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Cops, San Francisco, a new one!


January 28, 2013 by Dan

I have many, many obsessions (container ships are one. Burritos used to be one. And on and on), things that make me excited. One of them is San Francisco-based police agencies. There are a ton of police and police-like agencies in the city, and this past weekend I saw a car of one that I hadn’t added to my mental list.

Which means that I should probably have a list that’s more than mental. So here’s the list:

  1. The San Francisco Police Department. The big guys.
  2. The Sheriff Department. Sadly, they are never chasing down the Dukes, but they run the jails and things.
  3. California Highway Patrol. They, obviously, handle the highways. But not security of the actual Golden Gate Bridge (see below).
  4. The BART Police. Infamous for the Oscar Grant thing, but they do have arresting powers right around stations, and underground.
  5. The San Francisco State University Police. I was never quite sure why they had cars, but while I was a grad student there, the cops I interacted with were fantastic. One helped me with a bike flat tire one time.
  6. The University of California, San Francisco Police. I’m assuming they’re similar to the State guys.
  7. University of San Francisco Public Safety. I’ve only seen one of their cars, once. They have a much smaller campus to deal with than the other schools. Now we’re going to start getting into the odder ones.
  8. San Francisco Park Rangers. They handle enforcement in all of the city parks.
  9. US Park Police. These guys handle all security and law enforcement on federal parks within the city – think the Presidio, Crissy Field, etc.
  10. The US Mint Police. Very special for us! There are only six offices of the Mint Police in the country, and our local one is actually in my neighborhood. Haighteration wrote an amazing article about the SF Mint, if you are interested in learning more.
  11. The Federal Protective Services Police. I couldn’t find a specific page for the San Francisco branch of this service, but they used to have a car parked outside an agency building on Sansome Street – I passed by it every day while working in that neighborhood. They’re a little wonky, but they do provide police services, they can arrest people, and (most importantly) they drive Ford Crown Vics.
  12. The Bridge Patrol. This is the car that I saw whilst running this past weekend. They’re different from the CHP in that they don’t handle the road, but instead handle the bridge. I think.
  13. San Francisco Community College Police. I saw this one whilst biking South of Market, after I hadn’t added an agency in nearly a year! So exciting.
  14. The Postal Police

That’s the current list, transcribed from my head onto this here Internet. I wonder…what have I missed? I’m not including the Patrol Specials because they’re so similar to the normal cops, and operate under charter.

1 comment »

  1. […] I realized that I am the guy who decided to document all the police agencies who can arrest you in San Francisco. I’m probably the guy to do this. Please note that this list is just from inside my head and […]

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