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Government Services

Rapid City is governed by a mayor and 10-member city council who are elected to a two-year term of office. The city is divided into five wards from which citizens elect two council members to represent them. The terms of office for council members expire in alternating years so that elections are held annually. This cycle of elections facilitates city wide votes on contested issues to be held as needed.

Rapid City provides its residents with the essential services by producing clean drinking water, treating wastewater, collecting and disposing of solid waste, maintaining a reliable public transportation system, providing for a safe and protected community, and constructing the infrastructure necessary to provide these services.

The Rapid City Police Department is one of the most progressive law enforcement agencies in the region and the only internationally accredited police department in South Dakota. The RCPD has been continuously accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies since 1990 and prides itself on the proactive community safety programs such as the School Liaison Program and the civilian traffic investigators.

Residents are served by the Rapid City Fire Department, a proactive organization staffed with professional men and women dedicated to the delivery of service to the citizens and visitors. They deliver fire and emergency medical services through seven fire stations strategically located throughout the City with the eighth being located at the Rapid City Regional Airport. The fire department also focuses on public education, fire prevention initiatives, preparedness and overall community risk reduction.

Rapid City falls within Pennington County, the second largest county by population in the state, providing selected levels of services to city residents in the form of sheriff’s office, adult/juvenile corrections programs, court support, and volunteer fire services. Federal services are provided by a number of federal offices and departments within and adjacent to the city. Combined with all other services provided, a number of State of South Dakota departments are located in and adjacent to Rapid City. They provide essential services to both city and rural residents in a wide variety of areas.

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