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Public Safety, Dept. of

 Record Group
Identifier: DPS

Scope and Contents

This record group contains records created and maintained by the South Dakota Department of Public Safety and includes departmental correspondence; fire loss reports; disaster files and photographs; highway safety program records; Law Enforcement Assistance Administration files and correspondence; Criminal Justice Commission files and audio recordings of meetings; motor vehicle registration annual summaries; and State Brand Board minutes, reports, and brand registers.


  • 1897 - 2015

Administrative History

The Department of Public Safety (DPS) was created in 1973 as part of a comprehensive reorganization of state government. The DPS was originally responsible for the State highway patrol, fire safety and prevention, drug and substance control, motor vehicle licensing and regulation, highway safety, and the State Brand Board. In 1984, the department was abolished, and most of its functions were transferred to the Department of Commerce and Regulation.

In 2003, Governor Rounds resurrected the Department of Public Safety, and gave it authority over the Division of Highway Patrol, the Division of Highway Safety, and the Division of Commercial Inspection and Licensing (which included driver licensing and the office of the fire marshal). Rounds also used the Department of Public Safety to consolidate responsibility for various emergency and disaster response agencies which had previously been administered by separate departments. These agencies include the Office of Emergency Medical Services (formerly Department of Health), the Office of Accident Records (Department of Transportation), the Office of State Radio (Bureau of Information and Telecommunications), and the Division of Emergency and Disaster Services (Department of Military and Veterans Affairs).


27.75 Cubic Feet

Language of Materials


Guide to the Records of the South Dakota Department of Public Safety
In Process
Sara Casper, Government Records Archivist
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Preparation of this finding aid was made possible by a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC).
Edition statement
1st Edition

Repository Details

Part of the South Dakota State Archives Repository

900 Governors Dr
Pierre South Dakota 57501 USA
605-773-6041 (Fax)