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Law Enforcement

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Are you looking for variety and action? Do you consider yourself fair, confident, and inquisitive? Then read on to learn more about our 18-month Law Enforcement program!

Lake Area Tech values the partnership it has with local, state, tribal, and federal agencies as its mission is to graduate students with the necessary knowledge and skills to be employed in the law enforcement field including positions as police officers, sheriff deputies, corrections officers, highway patrol troopers, criminal investigators, tribal officers, crime scene specialists, communications officers, conservation officers, probation, parole, and juvenile officers.

At Lake Area Tech, Law Enforcement students will be offered training in areas not limited to but including Constitutional Law, Criminal Law & Procedures, Criminal Investigations, Crime Scene Evidence Collection, Juvenile Justice, First Responder, Patrol Procedures, Firearms, Mechanics of Arrest, Street Survival Tactics, Corrections, and Emergency Vehicle Operations. Students will also learn how the legal and criminal justice systems work in tandem with local, state, and federal government agencies. After successful completion of the program, students will earn an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Law Enforcement.

Our mission is fundamental: To recruit, educate, train, and develop outstanding law enforcement leaders who will remain true to the principles of Law Enforcement – service, justice, and fundamental fairness. Our vision is predetermined by our profession: to become noble guardians of democracy!

Lake Area Technical College’s curriculum for Law Enforcement meets the educational requirements for professional licensure in South Dakota. Professional licensure and certification requirements often vary from state to state. Prospective or current students considering an academic program that leads to a professional license or certification are strongly encouraged to seek guidance from the appropriate licensing agency in the state you plan to work before beginning an affiliated academic program. Read more here regarding Professional Licensure Disclosures.

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Law Enforcement Virtual Academy

Our Law Enforcement program at Lake Area Technical College offers currently serving officers a virtual pathway to an Associate of Applied Science degree in Law Enforcement. In just nine short months, officers who have successfully completed the South Dakota Basic Officer Certification are eligible to apply to the Lake Area Tech Law Enforcement Virtual Academy. To accommodate an officer’s work schedule, Lake Area Tech will provide a mix of online and on-campus (or hybrid) classes. This Virtual Academy option has been developed in conjunction with the Law Enforcement Officers Standards and Training Commission and Law Enforcement partners across South Dakota.

How Does It Work?

Lake Area Tech will count, as prior learning experience (PLE), all classes completed by graduates of the South Dakota Law Enforcement Academy and will waive commensurate coursework leading to the A.A.S. degree option in Law Enforcement. If an officer isn’t currently employed in law enforcement at the time of the application for PLEs, they must have completed the SDLEOSTC Training Academy not more than five years prior to the first application for PLEs. If it’s been longer than five years, Lake Area Tech will review applications on a case-by-case basis.

Admission to the Academy

In addition to the PLE classes (520 hours) acquired at the South Dakota Law Enforcement Academy, applicants seeking an A.A.S. degree in Law Enforcement from Lake Area Tech must meet all of the admission requirements and must complete and submit the online application below along with the $25 application fee. ACT scores, high school and college transcripts, and a copy of the South Dakota Basic Officer Certification will be requested. If the applicant does not have an ACT score, he or she will be required to take the Accuplacer entrance exam at Lake Area Tech.

No Need to Relocate

The coursework will be offered on-campus or online, whatever works best for you! Please note, students will need access to a computer to complete the online coursework. Some on-campus class time may be held on weekends.

What Does It Cost?

The cost per credit hour is $124. Other fees and costs can be expected such as books, uniforms, etc.