Law Enforcement Careers in South Dakota

South Dakota has one of the lowest rates of crime of any state in the U.S.  This is partly due to the efforts of the men and women of South Dakota’s law enforcement agencies.

For those who wish to begin law enforcement careers in South Dakota, options for jobs include undergoing training to become a State Trooper, a Sheriff’s Deputy or a Police Officer in one of the 74 police departments or additional tribal agencies in that state.

Jobs with the South Dakota Highway Patrol

Highway fatalities in South Dakota increased slightly in 2012 after having dropped 20% in 2011.  The 162 members of the South Dakota State Highway Patrol work to reduce this rate.  In addition to enforcing traffic laws and assisting motorists, State Troopers also work on intercepting shipments of drugs across the highways of South Dakota.  This is a particular issue on Interstate 90, which is a favorite route for drug traffickers.

Those who wish to obtain jobs as State Troopers in South Dakota must be 21 years on or before their hiring data.  A high school diploma or GED is required, and applicants must have uncorrected 20/20 vision.  The first step in applying to become a member of the South Dakota Highway Patrol is to take a written exam.  The next step is an interview and physical assessment.  Successful applicants undergo 24 weeks of academy training to become State Troopers in South Dakota.  Read more information about how to become a State Trooper in South Dakota.

Jobs with Sheriff’s Departments in South Dakota

Those seeking to jobs as Sheriff’s Deputies in South Dakota have a number of options available to them through the many counties in the state.

 

Lincoln County:  Those who seek to obtain jobs as Sheriff’s Deputies in Lincoln County should start by completing and submitting the Lincoln County Administration Employment Application.

Minnehaha County:  The Minnehaha County Sheriff’s Office provides law enforcement services to unincorporated areas of the county, in addition to several small towns.  In addition, Deputy Sheriffs in Minnehaha County provide security to the South Dakota Air National Guard.

Pennington County:  The 370 employees of the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office provide services to over 100,000 people in Pennington County. To obtain jobs as Sheriff’s Deputies in Pennington County, applicants must be 21 years old and have a high school diploma or GED.  They must also be certified law enforcement officers.

Jobs with Municipal Police Departments in South Dakota

Those who seek jobs as Police Officers in South Dakota have a number of options available to them through the many municipal police departments in the state.  There are approximately 18 city police officers for every 10,000 people in South Dakota.

Aberdeen:  Aberdeen is much safer than most other cities of its size.  Part of this is due to the efforts of the 42 sworn officers of the Aberdeen Police Department.  U.S. citizens who wish to obtain jobs as Police Officers in Aberdeen must be 21 years old and in possession of a high school diploma or GED.

Rapid City:  The violent crime rate in Rapid City is one of the highest in the country.  To combat this, Rapid City has an internationally accredited police force that responded to over 119,000 calls for service in 2010.  To obtain jobs as Police Officers with the Rapid City Police Department, applicants must be 21 years old and have either an Associate’s degree or at least 64 hours of college credit or four years of law enforcement or full-time military experience.

Sioux Falls:  The crime rate in Sioux Falls is lower than that of many other communities of its size.  A major reason for this is the efforts of the Sioux City Police Department.  To obtain jobs as Police Officers in Sioux Falls, applicants must be at least 21 years old at the time of the written exam.  An Associate’s degree or at least 60 semester hours of college is required, or two years of law enforcement or military experience.

Watertown:  The rate of violent crime in Watertown is much greater than in most communities in the U.S.  This is combated by the 35 sworn officers of the Watertown Police Department.  Police officers in Watertown handle 30,000 calls for service per year.  The first step obtaining jobs as Police Officers in Watertown is to go through a Civil Service testing process.  Applications are kept on file, and applicants are notified when a position becomes available.

South Dakota Law Enforcement Salaries

The Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-2013 Edition, which is published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, states that in 2010 the following were the median South Dakota law enforcement salaries:

  • Detectives and Criminal Investigators: $53,540
  • Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers: $38,520
  • Supervisors of Police and Detectives: $56,200

Salaries among Detectives and Criminal Investigators throughout South Dakota

Area name
Employment
Annual mean wage
Rapid City SD
60
68460
Sioux City IA-NE-SD
Estimate Not Released
88760
Eastern South Dakota nonmetropolitan area
Estimate Not Released
50450
Western South Dakota nonmetropolitan area
30
51140

Police Officer and Sheriff Salary in South Dakota

Below is some detailed salary information pertaining to police officers in South Dakota by various police departments throughout the state:

Sioux Falls Police Department

  • Starting salary: $43,888

Rapid City Police Department

  • Police Officer: $37,273.60 to $56,721.60
  • Police Sergeant: $45,822.40 to $69,534.40
  • Police Lieutenant: $52,662.96 to $80,140.19
  • Police Chief: $86,293.45 to $131,317.91
  • Police Captain: $58,137.14 to $88,457.67

Salaries among Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers throughout South Dakota

Area name
Employment
Annual mean wage
Rapid City SD
270
43170
Sioux City IA-NE-SD
250
54060
Central South Dakota nonmetropolitan area
170
36200
Eastern South Dakota nonmetropolitan area
Estimate Not Released
38020
Western South Dakota nonmetropolitan area
340
34410

State Trooper Salary in South Dakota

Here is a look at some of the law enforcement salaries within the South Dakota Highway Patrol:

  • Highway Patrol Trooper: $35,888.70 to $53,833.04
  • Highway Patrol Corporal: $39,463.42 to $59,195.14
  • Highway Patrol Sergeant: $43,664.22 to $65,496.34
  • Highway Patrol Lieutenant: $48,491.13 to $72,736.69
  • Highway Patrol Captain: $54,146.07 to $81,219.11
  • Highway Patrol Major: $60,507.88 to $90,761.82
  • Highway Patrol Colonel: $75,533.87 to $113,300.81

Salaries among Police Supervisors and Detectives throughout South Dakota

Area name
Employment
Annual mean wage
Sioux City IA-NE-SD
40
71130
Eastern South Dakota nonmetropolitan area
50
59030
Western South Dakota nonmetropolitan area
40
53670

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