Becoming a Police Officer in Sioux Falls, South Dakota

With Sioux Falls being the largest city in South Dakota, the Sioux Falls Police Department has the responsibility of serving the city’s 160,000 residents. In fact, the department supports a total of 230 jobs, and in 2010, the department responded to nearly 85,000 calls.

Here, you will find detailed information on how to become a police officer in Sioux Falls in just 8 steps:

  1. Meet Basic Qualifications
  2. Complete and Submit Application
  3. Written Examinations
  4. Oral Interview
  5. Conditional Job Offer
  6. Psychological Exam/Background Check
  7. Medical Examination
  8. Final Approval


Step 1. Meet Basic Qualifications

The first step toward eligibility for jobs with the Sioux Falls Police Department is meeting the basic qualifications, which include:

  • High school diploma/GED
  • Minimum of 21 years of age
  • Legal citizen of the United States
  • Have or obtain a driver’s license
  • Eligible for certification as outlined by the South Dakota Law Enforcement Officers Standards and Training Commission
  • No history of unlawful use of prescription medications, controlled drugs, or marijuana for at least 1 year prior to application
  • No convictions (state or federal) punishable by imprisonment

As of January of 2011, the Sioux Falls Police Department also added the following requirements for police officers:

  • Minimum correctable vision of 20/40 in each eye and not color blind
  • Auditory requirements: You must be able to hear a forced whisper at a distance of no less than 5 feet. You must not have any hearing loss in your better ear of more than 40 decibels at 500, 1,000, and 2,000 Hz.

Step 2. Complete and Submit Application

Once you have completed your application, you can create an online account through the SFPD’s web portal and submit your application online.  You can also contact Human Resources at 605-367-8740 with any questions.

Step 3. Written Examinations

The next step in the selection process is completing the written examinations. The first test you will take is known as the Civil Service Examination. This test is a comprehensive aptitude test and is pretty standard to most government positions.

The next test that you will complete is known as the Behavioral Personnel Assessment Device, or B-PAD. The B-PAD test consists of video scenarios that you watch on a computer monitor. During the test, you are presented with a series of real-life police scenarios, and you respond verbally to the situations presented to you. The test is videotaped so that your responses can later be evaluated. You don’t need any previous law enforcement experience in order to respond correctly on this test. The test is simply used to evaluate your communication skills and the methodology of your behavior.

You will need a passing score on both of these examinations before you can proceed to the next step in the selection process.

Step 4. Oral Interview

Next, you will be selected for an oral interview. During the interview, your resume will be reviewed as well as your scores on the Civil Service Examination and the Behavioral Personnel Assessment Device (B-PAD). You will need a passing score on the interview in order to be selected to continue on in the selection process.

Step 5. Conditional Job Offer

The Human Resources Department ranks all of its candidates by their scores on the Civil Service Examination, Behavioral Personnel Assessment Device (B-PAD), and oral interview. Based on those scores, you will then receive a conditional job offer. The job offer is contingent and depends upon how you score on the remainder of the required tests.

Step 6. Psychological Exam/Background Check

Now that you have received your conditional job offer, you will proceed by completing the psychological evaluation and the background check. The psychological evaluation is done by a licensed psychiatrist, and the evaluation is used to determine your mental stability and capacity for performing the tasks required of a police officer. The background check is very thorough and often includes reviewing things like your prior employment and academic history, military experience, any criminal history you may have as well as contacting and verifying your personal references. During the background check, you will also be asked to complete a polygraph test.

Step 7. Medical Examination

Once you have passed the psychological exam and your background has checked out, you will complete the next step in the selection process which is the medical exam. The medical examination will be done by a licensed physician, and it will be used to ensure that you are physically capable of working as a police officer.

Step 8. Final Approval

Lastly, the Human Resources Department will rank its candidates based on their combined scores from all of the required testing. You will then receive final approval and an official job offer.

Congratulations! After all of the hard work you have done, you are now a police officer in Sioux Falls.

Back to Top