The SAPD covers a wide range of law enforcement arms in San Andreas and presides over various jurisdictions in the state. The SAPD is broken up into seven sub-division each with different areas to patrol:
- Los Santos Police Department - serving the city of Los Santos.
- San Fierro Police Department - serving the city of San Fierro.
- Las Venturas Police Department - serving the city of Las Venturas.
- San Andreas State Patrol - a state patrol force serving rural areas of San Andreas, including Red County, Flint County, Whetstone, Bone County and Tierra Robada.
- Motorcycle Division - a division of the SAPD that patrols the main three cities.
- Special Weapons and Tactics - a tactical division of the SAPD that respond to serious crimes in the state. The division is apparently based in Los Santos as indicated by the "LSPD" markings on their armored trucks.
- San Andreas Coast Guard - a water division that patrols the waters of the state. The coast guard officers are regular police officers, depending on the area they spawn.
- Community Resources Against Street Hoodlums - a division related to gang crime
While the SAPD has no physical location, each of the three city police departments has a headquarters. The headquarters of the Los Santos Police Department is located in Pershing Square, the headquarters of the San Fierro Police Department is located in Downtown San Fierro, and the headquarters of the Las Venturas Police Department is located in Roca Escalante.
The officers can be seen either walking on the street or driving a police car with one or two occupants. One of the police officers can be seen chasing a street criminal on foot, however harming the criminal will give the player a one-star wanted level. They can be also seen in a hot pursuit with a group of criminals in a vehicle.
In a 3-star wanted level, police officers will appear on foot in secluded locations. They will continuously appear at higher wanted levels, with the FBI agents or military soldiers being dispatched to kill the player.
Each of the subdivisions has a dedicated uniform.
- LSPD officers wear a black shirt, black pants, black shoes and a golden shield badge.
- SFPD officers wear a black shirt, black pants, black shoes and a grey 5-star badge.
- LVPD officers wear a light khaki shirt, light khaki pants with black stripe, black shoes and a silver shield badge.
- SASP officers wear a brown shirt, light khaki pants with black stripe, black shoes, a cowboy hat and a golden 5-star badge.
- Motorcycle division officers wear a black leather jacket, black leather pants with a yellow stripe, black gloves, black biker boots, a pair of sunglasses, and a golden 5-star badge.
- SWAT officers wear a dark blue long-sleeved shirt with a dark blue body armor, dark blue pants with a holster, black boots, dark blue gloves, black balaclava and a dark blue combat helmet with combat googles.
Each city has a separate version of the Police Car, marked with the individual city's abbreviation (e.g. LSPD, SFPD and LVPD). The LSPD and SFPD use the Premier as their main police vehicle, while the LVPD use a unique vehicle that is not based on any cars. The state patrol officers use a Rancher-based police car in rural areas. The motor officers use the HPV-1000 to patrol the main three cities in San Andreas. The SWAT officers use the Enforcer, Police Maverick and S.W.A.T. The coast guard officers use the Predator boat to patrol and chase criminals in the waters of the state.
Every patrol officer carries a pistol and a nightstick as their main weapons, although they will also use shotguns when the player has a 3-star or more wanted level. Additionally, officers are seen using SMGs in "Reuniting the Families" and Micro SMGs in "End of the Line".
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 can be entered, and contains officers, police lockers, cells and some weapons and Armor; although be aware that carrying any firearms and explosives inside police stations will result in a two-star wanted level.
There are also a number of small police stations in rural villages.
A cut C.R.A.S.H. model exists in the game files. Some people think that this is a beta model of Eddie Pulaski since the model's name is csplas1. This also may be a beta cutscene model for a generic C.R.A.S.H. member since the beta LSPD officer has almost the same appearance. Deputies were also cut. This may be a model for the San Andreas State Patrol or it could be a model for a cut agency.
- When the player reaches a 4 star wanted level, a Hydra would be recommended for flight if they plan on flying from locations, since the enemy Hydras do launch missiles at the player and that the Hydra has countermeasures (i.e. Flares), so they deflect them. Note that despite it is a military-exclusive vehicle, they spawn without a pedestrian piloting them.
- At the fifth level, it is advised that the player doesn't drive a vehicle that is prone to toppling over or driving on harsh land, since the FBI Ranchers tend to be aggressive.
- In the Android version, if the player manages to close and open the game, and then they see around, they may see that all officers are LSPD officers, although the player is outside the area of Los Santos. This is also true when the player closes and opens the game while having wanted levels and there are police officers around.