Careers - Police Dept.


The Rapid City Police Department is a progressive department, offering a variety of exciting career opportunities. We are regularly seeking energetic, bright, caring people for the police officer testing and selection process.

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Love where you live, love where you work.  Being a part of the Rapid City Police Department is much more than a job.  It's a chance to make a difference in your own life and in the lives of people around you.  Set on the edge of the beautiful Black Hills of South Dakota, the Rapid City Police Department is a growing agency – a fantastic opportunity to grow your career and live in one of the most beautiful travel destinations in the world!  Because of Rapid City's breathtaking scenery, it was named one of 2019's most memorable destinations (according to Fodor's Travel Go List 2019).  For more information on the community of Rapid City, please visit

The Rapid City Police Department is one of the most progressive law enforcement agencies in the region and the only internationally accredited police department in South Dakota.  The RCPD is comprised of three divisions with diverse operations staffed by nearly 165 uniformed and non-uniformed staff.  These operations include field services, criminal investigations and support services.  RCPD offers a variety of services, and are especially proud of our proactive programs to keep our community safe, such as the School Liaison Program and our civilian traffic investigators.  We also see ourselves as a leader in quality training throughout the region, with outstanding recruit training and Police Training Officer programs to cultivate committed, courteous officers for our department.

The mission of the Rapid City Police Department is community first, service above self, integrity-driven:  one interaction at a time.  As a Police Officer, you'll provide protection of life and property within the municipal boundaries of the City of Rapid City.    
For a detailed job description, click here.

To be eligible to test, applicants must possess one of the following minimum requirements: 

  • Associate's degree or a minimum of 64 hours of college credit from an accredited institution; or
  • Current certified law enforcement experience (at least 4 years of previous certified law enforcement experience may be acceptable, however experience in corrections does not apply); or
  • Four years of active full-time military experience (part-time reserve experience does not meet requirement); or
  • An equivalent combination of education and experience may be acceptable.

In addition, candidates must be at least 21 years of age, a US Citizen, possess a valid driver's license and have not been convicted of a felony crime or serious misdemeanor offense.           

Testing & Hiring Process for Police Officer Candidates
Step 1: Fill out the online application for employment with City Human Resources.

Step 2: Qualified candidates will be invited to test.  After you fill out your application, you will receive further information about testing dates. Candidates who participate in the testing process should plan to spend a full day in Rapid City, unless otherwise noted by the Training Administrator.

Step 3:  Tests will include: 
  • Written test. This computer-based exam is timed, and consists of both multiple-choice and observational questions. Candidates must pass the written test to move on to the physical fitness test.  Study for the written test here.
  • Physical fitness test. Exercises include push-ups, sit-ups, and a 1.5-mile run. Candidates should bring proper athletic attire for this test. Candidates must pass both the written and physical fitness test to move on to the oral interview.
  • Oral interview. Candidates will be questioned individually by the Interview Board. After all of the interviews are complete, the Interview Board will determine the top candidates, who will move on to the next phase in the hiring process.
Step 4: A number of top candidates (dependent on the number of current or projected openings) will receive contingent offers of employment and move on to an extensive background investigation, psychological exam, medical exam, and possible polygraph.

We will stay in touch with you through all steps of the hiring process, and we work hard to make it as expedited as possible.
New Officer Training & Police Academy

New officers begin training on their very first day with the department. New hires spend several weeks training in the classroom before attending an intensive 13-week program at the George S. Mickelson Criminal Justice Center in Pierre to earn their South Dakota Law Enforcement Officer certification.

After graduating from the Academy, new hires begin an 18-week Police Officer Field Training Program. This program helps the officer learn hands-on, and ensures that the officer is prepared and ready to work on his or her own. At the end of the field training program, the new officer will receive a permanent shift assignment on patrol.
Police Officer Wages and Benefits
The Rapid City Police Department offers a competitive salary and benefits package to all its officers.
Starting salary for an RCPD officer: $29.28/hour (effective January 1st, 2023). Officers work a 40-hour week, and are paid overtime for work outside their normal shift.
  • Free gym membership
  • Sabbatical program
  • Paid quarterly wellness days
  • Student Loan Reimbursement Program
  • Uniforms and equipment provided
  • Health insurance provided for the employee at no cost.  The City pays a portion of the premium for family coverage.
  • Patrol officers enjoy a four-day (10 hour shifts) work week
  • Sick leave
  • Paid leave of 2 weeks per year. This jumps to 3 weeks of paid leave per year when the employee reaches 4 years of service.
  • Paid holidays
  • Dental insurance
  • Life insurance
  • Vision insurance
  • Retirement plan provided through the South Dakota Retirement System. City matches 8% of the employee’s pre-tax wages.
  • Supplemental retirement plan available
  • Employee assistance program
  • Flexible spending plans for health and dependent care

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