Community Programs

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The South San Francisco Police Department offers a variety of programs  for the citizens to join in.



Would you like to know more about the police department that serves your community? Have you ever been curious about the police department and what it does?

Here is your chance to get an inside look at the South San Francisco Police Department, how it functions, how it trains its officers, what its values are, and what it offers the citizens of our community.

If you work or live in South San Francisco and are interested, then we would like you to attend our "Citizens' Police Academy" free of charge! Classes are two and a half hours long and run once a week for twelve weeks.

Each class teaches a different aspect of police work that ranges from the hiring of officers, to SWAT team and K-9 team demonstrations, to firearms training in our own shooting range. Each class is unique, packed with information, and a lot of fun!

Requirements: Work or live in South San Francisco (some exceptions may apply), be 18 years or older, free of any felony convictions, miss no more than two classes, and have an interest in learning!

The next class will be scheduled pending the "Shelter in Place" restrictions being lifted.

Classes are in English and are limited to 25 people - call Corporal Elena Dominguez for more information at (650) 829-3931 or by e-mail.

Citizens' Police Academy Application


Academia De Policia En Espanol


Se ha preguntado alguna vez:
Qué derechos tienen como residentes?
Cuál es mi protección bajo la ley?
Cuales son las leyes acerca del castigo fisico?
Cuales son las leyes acerca de la violencia domestica?
Cómo solucionar problemas en la comunidad?
Cómo responde la policía en casos de violencia doméstica?
Que se esta hacienda sobre los problemas de pandillas?
Que opciones tengo para defenderme?
Encuentre las respuestas en…

La Academia Hispana Comunitaria de Sur San Francisco
**Presentada en Español**
Aprendizaje es gratuito y una vez por semana

Donde: Departamento de Policia de Sur San Francisco
33 Arroyo Dr., Sur San Francisco, CA 94080

Para mas informacion llame al:
Oficial Alfaro (650) 829-7237




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The South San Francisco Police Department strives to provide the best type of law enforcement service possible. We invite your suggestions for methods of improving police services through constructive criticism of Department procedures, your comments indicating dissatisfaction with the manner of performance, or information concerning commendable actions by employees of the Department. 

Each report received will be investigated and appropriate action taken. Complaints against Department personnel will be handled in a prompt and unbiased manner. Your suggestions about improved procedures will be investigated, evaluated, and implemented when feasible to do so. Any commendation of the actions of our personnel will result in appropriate recognition.

If you wish to make a report in person, please come to the Police Department. You will be received courteously and thorough consideration will be given to your report. If you wish to register your report, a citizen report form will be provided to you for completion; and you may then mail in the form to the Department. 

Please provide as much information as possible. Give your name and address so that we may contact you for further information, if needed. Every report will receive the personal attention of the Chief of Police.

It is important to note that you have a right to make a complaint against a police officer for any improper police conduct. California law requires that all police agencies have a procedure to investigate citizens' complaints. You have a right to a written description of this procedure. Citizen complaints and any reports or findings relating to complaints, regardless of the disposition, must be retained by this agency for at least five years. 

It is against the law to make a complaint that you know to be false. If you make a complaint against an officer knowing that it is false, you can be prosecuted on a misdemeanor charge. 


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The South San Francisco Police Department would like you to know about the approach we are taking in handling problems within the City - "Community Oriented Policing and Problem Solving" or "COPPS". Community oriented policing in itself has been around for years and is not so much a program as it is a philosophy or a frame of mind. 

The Police Chief and his staff have dedicated a great deal of time and effort to this approach which emphasizes community involvement and the use of non-traditional methods for solving problems on the streets, in our businesses, and in our neighborhoods and schools.

All Police Department employees are taking the community policing approach with them to the streets in an effort to minimize crime and bring the members of the community into the problem-solving picture. The face of police work has slowly changed over the years and police officers can no longer be viewed only as the enforcers of the law. We are making the transition to being facilitators of community involvement as part of a police/citizen team; working together to achieve a safe and desirable community in which to work and live.

In the past, handling crime suppression was performed by meeting with the complainant, obtaining the necessary information, and trying to catch the responsible. Community resources were not normally used in the process. Often times, the problem would resurface and another officer would respond to the call and handle it much the same way. Community skepticism and mistrust would sometimes enter the picture at this point when this "traditional" method of enforcement was ineffective.

With the community policing mindset, officers have greater latitude in handling problems that occur on their assigned beats. More creative solutions - including involving the community as our eyes and ears - have helped to reduce repeat crimes and on-going problems in certain situations. Officers are also working together and communicating with their beat counterparts to make sure that problems which occur on one shift are not happening at another time.

Patrol officers have also gone to the public to stop community blight from overtaking certain areas. Property owners - from apartment buildings to shopping centers - have been called upon to keep their property in good condition. The City's Code Enforcement Officers get involved if there is continued non-compliance. 

To assist in this community anti-blight effort, the COPPS Officer administers a juvenile diversion program called Project N.E.A.T. (Neighborhood Enhancement Action Teams) where juvenile first offenders meeting certain criteria attend mandatory counseling sessions, and work all day on a Saturday painting out graffiti, picking up trash, performing weed abatement, or any other reasonable task that would enhance the beauty of the City. For details about the program, see the Project NEAT page or call (650) 829-3931.


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The South San Francisco Police Department will be implementing a Dog Walker Watch Program for the City of South San Francisco. We invite anyone who regularly is out walking their dogs or people who are out in the community on daily walks to participate in this crime awareness program. This program is designed to get people throughout our community to assist the Police Department as the extra eyes and ears of our city.

The Dog Walker Watch Program will focus on observing and reporting suspicious activity while walking your pets around your neighborhood, guides for you and your pets’ personal safety, and the importance of constant communication between the community and the Police Department to help deter crime.

For more information, contact Corporal Elena Dominguez at (650) 829 – 3931 or via e-mail.

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Are you between 15-21 years old and looking to serve your community in a unique way? Are you curious about the various careers in police work and eager to grow your leadership skills? Are you thinking about building a college resume and earning scholarship opportunities? If so, the South San Francisco Police Explorer Cadets may be for you! 

Some duties that Explorer Cadets perform are:
   • Working with the community in crime prevention
   • Assisting our Police Records and Services divisions
   • Engaging with local younger children as role models 
   • Promoting our various safety programs
   • Helping enforce parking and traffic control at events
   • Riding along with tenured mentor officers on patrol

Our Explorer Cadets are able to learn about different jobs in law enforcement while proudly helping their local community and gaining new friends. The program teaches leadership skills, team-work, discipline, the importance of civil-service, and encourages positive relations between police and local youth. Most importantly, we help provide skills that young people will utilize throughout their lives.

Some basic requirements needed to apply are;

   • Must either live or attend school in South San Francisco
   • Must maintain a minimum 2.5 GPA (“C” average)
   • Must be a U.S. citizen or in the process of becoming a naturalized citizen
   • Successfully complete an Oral-Board Interview and pass a Background Investigation

All new Explorer Cadets are required to attend an in-depth Explorer Academy. This para-military style academy takes place over nine consecutive Sundays during the Spring and Fall semesters and is hosted by multiple police agencies around San Mateo County. There, Explorer Cadets will learn about; the law, how to work with others, noble values, narcotics, firearms safety, first-aid, and numerous other topics.

If this sounds like a program for you, please apply anytime with the South San Francisco Police Department. Or for more information, call or e-mail the School Liaison Officer at (650) 829-3924 or


Also be sure to follow our Explorer Cadets on Instagram! @ssfpd.explorer.cadets #Post850


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The Gang Resistance and Training (GREAT) Program began in 1992 through a joint effort between The Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and The Phoenix Police Department. Over the past 18 years GREAT has been taught in all 50 states as well as The District of Columbia, The US Virgin Islands, and US territories Guam, and Puerto Rico. Since its start, more than 4 million students have graduated from the GREAT program and over 8000 officers have been certified as GREAT instructors. The South San Francisco Police Department implemented the program in 2005. 

GREAT was designed to help prevent elementary and middle school students from getting involved in gangs, and to mold them into becoming responsible members of their community. Some of the main goals of the GREAT program are to deter youth from delinquent behavior and violence. GREAT also teaches students how to set goals for themselves, learn how to resolve conflict, shows them how to resist peer and gang pressure and explains how gang activity impacts the quality of their lives. Each student who completes the GREAT program is presented with a certificate of graduation. 

The GREAT program: 

  • Provides gang resistance and training
  • Provides students with information on laws, drugs and gangs
  • Increases personal skills
  • Improves students' self-esteem
  • Involves parents in the program

The School Liaison and C.O.P.P.S. officers teach the curriculum in South San Francisco's elementary and middle schools during the Fall and Spring. GREAT is a federally funded program.


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The Police Department recommends using good "Neighborhood Watch" strategies:

  • Make your rear yard as inaccessible as possible to strangers
  • Familiarize yourself with people and vehicles that belong in your neighborhood, and when school should be in session.
  • Report all suspicious/loitering persons and suspicious vehicles to the 9-1-1 emergency number.
  • Communicate with your trusted neighbors about the hours your family works, trips you're taking and who should be at home. When an extended trip is taken, gather each others mail and newspapers
  • Upgrade your window and door locks, use security lighting
  • Consider a reliable home alarm system

Click here for a guide to Starting and Growing a Neighborhood Watch program.


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The South San Francisco Police Department Reserve Program is comprised of citizens who volunteer their time to assist career officers in many aspects of police work. South San Francisco Police Reserves are required to complete a training program which meets minimum training requirements as set forth by the California Police Officers Standards and Training (POST)

Generally, most police reserves become involved in the program because they are either interested in pursuing a career in law enforcement or are committed to serving the community in a law enforcement related capacity.

Amongst many responsibilities, reserve officers are required to be able to learn and understand large amounts of information and procedures related to law enforcement. They must be able to act in a professional manner and communicate effectively with co-workers and the general public. 

South San Francisco Police Reserves are required to attend monthly meetings and work a minimum of 10 hours per month on a volunteer basis. In addition, some paid special event assignments are occasionally available. Anyone who is interested in the police reserve program is encouraged to contact the South San Francisco Police Department at (650) 877-8900 for more information.


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Project NEAT (Neighborhood Enhancement Action Team) is a juvenile diversion program for youths between 12 and 17 years old. Those who participate in Project NEAT work one eight-hour Saturday picking up trash, cleaning weeds, or other similar labor-type work. The work is performed in various locations throughout South San Francisco. Project NEAT helps reduce recidivism and helps our neighborhoods too!

There are three ways a juvenile can participate in Project NEAT:

  1. A juvenile is arrested for a minor offense in SSF,
  2. A juvenile receives a minor traffic violation in SSF, or
  3. A parent or school official (in SSF) believes Project NEAT would be a more beneficial form of discipline than other alternatives

To qualify for Project NEAT, juveniles must live in South San Francisco, San Bruno, Daly City, or Brisbane, except for traffic violation offenders, and the offense must be their first- those on probation cannot participate. The juvenile must also admit guilt for their offense and be remorseful. 

If the above conditions are met, the juvenile and his or her parent or guardian will meet with the program coordinator and discuss the program's expectations. If the juvenile successfully completes Project NEAT, prosecution will not be sought for the offense for which they were referred.

The program does have a fee: $50 for criminal or parent/school official referral, and $75 for traffic referrals. For more information about Project NEAT, please call (650) 829-3931


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The South San Francisco Police Department's Volunteer Program began in 1992 as a way for citizens to assist the Police Department in a variety of ways. Volunteers are used to enhance existing programs and to assist the department in a variety of tasks. Duties that may be performed may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Computer work/data processing
  • Equipment maintenance
  • Undercover surveillances
  • Statistical work/data searches and analysis
  • Issuing abandoned vehicle warning notices
  • Processing booking photographs
  • Categorizing sexual offenders within SSF
  • Locating and reporting graffiti
  • Education for employees and/or the public
  • Assist the Property Technician in inventory/disposition of property
  • Audio/visual development and training
  • Staff an Aid to Victim and Witnesses Program
  • Parking Citations

The South San Francisco Police Department encourages citizens to get involved. Those wishing to learn more about the Volunteer Program are encouraged to call the Community Relations Sergeant at (650) 877-8922. 


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The South San Francisco Police Department “Youth Academy” is a new program created specifically for the children in our community.  The program is intended for children between the ages of 10 and 14, and has been modeled after the Department’s already successful Citizen’s Academy program for adults.


The 8-week program is designed to build and strengthen relationships between the children in the community and the members of the Police Department.  This is accomplished by educating the children about the different functions of the police department and the role of police officers in the community.

Some of the topics covered in the program are:

The police officer hiring process
Criminal investigations and evidence collection
Traffic enforcement and collision investigations
Gang resistance
SWAT and K9 Units
Hostage Negotiations
And much, much more!!

The Youth Academy program will give children an opportunity to see inside the police department and gain a new insight into law enforcement.  The program also allows for members of the police department to gain a better understanding of what it is to be a child growing up in South San Francisco.  The ultimate goal of the program is to build a strong foundational relationship between the police department and the children of our community based on mutual respect and understanding.

All classes are taught by working police officers and other members of the police department.  At the end of the program, students will participate in a graduation ceremony and will receive a commemorative T-shirt and a certificate of completion awarded by the Chief of Police. 

For more information or to reserve your spot in the next Academy, please contact Corporal Amy Sariotti at (650) 829-3714.


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