Pennington County Sheriff Department Jobs

The Pennington County Sheriff’s Office provides law enforcement services to over 100,000 citizens and millions of visitors each year. The department employs 370 people to patrol the more than 2,700 square miles of this South Dakota county.

Here are the steps you’ll take in learning how to become a Sheriff’s Deputy in Pennington County:

  1. Meet the Basic Qualifications
  2. Aptitude and Physical Test
  3. Psychological Evaluation
  4. Medical Screening
  5. Background Check
  6. Attend Sheriff’s Academy for Training


Step 1. Meet the Basic Qualifications to Become a Sheriff Deputy in
Pennington County

In order to be considered for a job as a Pennington County Sheriff’s Deputy, you must fulfill the following requirements:

  • You must have a South Dakota driver’s license obtained within ninety days of having moved to the state.
  • You must have at least a high school diploma or GED equivalent.

It is preferable that you have some formal education in criminal justice or human services.

Step 2. Aptitude and Physical Test

Your first step in testing will be a standardized aptitude test.  You will also be tested for your physical endurance and cardiovascular fitness.  You will have to:

  • Perform sit-ups
  • Perform push-ups
  • Run 1.5 miles or walk 3 miles

Step 3. Psychological Evaluation

After you have passed both the aptitude test and the standards of the physical test adjusted for your age and gender, you will be assessed by a psychologist to ensure that you are compatible with the position of Deputy Sheriff in Pennington County.  You will be given several different psychological tests and be interviewed by a psychologist.

Step 4. Medical Screening

Once the psychologist has given you a favorable recommendation, you will be examined medically by a physician approved by the department.  Part of your medical screening will involve testing you for drugs in your system.

Step 5. Background Check

After the physician has found you fit for duty, your background will be comprehensively examined.  This involves:

  • Check of records
  • Review of credit
  • Verification of credentials
  • Interviews with references, both professional and personal

Step 6. Attend Sheriff’s Academy for Training

Once you have passed your background check and been chosen for a Deputy Sheriff position in Pennington County, you will be trained for 12 weeks at the George S. Mickelson Criminal Justice Center in Pierre.  If you are already certified, you will not need to undergo this training.

Your training at the academy will involve coursework on:

  • Police procedures and practices
  • The legal system
  • Human behavior

You must become proficient in:

  • Using firearms
  • Operating emergency vehicles
  • Using force
  • Using defensive tactics

Once you have completed your academy training, you will be trained both in the classroom and for several weeks in the field with a training officer.

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