Police Staffing Needs at SF International Airport (SFO)

The Controller's Office released a special audit report of police staffing needs at the San Francisco International Airport (SFO) that was requested by both the Airport Director and the Chief of the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD).

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The Controller was asked to evaluate police staffing needs at SFO, particularly with regards to Transportation Security Administration (TSA) regulations, and to make recommendations to improve efficiency in allocating police resources at the Airport. In addition, we were asked to determine whether the Airport has excess police staff who could be transferred to assignments in San Francisco to help address the SFPD's current shortage of police officers.

The Controller found that:

  • Up to $2 million annually, primarily in salary and benefit costs, can be saved in the SFO Police Department while still meeting all security requirements;
  • Savings are available primarily by redeploying officers to certain critical positions that are now staffed on overtime, by civilianizing some functions, and by changing inefficient scheduling and shift practices;
  • The Airport Police Bureau can reduce clerical staff and can share administrative resources with SFPD and SFO for greater efficiency, and;
  • While the number of budgeted police positions at the Airport is excessive and can be reduced on paper, the number of filled positions is not–as a practical matter no Police Officers are available for transfer to assignments in the SFPD at this time.

May 23, 2006

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