How to Become a Police Officer in South Dakota

Even though according to the current statistics, the salary of a police officer in the state of South Dakota is approximately 16 percent lower than the countrywide median, there is still a rather high demand for this profession in South Dakota. However, in order to earn the position of certified police officer, the candidate will be required to complete the mandatory courses of a law enforcement educational facility.

For individuals interested in how to become a police officer in South Dakota, here are the basic means to achieve this goal.

South Dakota LET Academy

The easiest method to achieve the police officer education implies enrolling in the South Dakota LET Academy. LET stands for Law Enforcement Training and the minimum number of hours required to obtain the basic certification in this state is 520. However, candidates should be aware that the tuition fee is paid by the agency they work for, so getting hired by a police department prior to enrolling in the courses presents an advantage, although it is not mandatory.

On the other hand, it is necessary to enroll in the LET course no later than 12 months after being hired by a police department. In order for a candidate to be eligible for LET, he must perform the following actions:

  • Submitting the LES forms (4 pages)
  • Send in 2 cards with personal fingerprints
  • Wait for the finalization of the background checkups

There are the following disqualifying factors that individuals interested in how to become a police officer in South Dakota should take into account:

  • Failure to complete a high school or equivalent education
  • Criminal history such as felonies or misdemeanor (certain exceptions apply)
  • Domestic disputes

Reciprocity in Becoming a Police Officer in South Dakota

In addition to the LET academy, aspiring police officers have two other educational facilities that benefit from reciprocity in the state of South Dakota, namely WDTI and STI. The former one is the Western Dakota Technical Institute whereas the later acronym stands for Southeast Technical Institute.

While both schools enjoy reciprocity, it is necessary to point out that a resident in South Dakota attending these learning facilities will have to pay the tuition fees from his own pocket.

Furthermore, after having graduate from either of the aforementioned institutions, the candidate will need to pass a written test. Failure to meet the requirements of the test means the aspiring police officer will need to complete the BCC from the beginning again.

Additionally, even after passing the written test, the legislation mandates that he will only receive certification if he is employed by a police department within the time frame of two years following the graduation.

Staying a Certified Police Officer in South Dakota

For those who have become certified officers in the state of South Dakota, some in-service training courses are still regarded as mandatory in order to keep the license. They are as following:

  • Domestic violence courses (minimum of once each 4 years)
  • Firearms requalification (40 hours per 2 years)

For more information on becoming a police officer in South Dakota, visit the South Dakota division of criminal investigation website.

Click here to check out the various police officer jobs in South Dakota.

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