Becoming a Police Officer in Brookings, South Dakota

The City of Brookings is the 4th largest city in South Dakota with a population of roughly 20,000 residents. In 2011, the Brookings Police Department (BPD) responded to 44,616 calls, 7,859 emergency calls, and issued 7,644 citations. The BPD has a total authorized force of 32 sworn officers.

Here, you will find comprehensive information about how to become a cop by meeting police officer requirements in Brookings in just six steps:

  1. Meet Minimum Qualifications
  2. Complete/Submit Application
  3. Testing Phase
  4. Conditional Employment Offer
  5. Pre-employment Screening
  6. Training and Certification


Step 1. Meet Minimum Qualifications

If you are interested in becoming a police officer for the Brookings Police Department, the first thing to do is ensure that you meet the minimum qualifications:

  • You need to be at least 21 years old prior to the written test
  • You must be a citizen of the United States
  • You must possess either a high school diploma or GED
  • You must have a driver’s license and clear driving record
  • You must be eligible for certification (South Dakota Law Enforcement Officers Standards and Training Commission)
  • You must not have any prior felonies, serious misdemeanors or convictions related to domestic violence

It is also important to mention that the Brookings Police Department gives preference to candidates with:

  • Associate’s degree in any field
  • Two years of college in a criminal justice field
  • Military police history (honorable discharge)
  • Current law enforcement certification
  • 1+ years of previous law enforcement experience
  • 3+ years working for the City of Brookings Police Department Reserve Force

Step 2. Complete/Submit Application

You can get an employment application here. You can submit your application in person to the Human Resources Department at the South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation. You can also fax (605-697-8661) or email ( your application.

Step 3. Testing Phase

The next step in the employment process is the testing phase, which includes a variety of tests used to assess your candidacy. First, you will complete the written examination, which is pretty standard test for most government jobs. The test is used to assess your general fund of knowledge as well as your ability to read, write, and use critical thinking skills.

Next, you will complete a physical agility test. This test is used to evaluate your ability to meet the physical requirements of a police officer as outlined by the Brookings Police Department:

  • Lift/move up to 10 pounds on a regular basis
  • Lift/move up to 25 pounds of a frequent basis
  • Lift/move up to 100 pounds on an occasional basis

Your physical stamina will also be tested to assess your endurance under adverse conditions.

The next step in the testing phase is the criminal background investigation. The Brookings Police Department requires you not to have any prior felonies, serious misdemeanors or convictions related to a domestic violence charge. This will be thoroughly investigated and verified during the background check. The polygraph test is also typically done at this time to verify and confirm the information provided on your employment application.

Step 4. Conditional Employment Offer

Once you have completed the preliminary testing, you will receive a conditional offer of employment. The offer will be contingent upon completing the remaining examinations required including the alcohol and drug screen, physical exam, and psychological evaluation.

Step 5. Pre-employment Screening

Now you will move onto completing the rest of the pre-employment screening exams. The first will be the physical examination which will be done by a licensed physician. The exam will include a thorough health screen and will assess your physical limitations, if any. The Brookings Police Department requires a corrected vision of at least 20/40 in each eye, so your visual acuity will be checked as well. In conjunction with the physical exam, you will also need to complete the alcohol and drug screen.

Next, you will complete the psychological evaluation. This test will determine whether you possess the personality/character traits desired by the Brookings Police Department and also ensure that you are mentally stable to perform work as a police officer.

Step 6. Training and Certification

Now that you have completed your pre-employment screening, you will be ready to proceed with training and certification. The Brookings Police Department conducts its training at the George S. Mickelson Criminal Justice Center. The training lasts roughly 13 weeks and includes about 520 hours total of training. Some of the aspects covered during the training include:

  • Administration of first aid
  • Performance in stressful situations
  • Firearm use
  • Policies and procedures
  • State and federal law

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