The San Andreas Police Department (SAPD) is the State police and main law enforcement agency servicing the state of San Andreas in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. The SAPD covers a wide range of lower-ranking law enforcement arms in San Andreas, and presides over various jurisdictions in the state.
The SAPD is broken up into five sub-departments, with different areas to patrol:
- Los Santos Police Department
- San Fierro Police Department
- Las Venturas Police Department
- Country/Desert Police
- Police Bikers (Highway Patrol)
In Los Santos and San Fierro, the officers have black uniforms. In Las Venturas, the officers wear a tan/beige coloured uniform, as in Las Vegas. Biker police also patrol the state, however they usually stay in the cities. They wear black biker jackets and a white helmet. Different police units in the rural areas of Red County, Flint County, Bone County, Tierra Robada, and Whetstone wear cowboy hats, black shirts and cream-coloured pants.
Each city has a separate version of the Police Car, marked with the individual city's abbreviation (eg LSPD, SFPD, LVPD). Los Santos, Las Venturas and San Fierro also patrol using HPV-1000 police bikes. Rural areas drive a Police Ranger (based on a Rancher. There is also the Enforcer van for armed officers, Police Maverick helicopter and Predator police boat.
There are three main police stations - one in each city. Each of these has an alarmed garage containing police vehicles from that city. The police station in Las Venturas, Los Santos and Dillimore is only enterable, and contains officers, police lockers, cells and some weapons.
There are also a number of small police stations in rural villages.
- For information about how the SAPD pursue the player, see Wanted Level in GTA III Era.
- One star
At one star the police aren't lethal, they will try to arrest you but won't shoot to kill. Getting away from them is the best thing to do as they will chase you but won't put out that much effort. Unlike in the two previous games, they will shoot at you but only if you hold a firearm. Hiding for a little bit is the best solution as they will stop chasing.
- Two stars
At two stars the police will try harder to bring you down. Police will become more aggressive and the coast guard will be placed in the waters for extra help, and will shoot at you regardless. You will get this wanted level from committing a more serious crime than just one for one star, like blowing up a car, or attacking an officer, with a melee weapon. The worst weapon here will be the pistol, and or nightstick.
- Three stars
When three stars are attained the police will start to use the shotgun and set up roadblocks with police cars and officers behind them . Also police helicopters will start to follow you, and will shoot at you if you wait long enough or attack them. But if you go to the Police Department Parking you will gain a 3 star wanted level, first the police will try to fight you without calling for backup, but you should kill them before they say: "Officer, I need Backup." Otherwise, you will get a 3 star wanted level.
- Four stars
When a fourth star is gained the player will encounter SWAT teams. SWAT members wear armour and will attack the player with Micro SMGs this can be hazardous since they almost never miss.The roadblocks will have Enforcers blocking the roads and the SWAT teams will make quick work of your car, making it quite hard to get through them as the trucks are to heavy to ram through with a light vehicle. The police Helicopter will shoot at the player more often and there will be more than one, also in addition the News Chopper will fly with it and Hydras will fight the player if he/she is in a plane or helicopter.
- Five stars
When you get five stars the FBI will start to arrive in FBI Ranchers with SMGs. They're also very aggressive since they charge at you quite fast and are armed with MP5s meaning they are dangerous in groups. You can get a five star by flying or entering Military bases such as the Area 69 and the Easter Basin Naval Station.
Note:' The FBI may be more aggressive and better armed than the SWAT, but their blockades are are not so heavy' and can be crashed easily, albeit better armed officers.
- Six stars
Gaining a six star wanted level will cause the National Guard to get involved. Their vehicles are Rhino tanks and Barracks OL trucks with soldiers who are armed with M4's. The police will still attack with with plenty of police officers and helicopters, and the sea would be filled with police boats.
- When you reach a 4 wanted level, a Hydra would be recommended for flight if you plan on flying from locations, since the enemy Hydras do launch missiles at you and that the Hydra has countermeasures (i.e. Flares), so they deflect them.
- At the fifth level don't drive a vehicle that is prone to toppling over or driving on harsh land, since the FBI Ranchers tend to be aggressive.