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  1. #1
    chasmain's Avatar
    chasmain is offline Officer
    Join Date
    Apr 2011

    Sfpd - living in bay area - from nyc

    Hi..I recently flew to SF for the second leg of my endeavor to get accepted as a PO candidate for the SFPD.

    I felt the oral interview went well, but I was not told there and then whether or not I passed. This was the same for the written assessment.

    However, I did pass the physical and was given a background investigation orientation.

    I told one of the investigators that was from NY and he told me that my situation would be pretty challenging in terms of bothe flying back and forth for the follow up steps (poly, in depth interview, medicalm, etc.) He also mentioned that I would also have to keep in mind that since I am not familiar with the city, patrolling may be more difficult for me than local candidates.

    Has anyone been in a similar situation? Moved to a new city for an LE position. If so, how difficult was that transition? If anyone also experienced to SF specificially, I'd particularly love to hear about it. I hear SF cops do not live in SF, and that even with the decent pay for SFPD, most cops can't afford to buy a house in the Bay area. Of course, I am not sure how accurate this information is.


  2. #2
    DennisNJ is offline Captain
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Looking through your bank records & garbage..
    Where to start?

    I grew up about an hour and a half south of SF. Half a dozen of my HS buds went into law enforcement of some variety, most in the Bay Area.

    Only one is still in that area. He can afford to stay because he's a) a deputy chief and b) living in a house he inherited. He also plans to evacuate the area as soon as he retires.

    Don't take this as all gloom & doom. Yes, it's possible to work in SF (no residency requirement) and still own a house. But if you're not a trust-fund baby or married to somebody making high-six-figures, owning a home will probably mean a commute that's measured in hours instead of minutes. Even Rent will exeed $2K for a 1BR/Studio complete dive in the "bad part of town" if you want to live in the city.

    Keep in mind that taxes are insanely high-- I mean insane-- and that you'll be working in a city that's shown no love for its cops. SF is one of the most left-leaning cities in the world, with an entrenched political system that since the early 1970s has absolutely pandered to the homeless and every social lost cause imaginable, is a "sanctuary" city with respect to illegal aliens, and lives the mantra of political correctness. Every so often they do this quaint little routine where-- in order to fund one of those social lost causes-- they lay off unimportant city workers. Like, for example, the police. The city has been broke for years, but that won't stop them from funding the heck out of Art For The Homeless (I'm not making that one up) while cutting back street sanitation or LE services.

    On the plus side, all of the benefits/assignment possibilities of working in a big city with an climate I'd kill for and access to breathtaking recreational areas within a half-day drive.

    If you're a "gun guy," don't even bother. By "gun guy," I don't mean "wants to own a Light Anti-Tank Weapon," I mean "might want to buy a handgun that's not on California's Approved List."

    Look on Realtor dot com and Craigslist for a feel on the housing market. Consider that many consumer items cost more in the city area than in comparable area (high local taxes to fund all of those nifty social programs) and that includes the state taxes on gasoline, which means that long commute to an affordable home just became a very expensive long commute.

    If you have children or want children, write it off. The school system has some hidden jewels, but most school "assignments" are by lottery and they bear no relation to where you actually live. Its version of the state curriculum is also somewhere to the left of an actual ChiCom reeducation camp (this, from the wife of the dep chief mentioned above, who is a teacher.. she fled the school district to make around 50% less in a private school an hour away.)

    For all of the negatives, it's an extraordinarily cool city and I enjoy visiting when I make it out that way. But know what you're buying into if you go that route. Have plan. Then have a back-up plan. Brief trips (where you get the "tourists view" of the city) are fun but they don't give a clear picture of what it's like to actually live there.

  3. #3
    tanksoldier is offline Rookie
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Grew up in Northern California.

    SF is a great city to visit, would NOT want to live anywhere near it and certainly wouldn't want to work there or for it.

    All the above is absolutely true: it is moonbeam central.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    If you are LE you can buy a gun not on the CA approved list for work...just saying. I grew up in the SF Bay Area, and have lived most of my life there. Go there and experience it yourself, you can't get unbiased (one way or another) opinions on places to live (especially in CA), nature of the beast.

    Rent can be high, but depends on where you want to live. Same goes for housing, though now would be a decent time to enter the housing market, if you aren't looking to flip said house any time soon. And you're coming from NYC, prices aren't going to scare you out here...
    “The fringes of their deserts were strewn with broken faiths.”
    ― T.E. Lawrence, Seven Pillars of Wisdom: A Triumph

  5. #5
    chasmain's Avatar
    chasmain is offline Officer
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Thanks, all. I appreciate the insights. "Art for Homeless"..that's quiet funny. Having lived in NYC all my life, I am accustomed to some homelessness and high cost of living.

    However, the level of homelessness and the aggressiveness of some of the homeless is not something I have really experienced in NYC.

    I have been to SF 4 times now, but as Dennis indicated, these were all brief trips. I did, however, venture into some of the unsavory parts of town. I am not sure if the Tenderloin is any worse than East New York or the South Bronx, which can be scary, particularly when the Yankees aren't playing.

    Also, living in the outer boroughs and commuting via the subway (I haven't owned a car in years) defrays the cost of either living in Manhattan or owning a car. I assume that living in the city of SF is equivalent to living in Manhattan?

    I know that in the NY tri state area, one can live a reasonable life with a family in and commute about an hour into Manhattan if one is willing to live in certain parts of NJ or LI.

    I guess I wanted to know if the same holds true for SF. Anything more than an hour commute with heavy traffic does not sound to reasonable to me. In the NY area, you can at least take the LIRR or NJ Transit, and sleep/read on the way to work.

    I was not able to get into Nassau or Suffolk PDs, which pay pretty well, and NYPD starts at 45K, which is almost half of what SFPD starts (they start at 85K..is this w/o OT? Is there plenty of availability for OT?)

    It seems like from what I am reading that 85K does not go as far in the Bay are as it would in SI, Brooklyn, Queens. Not that those areas are cheap, but they are not Manhattan, which is in its own category.

    Any more insights/opinions are appreciated.



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