South Dakota State Trooper Training

The South Dakota Highway Patrol promotes traffic safety, investigates crimes, and assists motorists throughout South Dakota.  The 162 members have jurisdiction throughout South Dakota and frequently assist other agencies in emergencies.  Here are the steps you need to go through to get hired and trained as a State Trooper in South Dakota.

Follow these steps to learn how to become a State Trooper in South Dakota:

  1. Meet the Basic Qualifications
  2. Submit Your Application
  3. Written Examination
  4. Interview and Physical Testing
  5. Background Check and Medical Examination
  6. Second Interview and Drug Screening
  7. Polygraph Examination
  8. Attend Trooper Academy for Training

Step 1. Meet the Basic Qualifications for South Dakota Trooper Candidacy

To be considered for jobs as a South Dakota State Trooper, you must meet certain requirements:

  • You must be a citizen of the U.S.
  • You must have graduated from high school or have a GED equivalent.
    • You can have a combination of experience and education that is equivalent to having a high school diploma.
    • You must have 20/20 vision even without correction.
    • You cannot be color blind and must have normal depth perception.
    • You must be in good physical shape.
    • You must be able to hear well.
    • You must not have had any convictions for felonies.
    • You must be willing to work anywhere in the state and respond to calls round the clock.
    • You cannot have tattoos that are:
      • Visible when you are wearing the short sleeved uniform
      • Offensive
      • You must either have a driver’s license in the state or be able to get one.
 

Step 2. Submit Your Application

You can apply to be a State Trooper in South Dakota online.  The job identification number for a Highway Patrol Officer is 1165.

You must also fill out and submit a your Personal Data Questionnaire.  You can send it by e-mail, postal mail, or by fax:

Attn:  Eric Hildebrandt
South Dakota Bureau of Human Resources
500 E. Capitol Ave.
Pierre, SD  57501-5070

Step 3. Written Examination

You must take the new written test to become a State Trooper in South Dakota.  Scores from tests taken prior to May 2012 will no longer be accepted.  You must score a 70% on this exam to advance to the next step.

You can take this exam at many different places in the state.  Check here to find the testing locations in your area.

The completed test will be scored by the South Dakota Bureau of Human Resources.  You will find out your score by phone or e-mail within a week after its having been sent to this bureau.

Step 4. Interview and Physical Testing

Once your application has been accepted, you will be notified and required to go to Pierre to be interviewed and undergo physical testing.  The physical assessment involves performing the following types of exercises:

  • Sit-ups
  • Push-ups
  • 1.5 mile run
  • Vertical Jump

You can view the requirements of the exam.

Step 5. Background Check and Medical Examination

After you have passed your interview and physical tests, your background will be thoroughly investigated.  You will also be examined by a physician.

Step 6. Second Interview and Drug Screening

Once you have passed the background check and medical screening, you will be interviewed again to determine if you are suitable to become a State Trooper in South Dakota.  You will also be screened for drugs in your system.

Step 7. Polygraph Examination

After you have passed your interview and found not to have any drugs in your system, you will be given a polygraph test.

Step 8.  Attend Trooper Academy for Training

Once you have passed the polygraph examination, you will report to the Recruit Academy for a 24 week long, rigorous process of training to become a State Trooper in South Dakota.  The training consists of:

  • Basic Law Enforcement Training (BLET) for 13 weeks
  • Highway Patrol Training for 11 weeks

The curriculum includes:

  • Criminal Procedures
  • Drug Interception
  • DUI Enforcement
  • Emergency Vehicle Operations
  • Firearms Training
  • Investigations
    • Accident
    • Criminal
    • Motor Carrier Enforcement
    • Officer Safety
    • Patrol Procedures
    • Physical Fitness
    • Public Relations and Speaking

Once you have finished your academy training, you will paired with a veteran trooper for 10 weeks of training in the field.

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