To maintain a basic certification, all South Dakota law enforcement officers must complete forty hours of training in every two-year period. The training must consist of courses sponsored by Law Enforcement Training or approved and documented by the law enforcement agency in the subject areas of: program administration; police practices and procedures; legal aspects; human behavior; and domestic violence.
All sworn employees must qualify on a certified firearms course annually. This state-approved course consists of shooting at various distances, with electronic targets that turn to provide a more realistic training effect. Employees must achieve a minimum passing score annually.
Vermillion Police Officers regularly train with their Glock 9mm service pistols during regularly-scheduled training events in order to maintain proficiency. Additionally, they train with department-provided patrol rifles that allow them to respond to a wide variety of problem scenarios they could face while on duty.
Vermillion Police officers typically far surpass the minimum training standards required to maintain their certification. In-service training sessions focusing on core competencies are held at the Vermillion PD on a regular basis and are available to all personnel.
The Vermillion Police Department regularly instructs its employees in the art of Verbal Defense and Influence, which aids in their ability to effectively communicate with members of the public.
Officers receive continuous updates in changes on Constitutional law, Search and Seizure, Ethics, and other relevant topics. The Vermillion PD has many in-house instructors that regularly train the employees in unarmed self defense, emergency driving, CPR and First Aid, and Domestic Violence awareness.
The Vermillion Police Department new officer training program consists of twenty-two weeks of training. Each officer initially completes three weeks of classroom training and an observation week. After the observation week, officers are assigned to training officers for sixteen weeks of training covering four substantive topics, which include Patrol Activities, Non-Emergency Incident Response, Emergency Incident Response, and Criminal Investigations. During the new officer's training, there is a Mid-Term Evaluation and Final Evaluation. During these evaluation weeks, the officer is evaluated for advancement in the program.
In addition to this training conducted at the VPD, each new officer is required to become certified by the State of South Dakota within their first year of employment. Certification is accomplished by successfully completing South Dakota Law Enforcement Training's Basic Certification Course, which currently consists of 520 hours of instruction (13 weeks). The Basic Certification Course is offered three times each year in Pierre, SD. Lodging and meals are provided by the State Law Enforcement Training Center. The VPD pays the officer's salary while he/she is attending the Basic Certification Course. New officers having a valid law enforcement certification from another state may be allowed to bypass a majority of the thirteen-week Basic course by passing a reciprocity test.
The goal of the Vermillion Police Department Police Training Officer program is to offer invaluable training in helping police trainees to perform their duties and responsibilities in a more efficient, effective and equitable manner.