to special events. This is an entry level position for Reserve Officer, unless you have been certified at a higher level.

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Most Community Colleges that have an Administration of Justice Program sponsor the necessary training. There are several institutions within the nine Bay Area Counties, including City College of San Francisco.

In most cases, the basic training needed (Reserve Officer Level III) will last one full semester. Contact the institution of your choice to determine the availability and schedule of the next class.

Some suggestions are listed below:

South Bay Regional Training Consortium
College of San Mateo Campus
1700 West Hillsdale Blvd
San Mateo, California 94402

City College of San Francisco
Administration of Justice Department
250 Phelan Avenue, Building 221
San Francisco, CA 94112

Santa Rosa Junior College Training Center
Administration of Justice Department
5743 Skylane Blvd
Windsor, California 95492

South Bay Regional Training Consortium
Evergreen Campus
3095 Yerba Buena Road
San Jose, CA 95135


Napa Valley College
Administration of Justice Department
2277 Napa Vallejo Highway 29
Napa, California 95458

Martinez Adult Learning College
Administration of Justice Department
500 Court Street
Martinez, California 94553


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Currently the Department is not accepting applications.

Reserve Officer Application (PDF)

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If you need additional information please call the Community Engagement Division at 415-558-5595.

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