Located at the southeastern corner of Downtown, San Fierro, the building rests on the side of a steep hill and houses a helipad on its northwestern corner, which is only meters above the street. The cable car runs adjacent to the building. The complex consists of a large station office, rear exterior parking, an underground parking lot consisting of an impound garage. The impound garage is a restricted area; If police officers inside the garages or around the parking lot exterior spot the player inside the station grounds, they will aim at the player while calling for backup, before a 3 star wanted level is attained. If the player kills officers before they are able to spot the player, they will not receive a wanted level. When the officer calls for backup, they will shout "officer in need of back up", and will have the same voice as one of the 5 LSPD police officer voices, meaning the same audio file will be played regardless of which voice they use normally.
Along the station front are several fire escape stair ways mounted on the side of the building, as well as two American flags. On the rooftop is a large radio antenna.
The exterior parking lot has two automated barriers which allow access to the parking lot, but only to police vehicles. The barriers will no longer open if the player is spotted in the parking area by guarding police officers. Up three police officers can be found guarding the parking lot. The two entrances are at the west and east sides of the station.
As well as the exterior parking lot, an underground parking area is found within the station, accessible through the exterior parking area. A garage door leads to the underground garage but, from the outside only opens to police vehicles, similar to the barriers themselves, however it will open to any vehicle driven from the inside. There is also a smaller door next to the garage door for foot access, leading into the garage. A sloping passage leads down to the main lot underground. The underground also serves as an impound lot as apparent by the impounded vehicles. The garages also have an alarm system, like the Las Venturas Police Headquarters and Los Santos Police Headquarters. This alarm system will sound shortly after a police officer has called for backup when spotted inside the garage area. When sounded, all responding police officers will aim and shoot at the player. The alarm sound is a traditional low-pitch bell.
Up to 4 SFPD police cars can be found parked up inside the underground garage. 2 of these are locked to the player. One of the parked police cars will have its hood open with a police officer inspecting the car. A police officer may be seen getting into one of the unlocked police cars and driving out of the parking lot, crashing into the wall in the process. Two officers may be see getting out of a third police car. Also in the underground parking lot are up to four "impounded" cars. These appear to be glitched as they are completely random, allowing even planes, boats and helicopters to spawn. A Maverick can be found parked on the helipad.
The building is inaccessible to the player, however there is an interior for the building that is only accessible through the interior universe.
The San Fierro Police Headquarters has a hidden interior accessible only in the interior universe with the use of modifications. The interior is fully detailed and is enliven with interior scenarios. Three different scenarios are carried out by pedestrians within the station. Police officers can be found looking at noticeboards on the wall or crouching down while looking inside a cabinet. Prisoners may be seen talking, smoking or even fighting with other prisoners.
The interior itself consists of three floors each with different rooms. The entrance of the station interior is on the second floor, featuring a lobby and waiting area. Window holes titled "processing" and "permits and licensing" are on this floor. A large open space from one of the corridors near the stairway has an armor pickup. A police officer can be seen looking at a noticeboard next to a stairway.
Signs reading "briefing and training" are directed to the next floor, at which rooms with computer desks and files can be accessed. Various corridors are on this floor, one leading to the main briefing room with a "quiet please" sign. In the briefing room, two police officers are found, one reading a noticeboard and another stood in the middle of the room. The room has several chairs facing a screen. The training room at the other side of the corridor has more computer desks and chairs. Another room down the corridor has large desks and more noticeboards, at which another police officer is stood facing. A set of steps lead up to an administration room consisting of various enclosed work spaces with computers and filing cabinets. The "chief" room is also on the same level with an open-wall, where an officer can be found looking through cabinets. The "commander" room has a large desk with seats around. A Pistol can be found in another small room within the level.
The bottom floor is dedicated to prison cells. Four prison cells with gates are found within one room, while another room has several computers and two police officers. A Shotgun is found outside the last prison cell. Inside the cells are prisoners who can be seen talking, smoking or even fighting with each other.
As well as the randomly spawning police officers and prisoners, random civilians may spawn inside the interior, interacting in a similar manner to the police officers, but generally stick to walking around the interior. The player will be given a two-star wanted level if they wield any firearms or explosives inside the station, but are otherwise free to explore the station.
Events of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
After arriving in San Fierro to find his newly acquired Doherty garage to be abandoned, Carl Johnson sets out to turn it into a successful business with his new friends: The Truth, Dwaine, Jethro, and Zero. Along the way to pick up Zero, The Truth has Carl stop directly in front of San Fierro Police Headquarters to monitor the activities of a mysterious van moving through Downtown. After admonishing the other passengers to "picture a pink golf ball" in their minds, The Truth urges Carl onto the next stop.
As Carl is building his entrepreneurial skills in San Fierro, he begins to seek out the members of the Loco Syndicate responsible for the events leading up to this point. As he does so, he uncovers the truth about Mike Toreno and his hired muscles, T-Bone Mendez and Jizzy B. After killing Jizzy in a high-speed chase near the Gant Bridge, Carl, with Cesar's help, locates the meeting place of the remaining Loco Syndicate members and of his former ally, Ryder, on Pier 69. After blowing his cover, Carl chases down and kills both T-Bone and Ryder. Because of the commotion, Toreno's inbound chopper is meantime turning tail and heading off to an unknown location. Soon enough, Carl learns that the chopper is leaving from Downtown. He rushes there to find the chopper taking off from the roof of San Fierro Police Headquarters. He climbs the helipad, grabs an available rocket launcher, hunts down the helicopter using a motorcycle, and blows it out of the sky.
There are various pickups at the SFPD HQ, but due to their location within the station's interior, they are inaccessible by normal means.
There are also two mission-exclusive weapon pickups that spawn on the helipad during a mission. These will remain in place if they are not picked up during the mission.