Print this page

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.

RCPD K9 Officers Jason LaHaie and Marcos Glass on the computer


To be eligible for the testing process, applicants must possess one of the following:

  1. Associate’s degree or at least 64 hours of college credit from an accredited institution; or
  2. Four years of certified law enforcement experience; or
  3. Four years of active full-time military experience; or
  4. An equivalent combination of education and experience.

In addition, candidates must:

  • Be at least 21 years old.
  • Be a U.S. citizen.
  • Not have been convicted of a felony crime or serious misdemeanor offense.
  • Possess a valid driver’s license.

Police Officer Job Description

Provides protection of life and property within the municipal boundaries of the City of Rapid City.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities
Protects life by:
Responding to calls for service and emergency assistance; rendering aid to the physically injured, handicapped and others requiring assistance, including but not limited to victims of accidents, criminal incidents, natural disasters or other incidents; investigating safety hazards and taking action to correct potential problem areas, including road hazards, defects and environmental hazards.
Preserves the peace by:
  1. Responding to calls for assistance involving altercations between people, including but not limited to domestic disturbances, fighting and neighborhood disputes, performing crowd and traffic control; enforcing state and city ordinances relating to keeping the peace; providing motorized, foot and bicycle patrol to residential and business areas to maintain community relations; practice problem solving techniques in support of the department's demographic policing, community policing and problem solving strategies.
  2. Investigates violations of state laws/city ordinances and arrests violators using degree of force necessary with state law and department policy. Enforces traffic laws to curtail violations.
  3. Secures crime scenes to identify and collect any physical evidence present, and obtains descriptions of suspects/vehicles involved in crimes or criminal activity.
  4. Prepares incident/accident reports, affidavits, citations, legal documents, memorandums, other job-related documents and prepares for court testimony.
  5. Operates police vehicles in routine and emergency situations.
  6. Participates in job-related training and courses to maintain skills, knowledge and abilities necessary to perform duties.
Minimum Qualification Requirements
To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
Education and/or Experience
Associates degree or at least 64 semester hours of college credits from an accredited institution; or four years certified law enforcement experience; or four years of active full-time military experience; or an equivalent combination of education and experience.
Communication Skills
Ability to read and interpret documents such as safety rules, operating and maintenance instructions, and procedure manuals. Ability to write routine reports and correspondence. Ability to speak effectively before groups of customers or employees of organization.
Mathematical Skills
Ability to add, subtract, multiply, and divide in all units of measure, using whole numbers, common fractions, and decimals. Ability to compute rate, ratio, and percent and to draw and interpret bar graphs.
Reasoning Ability
Ability to solve practical problems and deal with a variety of concrete variables in situations where only limited standardization exists. Ability to interpret a variety of instructions furnished in written, oral, diagram, or schedule form.
Computer and Administrative Skills
To perform this job successfully, an individual should have knowledge of Microsoft Office products.
Certificates, Licenses, Registrations
Must possess a valid South Dakota driver's license or ability to obtain within 30 days from date of hire. Law Enforcement Standards and Training Commission certificate within one year of hire date and other certificates required. Ability to obtain National Crime Information Center (NCIC) certification within 6 months from date of hire.
Physical Demands
The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to sit; use hands to finger, handle, or feel and talk or hear. The employee is frequently required to stand. The employee is occasionally required to walk; reach with hands and arms; climb or balance; stoop, kneel, crouch, or crawl and taste or smell. The employee must occasionally lift and/or move more than 100 pounds.
Work Environment
The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly exposed to outside weather conditions. The employee is occasionally exposed to high, precarious places; fumes or airborne particles and risk of electrical shock. The noise level in the work environment is usually loud.
Other Skills and Duties
Must be available for 24 hour call-out and to work rotating shifts. Demonstrated knowledge of the criminal code, of methods and techniques of investigation and surveillance. Ability to maintain objective approach to a problem under unpleasant circumstances, to enforce laws, to reason and make sound decisions in emergencies, to demonstrate skill in use of firearms, criminal investigation equipment, and other applicable equipment to crime control and criminal apprehension.

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 in Rapid City on a pre-determined testing day. There will not be any other testing days available. 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.
  • Physical fitness test. Exercises include push-ups, sit-ups, and a 1.5-mile run. Candidates should bring proper athletic attire for this test. (The physical fitness test will take place immediately after the written test. It is acceptable for candidates to come to the written test already wearing their athletic attire. Those that choose to bring their athletic attire will have a place to change after taking the written test, if they prefer.) Candidates must pass both the written and physical fitness test to move on to the grammar test and oral interview.
  • Basic grammar and report writing test.
  • 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.

Step 5: The Chief of Police will review each candidate and give final approval before making a job offer to chosen candidates.

The process of applying, testing, and receiving an offer of employment may take as little as a few weeks or as long as a few months, depending on the number of openings within the department.

Candidates who aren't hired are welcome to reapply and test again, on up to three consecutive testing cycles. Candidates who fail three consecutive testing cycles will not be allowed to test again for a minimum of two years after their most recent application.
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: $21.95/hour. Officers work a 40-hour week, and are paid overtime for work outside their normal shift.
  • Uniforms and equipment provided
  • Liability insurance and worker comp
  • Annual physical exams
  • 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
  • Health insurance provided for the employee at no cost. The City pays a portion of the premium for family coverage.
  • 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 plan

Apply Now