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Security in South Dakota

South Dakota is a state steeped in history of the American West. From the gold rush in the Black Hills to Custer’s Last Stand, South Dakota is a representative microcosm American settlement.
Laura Ingalls Wilder wrote three books about pioneer life on the plains and the hardiness of the people who settled the Dakota Territories. Harvey Dunn’s paintings illustrate the rigors and pleasures of settling South Dakota. Home to not only historic rough and tumble Deadwood, the state has one of the largest cities in the upper Midwest plains states, Sioux Falls.

A huge tourist draw (that requires additional security) happens each year in August when thousands of motorcycle enthusiasts make the trek from all corners of the country to transform Sturgis from a small western town into a mecca of motorcycle fun. Today, Mt. Rushmore continues to look out across South Dakota as a beacon to remind people of what it took to make America the strongest nation in the world.

Outlook for Security Employment
Forbes lists South Dakota as the 12th top state for businesses. Where businesses flourish so do jobs. Jobs bring people and with people a need for added security is present. According to the 2010 U.S. Census, South Dakota’s population has increased by 7.9% since the year 2000. Nationally, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects an 18% growth in Security Guard and Transportation Security Screener positions for the decade between 2010 and 2020. Police and Sheriff’s Officers are expected to grow by 7%. Correctional Officers are expected to see a 5% growth. Presently, South Dakota employs 1,320 Correctional Officers; 1,210 Transportation Security Screeners and Security Guards; and 1,160 Police and Sheriff’s Officers.

Education and Scholarship Information
Higher education is necessary to advance in a security career, particularly in law enforcement. Security guards and transportation screeners need a high school diploma or a GED for an entry level position. Local police jurisdictions may accept high school level for entry but larger municipalities and state agencies likely require post-secondary education. Scholarships to help with post-secondary education include: Sioux Falls Area Community Foundation Scholarships; The Alert Scholarship – ALERT – The drug and alcohol abuse prevention magazine by Golden West Publications; Mary Chilton Chapter: National Society Daughters of the American Revolution; Dakota Indian Foundation Scholarship; Internet Safety Laws Scholarship; and Homeland Security Scholarship.

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