Reciprocity Program

The Sioux Falls Police Department values veteran officers who are looking for a change. We understand that leaving one job to start another is a difficult decision. We also understand that veteran officers bring years of experience and training when they join our department. To facilitate a smooth transition, we offer the CORE training program. We offer the opportunity for increased starting wages based on experience and the approval of the Chief and Human Resources.

For current law enforcement officers with at least two years of certified law enforcement experience, and who meet the State of South Dakota’s requirements for reciprocity eligibility, the SFPD offers accelerated training. When CORE officers are hired, they will be provided the State of South Dakota’s reciprocity examination. Those who pass will be provided five weeks of pre-service training to prepare them for the Police Training Officer (PTO) program. That five weeks will prepare the veteran officers by teaching them the SFPD’s procedures and policies. We realize the fundamentals of law enforcement are similar throughout the country, but each jurisdiction has its own specific protocols that must be followed. Ours is no different.

Upon completion of the pre-service training, the veteran officer will enter an accelerated PTO program. The normal PTO program consists of 15-weeks of training. The CORE PTO program has been shortened to 11-weeks of training when the trainee is progressing normally.

Ultimately, from start to finish, the CORE training program will take a veteran officer from Day 1 to patrolling on the streets in 16 weeks. This is a significant acceleration from the normal training program.

What happens if I fail the reciprocity examination?

The SFPD will do everything we can to help you prepare for the reciprocity examination. You will be provided study materials, time to study, and access to those who have passed the examination recently. It is a difficult examination and people do fail. If you fail the reciprocity examination, you will be required to attend the full academy course. Depending on your performance in training and the academy, you may or may not receive the full PTO or the CORE PTO schedule. This decision is performance based.

What happens if I perform poorly in the PTO program?

The CORE PTO program may be shortened in length, but the evaluation is the same. If a trainee needs extra time or is performing below standards, then remedial training will be assigned. This may include extensions in the training phases.

Is CORE a lateral program?

CORE is not a lateral program. CORE recognizes your training and experience and accelerates your training to get you to your assignment faster. You do not retain seniority nor rank from your prior agency, and seniority is earned based on the Fraternal Order of Police Labor Contract with the City of Sioux Falls.

Will I be issued new equipment?

You will be issued new equipment like all of our new employees.

Is my law enforcement certification valid in South Dakota?

South Dakota reciprocity eligibility is based on the Administrative Rules of South Dakota (ARSD).

ARSD 2:01:06:03. Reciprocity states, “The commission may waive any portion of the training program requirement of § 2:01:06:01, except firearms, EVOC, use of force, and the written reciprocity examination, upon formal application of a person requesting the waiver. The application must show that the person to be exempted from the training program has completed a course of equivalent content and quality in another jurisdiction no more than two-years prior to the date of the appointment or has been employed within the prior two years as a certified law officer in another jurisdiction and has completed a course of equivalent content and quality. The executive secretary shall administer to the applicant a written examination to determine the applicant's state of competence. Upon completion of the examination, the executive secretary or designee shall notify the applicant of the training to be completed before the applicant may be certified. After the applicant successfully completes the required training and if the applicant meets the minimum standards for certification of § 2:01:02:01, the commission shall issue the applicant a certificate as a certified law enforcement officer.” The full list of ARSD regarding law enforcement officers can be found at