The Communications Center provides 24-hour answering of all emergency and non-emergency police, fire, and medical calls (including 911 and non-emergency telephone service for the hearing and speech impaired). We have access to more than 140 languages and dialects through AT&T Language Line.
The Communications Center continues to use state-of-the-art technology to provide fast and effective emergency communication services. Using sophisticated radio communication, mobile computers and a Computer Aided Dispatch and Records Management System, the Communications Center is able to process requests and expedite the dispatch of police and fire personnel in an emergency. In addition to providing useful management statistical information, our computer systems enable us to track hazardous locations and special information about a residence, which may pose a threat to the safety of the public or public safety personnel.
What We Do
Our 911 Team combines decades of dispatching experience with a commitment to customer service. We process over 100,000 phone calls each year, including 35,000 calls for service involving the dispatch of Police and Fire Department personnel. Our goal is to coordinate the city's resources to best address the needs of the South San Francisco community. Dispatchers are the first point of contact for the public on matters related to public safety. We can direct you and your family to a wide variety of community services and agencies.
When to Dial
9-1-1 is a dedicated number assigned for reporting Police, Fire, or Medical Emergencies. Utilize the number when there is an immediate threat to life or property. Crimes in progress, or injury accidents are good examples of when you should dial 9-1-1.
Tips for Using 9-1-1
When you dial 9-1-1, a highly trained public safety dispatcher answers your call. The dispatcher will be prepared to send you the appropriate help based on what you report your emergency to be. To assure that the appropriate assistance is dispatched, dispatchers are trained to ask a lot of questions. Please be prepared to provide the following information:
The nature of your emergency – Police, Fire, or Medical
The exact location where you need the help
Names or descriptions of individuals involved if you can provide them.
When the crime occurred (if reporting an incident for the Police)
If you dial by mistake….do not hang up. Remain on the line and let the dispatcher know that you do not have an emergency.
9-1-1 & Cellular Telephones
If you call 9-1-1 on your cellular phone, your location and phone number will not be visible to the dispatcher as it is when you call from a regular telephone. In many areas, 9-1-1 calls that are placed using cellular telephones are initially routed to the California Highway Patrol (CHP). The CHP dispatch center must then forward the call to the appropriate jurisdiction .
Knowing the location of where you need the help will expedite the dispatch of emergency personnel.
Hearing Assistance Available
Did you know that South San Francisco Police and Fire Departments have had TTY's in our dispatch center since the ADA was passed in January of 1992? We have seven answering positions in our public safety dispatch center with TTY's at every answering point. All of these positions are equipped to answer by telephone or TTY with just a touch on our "touch screen" computer.
Our dispatchers are taught the three different ways that a TTY call can be received:
TTY call announced - because some TTY's have a pre-recorded synthesized voice message announcing the incoming TTY call.
Tones heard - because the caller is pressing their space bar!! This helps us recognize the call as a TTY call.
Silent call - because the caller may not be pressing their space bar. This could be for a couple of reasons.
It may be a habit for them not to press their space bar because they are used to using their TTY to call their deaf friends or family. In this case they would not press their space bar because their deaf friends or family would not hear the tones.
They can't press the space bar for some reason i.e., they have fallen or fainted.
The dispatchers are also taught how a TTY call might differ from a telephone call - that a Deaf caller does not react to the SOUNDS of an emergency and they may be more deeply involved in the emergency when they call us. A Deaf citizen will not hear, for example, the baby falling down the stairs, the glass window breaking, the fire crackling, etc.
If you ever need to call us via "911" or our seven digit number: (650) 873-3333, we encourage you to press your space bar; it helps us recognize the call as a TTY call.
What to Expect
Some things you can expect if you do call us are:
The first message you receive from us will be a "pre-programmed" message: "this is South San Francisco police what is your emergency q ga".
We will want to confirm the address where the crime or emergency is occurring. The emergency may not be occurring where you may be calling from so we will also ask you your address and TTY number along with some other questions. It is important that you try to remain calm and do not hang up until instructed to do so.
If your call is an emergency we may keep you on line until help arrives. This way we can update the officer or fire department who is responding. If your call is a Medical emergency we will transfer you to San Mateo County Dispatch for some "pre-arrival" advice. They will tell you what to do until the Fire Department / Paramedics arrive.
We encourage our citizens with TTY's to call and practice with us. This helps us stay in practice and keep our skills up. If you are interested in participating you can contact (650) 873-3333 via your TTY, voice mail (using the California Relay Service at (650) 829-7222 x1100.
The Community Relations Sergeant is assigned to the Services Division of the Police Department. The CR Sergeant is responsible for many aspects within the department. Such as:
Press Information Officer – spokesperson for the police department and liaison with the press
Taxi cab permits – perform back ground checks on all taxi drivers and issuing permits to them
Solicitor's permits – review applications for non profits, individuals and businesses that want to sell/solicit door to door and issue permits to them
Carnival/Festival permits – review and issue permits for schools, churches and other organizations to hold a carnival or festival
Dance Hall permits – review and approve parties and mandate security for each event
Bingo permits – review and audit all bingo games and issue yearly permits to non profit organizations
Commendations – review and approve all citizen and police officer commendations
Carrying concealed weapons permits – review and interview all residents who request to have a "concealed weapons" permit
Security guard companies – review and approve all security guard companies who do business in SSF and ensure all the proper insurances and permits are on file.
Telephone calls are often received from residents concerned about crime in their neighborhood and/or people who are interested in purchasing a home in SSF and want to know more about the particular area they want to purchase in.
Schools often call the CR Sergeant to arrange tours for their students at the PD. Businesses also call requesting PD appearance for talks regarding crime prevention and safety information for their employees.
The Planning and Crime Prevention position interacts with local businesses and is a liaison with other city departments to help strengthen the overall security of the buildings located in our city. This position regularly attends both City Council and Planning Commission Meetings and represents the police department by serving on several different committees within the city
The South San Francisco Police Department Property/Evidence unit is part of the Services Division. The office is generally staffed Monday through Thursday, 7:30am - 5:30pm and Fridays from 7:30am - 12:30pm.
Property/Evidence personnel are responsible for the logging in, custody, safekeeping, release and destruction of all property and evidence collected, as well as maintaining the records of each item.
Property, when eligible to be released, is released by appointment only. To schedule an appointment to pick up property, call 650-877-8924.
Q1: The police arrested the person who stole my property and are holding it. When can I get my property back?
A1: Your recovered property is evidence of the crime and will assist in the prosecution of the suspect. When the court case is concluded, the District Attorney's Office will notify us and we will notify you by letter when your property can be returned.
Q2: During a domestic disturbance with my spouse, police officers came to our house. They took my two rifles when they left. When can I get my guns back?
A2: Your guns were most likely taken for Safekeeping. If you are the legal owner of the guns, they may be returned to you after you receive clearance from the Department of Justice. Your Rights with regard to this are defined on the "Property Receipt/Notice of Rights" that was given to you at the time the officer took your guns.
Q3: When I tried to get my guns back, I was told they could not be released to me. Why?
A3: Assuming that the firearms are legal to possess, there are various reasons why your guns cannot be returned. By law, there are persons who are forbidden from owning or possessing firearms, including persons identified as the "restrained person" in a Restraining Order", those convicted of certain misdemeanors and felonies, as well as victims of certain mental illnesses or disorders Additionally, if the firearm was used in the commission or attempted commission of a felony by the owner, the weapon will be disposed of. If your weapon was seized the Superior Court may issue an order to destroy the weapon. If the owner is forbidden from owning or possessing the firearm, but it is not ordered destroyed, arrangements can be made for the owner to sell the firearm to another person through a licensed gun dealer.
Q4: During what hours can I come to the Police Department to reclaim my property?
A4: Appointments are required in order to pick up your property. Phone the Property/ Evidence unit at (650) 877-8924 between 8:00 am - 4:30 pm Monday through Thursday to set an appointment.
The South San Francisco Police Department Records unit is part of the Services Division. The Records staff consists of four Records Specialists and one Senior Records Specialist.
The Records office is open to the public daily:
Monday – Friday: 7:30 am – 7:00 pm
Saturday: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Sunday: 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm
The Records office is closed during the following city holidays:
- New Year’s Day
- Martin Luther King Day
- President’s Day
- Memorial Day
- Independence Day
- Labor Day
- Columbus Day
- Veteran’s Day
- Thanksgiving Day
- Day After Thanksgiving
- Christmas Eve (4 Hours)
- Christmas Day
- New Year’s Eve (4 Hours)
The numerous duties for which Records personnel are responsible include:
- Preparation of court packages for the District Attorney's Office
- Data entry of pertinent information from written crime and traffic accident reports
- Registration of narcotics and sex registrants
- Mailing out notices to registered and legal and owners of towed/stored vehicles
- Phoning owners of stolen vehicles when their vehicle has been recovered
- Answering phone calls coming in on the business lines
- Greeting and assisting the public at the front window
- Livescan and ink fingerprints
- Fulfilling requests for public record information
For fees related to vehicle releases, event permits, fingerprinting, and sale of police reports, the Police Department accepts cash, Visa, MasterCard, and Discover Card.
Q1: How do I obtain a "clearance letter" to show that I have no criminal record?
A1: You must be a current resident or at one time resided in South San Francisco. You must come in person to the Police Department and present a valid form of photo identification (Drivers License, California Identification Card or passport with fairly recent photo) and your SSF address. A check of only SSFPD records will be conducted. The fee is $10.00 and you will be provided with a letter which will state you either have no criminal history or list all your arrests with convictions, if you have any.
Q2: When can I come in for Live Scan fingerprinting?
A2: You must call for an appointment. Our days and hours for Live Scan are (Thursdays 1:00 - 3:00 pm & Saturdays 11:00 am - 1:00 pm). There is a fee of $72.00 in addition to the fees charged by the California Department of Justice and/or the F.B.I., depending upon the type of background check you require. Call (650) 877-8900 for an appointment.
Q3: How can I obtain a copy of a Police report?
A3: You may request a copy by mail by sending the required fee and a self-addressed stamped envelop and a copy will be mailed to you, generally within 2-3 days of receipt of the request. You should phone the Records office at (650) 877-8900 (have the report number handy if possible) to find out how much a copy will cost and whether the report is ready to be released. Or, you may come to the Police Department, provide identification, and purchase a copy of the report. The cost is 10-cents per page. Please allow a minimum of 5 working days for traffic accident reports to be completed.
Q4: How do I know to which police department I should report a crime?
A4: Generally speaking, you should make your report with the law enforcement agency having jurisdiction over the city in which the incident occurred. The South San Francisco Police Department will take reports of incidents which occur in our city.
Q5: How can I find out why my vehicle was towed, where it is and how I can get it back?
A5: Please know your vehicle's license plate number before contacting us, as it will speed the process of locating your vehicle. You may phone us at (650) 877-8900 or come in person to our station and present valid photo identification to verify you are the registered owner of the vehicle. If your vehicle was towed because of expired registration or for having five or more unpaid parking tickets, you must first go to the Department of Motor Vehicles and handle those issues. Then bring the receipts from the DMV to our Department. A fee of $174.00 (cash, Visa/MC, money order, cashier's check only) is charged for a vehicle release. If you do not possess a valid driver's license, you need to bring with you someone who does. You will be provided the release and, if needed, a map to the tow company storing your vehicle. You will then be responsible for paying any tow and storage fees directly to the tow company.
Q6: Can someone other than the registered owner of the vehicle pick up the vehicle release?
A6: Yes. The registered owner of the vehicle may prepare a letter describing the vehicle in question (year, make, license number) and identify another person whom you are authorizing to pick up the release for the vehicle. This letter must be notarized by a Notary Public.
Q7: What can I do if I think my vehicle shouldn't have been towed?
A7: The vehicle owner is entitled to a "Post-Storage Hearing". The owner must come in person to the Police Department and request such a hearing. The hearing officer will make a determination about the validity of the tow.
Q8: How can I get a restraining order?
A8: To obtain the required forms or information, phone the Superior Court Clerk's Office at (650) 877-5705 between 9:00 am - 12:00 pm and 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm, or go to the Court Clerk's Office at 1050 Mission Road, South San Francisco during those hours. If the court is closed, under certain conditions the Police Department can assist you in obtaining an Emergency Protective Order (EPO). The order is valid for five court days and within that time you may seek a Temporary Restraining Order from the Superior Court Clerk's Office.
Q9: Should I file a police a report if I am the victim of domestic violence?
A9: Yes. Acts of domestic violence which occurred in South San Francisco should be reported to the SSF Police Department.
Q10: In addition to filing a domestic violence report, I would like to speak with someone about a domestic violence situation and find out what my options are. Who can I call?
A10: You can phone the CORA (Community Overcoming Relationship Abuse) 24-hour hotline at (650) 312-8515 or (800) 300-1080. If you decide you need a Domestic Violence Restraining Order, contact the Superior Court Clerk's Office. The D.V. Restraining Order will take approximately 24-hours for a judge's approval and processing. There is no charge for a D.V. Restraining Order.
Q11: How do I get my juvenile arrest record sealed?
A11: Pre-requisites for having a juvenile record sealed are that you are at least 18 years of age, off formal probation at least one year or off informal probation for at least six months. You will need to contact Hillcrest Juvenile Facility at (650) 312-8816. They will take down your information and mail an application to you. Or, you can go to 21 Tower Road, Belmont and pick up an application at the front desk.
Q12: I got a bill to pay the booking fees for when I was arrested and taken to the Redwood City jail. What's this all about? Do I have to pay it?
A12: When a defendant is convicted, the Judge may order the defendant to pay a "Criminal Justice Administration Fee" in the amount equal to the amount the arresting law enforcement agency is charged by the County for each j ail booking. Failure to pay the bill can result in the debt going to a collection agency.
Q13: How do I apply for a permit to drive a taxi cab?
A13: First, check with Peninsula Yellow Cab Co., (650) 588-2131, to make sure they are hiring new drivers. If so, pick up an application from the Police Department. Submit your completed application. and a processing fee of $160.00. You will be fingerprinted and photographed. If the preliminary background check is clear, you will receive a written letter granting you a temporary permit to drive until a final decision is made about granting you a 2-year permit. If you apply for a permit renewal before the 2-year permit expires, the cost is $150.00.
Q14: My car has been repossessed by the lender. Why have they sent me here to pay $15.00?
A14: When your vehicle was repossessed, the Police Department was advised and, in order to avoid you incorrectly reporting your vehicle stolen, we made a computer entry indicating the vehicle was repossessed. The State has set the $15.00 fee as compensation to the Police Department for the computer entry. The legal owner of your vehicle is required to make sure the $15.00 fee is paid before they can release the vehicle to you.
Q 15: I was given a citation for petty theft and have to go to the Police Department to be booked. When can I come in?
A15: Our booking days and times are Wednesdays from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm and Saturdays from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm. You must bring a valid form of identification with you.
Q16: Where do I go to get my bicycle licensed?
A16: Bicycles are licensed by Fire Department personnel. Please call them at (650) 829-3950 for information.
Q17: I'm going on vacation. Will you check my house while I'm gone?
A17: Unfortunately, we do not have sufficient personnel to conduct vacation checks. If possible, arrange for a trusted neighbor to watch your house. You should arrange for your newspapers to be stopped or have someone stop by daily to pick them up. You should put your lights on timers. Also, you should be aware that there is a City Ordinance regarding the parking of vehicles on the street in excess of 3 days, so you may want to park your vehicle in your garage or driveway so that it does not get towed while you are away.
Q18: I have lost my consular ID card. What do I need to do to get it replaced?
A18: You will need to obtain a letter from the Consulate confirming that you have proved your identity and that the ID card was lost. Bring the letter to the police department, where an officer will complete a police report. You will be given a case number to provide to the Consulate.
Q19: How can I access public information regarding incidents that have occurred in my neighborhood?
A19: The South San Francisco Police Department publishes a daily media bulletin on the City Website [click here]. Requests for specific incident details are accepted and evaluated on a case by case basis and can be submitted via email, phone, writing, or in person at the Police Department.
The South San Francisco Police Department, along with the other police departments in the north county, now offer a drop box where you can deposit unwanted prescription drugs.
County Supervisor Adrienne Tissier began the project over one year ago. She found that many people were "flushing" old medications because they thought this was the safest way to dispose of them. In reality, this action has a great negative impact on the environment.
In order to resolve the problem, drop boxes have been installed in the lobbies of police departments throughout the north county. The boxes, similar to a mailbox, are painted white and clearly marked. The boxes are for prescription medications only.
Protect The Environment
Prevent Overdoses and Errors
Keep Drugs Away From Children
Avoid Diseases From Used Syringes
For more information, please call (650) 363-4572.
The public can dispose of used syringes at the following location:
South San Francisco Scavengers - 500 E Jamie Ct, South San Francisco, CA
Daly City Health Center - 2780 Junipero Serra Blvd., Daly City, CA (Across from Daly City City Hall)
Ghosts, Goblins, and Holiday Spirit……You can find it all at the South San Francisco Police Department, when during the months of October and December, the front office is transformed into a thematic showcase of Halloween Haunts and Winter Cheer.
Visitors and citizens are encouraged to stop by the South San Francisco Police Department during the holiday months to enjoy the decorating efforts of the Records personnel.
During the month of October the Records Staff has plenty of treats on hand for the youngsters and on Halloween many staff members trade in their uniforms for fun costumes. In December it's time for lights, villages, and even an occasional snowman!
The Training Manager is responsible for facilitating training to all employees, the recruitment of potential employees, and other personnel related matters.
For listing of our current openings, click here.