Frequently Asked Questions

Does the SFPD allow tattoos?

Yes, visible tattoos are permitted with a few caveats. They cannot be on the neck, face, head or scalp, nor are they permitted below the wrist except for a 3/8” band on the left ring finger. Any tattoos that are visible cannot be racist, sexist, vulgar, gang related, anti-American, anti-social, or prejudicial to the good of the order. The Chief of Police or their designee will make the final determination as to whether it is offensive or not.

Do I get paid while in the police academy?

Yes. Officers are sworn on their first day of employment with the department earn full salary and benefits while attending the academy.

How do I schedule a ride along?

Contact the Sioux Falls Law Enforcement Center at 367-7212 and request to speak with the Training Sergeant.

How long does the testing process take?

The length of the testing process varies widely based on a number of factors. Recruits are hired in classes scheduled around training dates offered through State Law Enforcement Training. Generally, the process takes a minimum of three months. Applicants who complete the full testing series will be under consideration for no greater than 24 months.

How long do I have to work patrol?

The SFPD has many opportunities for those who work hard and are committed to their job. Most of these areas require three years or more of law enforcement experience and the officer must have completed their probationary period. See Career Tracks for information on specialty roles.

If I have a background investigation done with another agency, or have a top secret clearance in the military, will the SFPD still do a background check?

Yes, SFPD will conduct its own background investigation.

How many trips will out of state applicants need to make to complete the selection process?

Applicants may complete phase one testing, the oral interview, in person or virtually. Applicants who move to phase two testing and live a considerable distance from Sioux Falls may be invited to complete the testing over a pre-scheduled timeframe. Applicants must pass each test to move to the next day’s testing.

How long is the police academy?

The police academy is 13 weeks long.

Is it a live in academy?

Depending on class size, the academy is often held in Sioux Falls which allows for the recruit officer to spend nights at home. Occasionally, in the event of a small hire group, the recruit will attend the State academy in Pierre, SD. In this case the recruit officer would stay in Pierre during the week and have the option of returning home on the weekends.

Do I have to be a United States Citizen?

Yes, you must be a United States Citizen

Are you accepting lateral transfers?

We do not have a lateral transfer program. Certified officers may be eligible to take the reciprocity exam and after receiving a passing score, will not need to attend the State Law Enforcement Training Academy. The Hiring Authority will take years of service into consideration for starting salary.

How can I submit an application?

Apply online here

What is the age limit?

Per City of Sioux Falls Ordinance 39.069, candidates must be at least 21 years of age at the date of interview and no greater than 44 years of age at the date of interview.

Is there a mandatory retirement?

Per City of Sioux Falls Ordinance 39.070, Mandatory Retirement for Uniformed Police and Fire Positions is Age 60.

Will I have to purchase my own gear or will the department pay for it?

The department will provide each recruit with everything needed to start off their law enforcement career including all uniforms, belts, flashlight, and firearm among others. We will even reimburse the recruit for the purchase of boots.

Do I need any college credits to be eligible to apply?

Applicants must meet minimum qualifications to be considered for the position. Those includes: • Associate’s degree or at least 60 semester hours of college credits from an accredited institution; or • Two years of certified law enforcement experience; or • Two years of military experience

What happens after I graduate from the police academy?

Academy training is just the beginning! After graduating from the academy you will attend several weeks of in-house training specifically related SFPD procedures. Once that is completed you’ll join a Police Training Officer for a 15-weeks of field training period prior to being sent out on your own.

Do I need any college credits to be eligible to apply?

Applicants must meet minimum qualifications to be considered for the position. Those includes: • Associate’s degree or at least 60 semester hours of college credits from an accredited institution; or • Two years of certified law enforcement experience; or • Two years of military experience

What retirement plan does the Sioux Falls Police Department offer?

Newly hired officers will become Generational Members of the class B plan of the South Dakota Retirement System (SDRS). Review the Generational Member Class B Public Safety Handbook.