South Dakota has 66 counties where sheriffs are elected by the residents for a four year period. The sheriffs are responsible for carrying out law enforcement services throughout the state. They strive to preserve peace security, and public safety by defending and protecting the citizens of the state. They are also responsible for investigating crimes, patrolling their counties, execution of court documents, apprehension of felons and handling detained individuals.

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If you are passionate about serving the law enforcement division, then becoming a sheriff would be a good career choice. We would advise you to go through this guide to understand how to become a sheriff in South Dakota.

Requirements to Become a Sheriff in South Dakota

In order to be eligible to apply for this position, the aspirants have to meet the following requirements:

  • Should be citizens of the United States
  • Should have high school education or equivalent
  • Should have a certification from the Law Enforcement Officers Standards Commission
  • Should have a clean criminal history with no felony convictions in the past
  • Should be physically and mentally fit
  • Should be capable of effective law enforcement

How Long Does It Take to Become a Sheriff in South Dakota?

The process is made up of the following stages:

Step 1:Gain Field Experience

The sheriff’ position is a senior management level role and requires candidates to have some years of solid work experience. Hence, individuals would have to work in the police force for some time before applying for the sheriff’s position.

Step 2: Obtain Relevant Education

Obtaining a relevant bachelor’s or a master’s degree would help to improve the candidates’ career prospects and their probability of winning the elections. They can opt for a number of degrees and majors such as Public Safety Administration, Law Enforcement Intelligence or Criminal Justice.

Step 3: Pass the Screening Stage

The applicants will be invited for a physical fitness test and a written exam. The written exam will assess their comprehension, writing and reading skills, while the physical exam will test their physical strength and endurance. They will also be required to clear an interview, a medical exam, a drug test and a background investigation.

Step 4: Submit Documents and Prepare for the Campaign

After filing the required documents with the county, the candidates can begin preparations for their campaigns. The contestants can gather their own teams that can assist them in the campaigning process. The individuals who receive the highest votes are then appointed as sheriffs.

Salary of Sheriffs in South Dakota

As per the data reported by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the annual mean wage of First Line Supervisors of Police and Detectives in South Dakota was $78,060 in May 2018. Thus, this profession has lucrative salaries.