The Rapid City Police Department serves and protects the second largest city in the state of South Dakota, in addition to the nearly two million tourists who visit the Black Hills region throughout the year.
Here you will learn more about becoming a police officer in Rapid City, South Dakota in just five steps:
- Meet Requirements/Qualifications
- Submit Your Application
- Testing Process
- Contingent/Official Job Offer
- Academy Training
Step 1. Meet Requirements/Qualifications
- Must be a United States citizen
- At least 21 years of age
- High school diploma or GED
- Valid state driver’s license
- No prior felony convictions or serious misdemeanor offenses
- Capable of obtaining certification from the Law Enforcement Standards and Training Commission within 1 year
- Capable of obtaining certification from the National Crime Information Center within 6 months
The Rapid City Police Department also requires that you have academic experience which fits into one of these categories:
- Associate degree (64 credit hours) from an accredited school, or
- 4 years’ previous law enforcement experience (certified), or
- 4 years’ active military experience, or
- Combination of experience/education which would be equivalent
Step 2. Submit Your Application
You can complete your application online by creating an account here. You can also contact the Human Resources Department directly at 605-394-4136 if you have further questions.
Step 3. Testing Process
The Rapid City Police Department employment process is a lengthy one. On occasion, the process may take just a few weeks, but more often, the entire process from application to official job offer takes several months.
The Rapid City Police Department has a unique hiring process in that they do all of their testing on one schedule day, so you should plan on spending an entire day in Rapid City during the testing process. It is important to mention that you must pass each individual test before you can proceed to the next one. The first of the tests that you will take is the grammar and report writing test, which is a basic assessment of your ability to read, write, and complete reports.
The next test is the written examination. This is a timed, computer-based test. The test is divided into 2 sections: Booklet I and Booklet II. Booklet I consists of 30 observational questions with a time limit of 25 minutes. Booklet II consists of 70 questions with a time limit of 135 minutes. The last 11 questions of Booklet II are coined as text interpretation questions and will take a bit longer to complete.
Next, you will participate in the physical fitness test, which will include sit-ups, push-ups, and a 1-1/2-mile run. The standards of passing these tests are delineated as follows:
After passing all written exams and the physical fitness test, you will move onto the oral interview. The interview is done by an interview board/panel, and you will be expected to present in business casual clothing, so it is important to remember to bring a change of clothes with you on the testing date. Based on your tests and suitability for the job, the interview board will determine if you move on in the hiring process.
Step 4. Contingent/Official Job Offer
Once you have successfully completed and passed the written examinations, physical fitness test, and oral interview, you will receive a contingent job offer. The offer is contingent because you will still need to go through the background check, psychological and medical exams, and potentially a polygraph test. After completing the requirements as outlined by the contingent offer, the Chief of Police will personally review you as a candidate and extend an official offer of employment to you.
Step 5. Academy Training
Now that you have been hired by the Rapid City Police Department, your first several weeks will be spent training in the classroom. Then, you will complete 13 weeks of training at the George S. Mickelson Criminal Justice Center which is located in Pierre, South Dakota. Here, you will complete 520 hours of training finishing with graduation and your certification as a South Dakota Law Enforcement Officer. Your training will include things like:
- Police procedures/practices
- Legal concepts
- Human/social behavior
- Operation of emergency vehicles
- Defense tactics/use of force