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Police Officer Cover Letter Example

Use this Police Officer cover letter example to finish your application and get hired fast – no frustration, no guesswork. This cover letter example is specifically designed for Police Officer positions in 2022. Take advantage of our sample sentences + expert guides to download the perfect cover letter in just minutes.
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Police Officer Cover Letter Example
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Does a police officer application require a cover letter? How should a police officer cover letter be written and formatted? Are there any tips and tricks for writing this application letter? What are the common mistakes to avoid? 

Stick around and we’ll cover these topics within this police officer cover letter example and writing guide. It’s one of more than 180 occupation-specific cover letter examples that Resume.io has created, with corresponding writing guides.

The guide you’re reading now is designed to walk you through every step needed to craft the most convincing cover letter for a police officer. With reference to an adaptable police officer cover letter example, we'll show you:

  • Considerations relating to the police officer job role and outlook
  • Why a cover letter is important
  • The best police officer cover letter format that highlights your strengths without overcrowding the page
  • How to make the most of each cover letter section (header, greeting, intro, body and conclusion)
  • Where to look for transferable skills when applying to a police officer job with no experience
  • The most essential positive traits to convey, plus the most common mistakes to avoid

Police officer job role and outlook

Police officers are sworn to serve and protect the communities in which they work. As the saying goes, “With great power comes great responsibility,” and it certainly applies to the challenging tasks police officers face.

Much of policing involves responding to routine calls, traffic stops and accidents, then filing reports and attending court hearings. The job is not without surprises and dangers, however. The unpredictability of each day means the best police officers are prepared to adapt.

Policing jobs can be competitive since many officers stay in their positions for years after being hired, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The same data source projects that police officer employment will grow by 7 percent from 2020 to 2030, a bit slower than the average for all occupations. Since new openings may be hard to come by, you’ll need to show an agency that you’re the perfect fit for their coveted opening. A great cover letter is your key to success.

For more inspirational material and writing tips, check out the following cover letter examples and writing guides in the related security & protective services occupation category.

Why you need a cover letter

First, let’s go over the basics: A cover letter is a 200-400 word document (no longer than one page) that expresses your motivations, key skills and relevant experience for the police officer position. It’s designed to hit the high notes of your resume information from a more personal and focused angle. In that regard, a cover letter shouldn’t just rehash what’s on your resume, but compliment it. Cover letters allow you to expand on important points and offer details you might not have had the space to mention in your resume.

Above all, it’s your opportunity to express why you are applying for this specific position and the reasons you are a great fit. Your goal should be to show the police commissioner that you’ve done your research about the community being served, and what kind of relevant experience you could contribute from past situations.

Expert tip

What if the police officer job application doesn't require a cover letter?

Compared with most other types of positions, police officers go through a more extensive multi-step hiring process involving background checks, physical fitness tests and mental exams. With all of these extra checks, you may be wondering if a police commissioner really needs the extra information in your cover letter.

Here’s what we recommend: Unless you are asked not to submit a cover letter, you should always write and send one to maximize your chances of moving onto the next recruiting round with the best applicants. Sure, a police officer job might require several extra hiring steps, but a cover letter is a vital component in the deciding whether you’re worth the department’s time and energy to test and train. Even if an online application describes a cover letter as optional, you won’t want to miss out on a prime opportunity to make a great first impression.

Since a police officer position can make for a great launch point into the world of law enforcement, some entry-level openings can be quite competitive. Many candidates, especially college students and recent grads, may have similar resumes making it difficult for a hiring manager to pick yours out of the crowd.

A well-crafted cover letter is one of the best (and easiest) ways to stand out and show what you can bring to the table. Even if you don’t have any previous experience in law enforcement, your cover letter is the place to highlight soft skills like leadership, ability to stay calm under pressure and a team spirit that are hard to train in candidates who don’t naturally possess them.

Expert tip

How to personalize your police officer cover letter

Not all policing jobs are created equal. Modern trends in policing include new focus on technology and community oriented policing. Not only do today’s officers deal with crime in neighborhoods, they also need to be prepared to investigate cybercrimes, according to the University of San Diego.

Understanding the nuances of the specific police department where you plan to apply is essential to writing an effective cover letter. Although you may start with a more general police officer cover letter, you should always customize it with your most relevant skills and experience related to the job description created by your potential employer. While customization may take a little extra time, you’ll reap the rewards when the hiring manager notices your diligence.

Best format for a police officer cover letter

Before digging into the writing task itself, it’s important to outline the necessary sections of any complete cover letter. Luckily, they don’t change much between occupations, so you’ll be able to use this information again and again as you advance in your career. Here is the framework of components:

  • Cover letter header
  • Cover letter greeting / salutation
  • Cover letter introduction
  • Cover letter middle paragraphs (body)
  • Cover letter closing (conclusion and sign-off).

You can find more information on how to write each of these sections in our comprehensive guide to cover letter writing .

Expert tip

Figuring out the right way to format your police officer cover letter isn’t only about the writing. Your cover letter should also be visually attractive. Since law enforcement is a formal field, we recommend choosing a cover letter template with clean, strong lines and a lot of white space offsetting the solid black text blocks. Splashes of color, if any, should be sparing. Choose a conventional font like Georgia, Helvetica or Arial for a classic presentation. 

Here is the adaptable police officer cover letter sample that we’ll take a closer look a later, one section at a time.

Adaptable cover letter example

Dear Mr. Blankwith,

Coming from a family of law enforcement officers, I’ve had the chance during my six-year career in the police service to understand the reality behind all the stories.

As an ultra-marathon runner, I have found my calling on patrol, with emergency response, arrest proceedings, search and seizure, domestic disputes and crime scene investigation taking up my time. Physical and mental fitness is essential to allow me to be in the best condition to aid my community, and 40 commendations speak to my ability to give my all.

I am a student of police procedures and believe that the law should form the bedrock of any policing decision. Common sense obviously plays an important role, but in my experience of 500+ individual incidents a year, it has to be applied alongside the regulations.

After studying Criminal Justice at Hapson Community College and subsequently graduating from the Miami State Police Academy, I have continually sought opportunities to gain knowledge. My first aid certification has proven useful on a number of occasions, including a rural industrial accident last year where I managed to treat 12 victims as emergency medical services were running late.

I was an active member of the Kitford community, partnering with schools for youth education campaigns and helping to run a drug rehabilitation drop-in clinic. These relationships often helped me solve problems and be seen as someone to talk to rather than avoid. Active policing is preventative policing and youth crime rates dropped 37% as a result of my engagement efforts.

I would welcome the opportunity to understand your policing challenges and hope that I can make your community feel even more safe and protected.

Sincerely,

Brian Mendez

Copied!

The police officer cover letter sample above is meant to serve as a jumping off point for your own experience. Within our cover letter builder , you can edit the sentences and swap around the sections. At the same time, using one of our cover letter templates, it's a straightforward way to create a police officer cover letter that perfectly suits your needs.

Now let's go through each cover letter section, one at a time.

Cover letter header

Your cover letter header is one of the most important places to grab the hiring agency’s attention and show off your professionalism. The first purpose of the header is to display all the necessary personal information — name and contact details — should a hiring manager want to get in touch. 

The second role of your header is to create visual interest that sends the right message. This is likely the key place for adding any design elements, so make sure to choose your formatting wisely. For a police officer job, a more traditional look is generally a safer choice than a creative approach.

Expert tip

Align document styles!

One of the best ways to stand out from the crowd is by aligning document styles. Choosing a matching resume and cover letter template helps you create a polished image that conveys professionalism from the very first page.

The goal of the header section: Label your document with your name and personal information, and create an attractive look that is polished and eye catching.

Cover letter greeting

Your cover letter greeting is a big opportunity to set the right tone  and make a personal connection. Whenever possible, aim to use the hiring manager or letter recipient’s name in the greeting. For a government position like a police officer, “Dear Mr. / Ms./ Mrs.” is likely the most appropriate greeting choice. However, it's well worth checking to see if there are specific formal requirements, such as officer ranks or position titles or accepted greetings within the specific department you’re applying to. If you don't have access to someone who might clarify, try researching any way you can.

Expert tip

The importance of names and addressed greetings

Names are a vital part of effective workplace communication. Research even shows that people have a positive neurological response upon hearing their own name. This is one of the main reasons why addressing your cover letter recipient by name is so important to establishing a personal connection and showing your interest in the position.

In some cases, it may be near impossible to find out exactly who will be reading your cover letter. In that case, you have some options. You may address multiple people in your greeting or use the name of the city/town/agency followed by a general noun like “Hiring Manager,” “Hiring Team,” or “Sheriff's Office.”

The goal of the cover letter greeting: Make a personal connection with cover letter recipients by addressing them formally and by name.

Below is the greeting from our police officer cover letter example.

Adaptable cover letter sample introduction

Dear Mr. Blankwith,

Copied!

Cover letter introduction

The introductory sentences of your cover letter should sound self-assured and persuasive in making a case for your excellence as a police officer. But it needs to do more than that as the pivotal attention-grabbing hook. By providing just a glimpse at your strongest qualifications in a relatable manner — directly relevant accomplishments and transferrable skills — you want hiring officers to envision your contributions as a member of their police force. 

Use energetic language to convey you are:

  • An ideal job match, well-equipped to become a police department asset
  • Excited about the opportunity to serve this community with fellow police officers.

Goal of the cover letter introduction: Intrigue recruiters by citing the most relevant and relatable examples of your qualifications as a police officer.

Here’s the introduction from our police officer cover letter sample.

Adaptable cover letter introduction example

Coming from a family of law enforcement officers, I’ve had the chance during my six-year career in the police service to understand the reality behind all the stories.

Copied!

Cover letter middle part (body)

The cover letter middle part  is often referred to as the body section. These two or three paragraphs offer you the most space to describe  your work previous experience and transferable skills. 

One way to organize these descriptions in this section, perhaps using bullet points for some, is the "STAR" method. That’s an acronym for “Situation, Task, Action, Result.” You can relate short, single-sentence anecdotes that are framed in that manner by describing the situation and task required of you, followed by the action taken and the positive result you achieved. Make sure to choose situations that you are likely to face in your new police officer position.

In a separate body paragraph, you may want to speak directly to your top skills and the reasons why you’d make a great fit for this police agency. 

The goal of the cover letter body: Offer examples of instances when you’ve carried out duties similar to those listed in the job description, and lay out your strengths and potential contributions to the hiring new agency.

Our police officer cover letter sample illustrates what you might include in the middle part.

Adaptable cover letter body example

As an ultra-marathon runner, I have found my calling on patrol, with emergency response, arrest proceedings, search and seizure, domestic disputes and crime scene investigation taking up my time. Physical and mental fitness is essential to allow me to be in the best condition to aid my community, and 40 commendations speak to my ability to give my all.

I am a student of police procedures and believe that the law should form the bedrock of any policing decision. Common sense obviously plays an important role, but in my experience of 500+ individual incidents a year, it has to be applied alongside the regulations.

After studying Criminal Justice at Hapson Community College and subsequently graduating from the Miami State Police Academy, I have continually sought opportunities to gain knowledge. My first aid certification has proven useful on a number of occasions, including a rural industrial accident last year where I managed to treat 12 victims as emergency medical services were running late.

I was an active member of the Kitford community, partnering with schools for youth education campaigns and helping to run a drug rehabilitation drop-in clinic. These relationships often helped me solve problems and be seen as someone to talk to rather than avoid. Active policing is preventative policing and youth crime rates dropped 37% as a result of my engagement efforts.

Copied!

Cover letter closing (conclusion and sign-off)

Now that most of your police officer cover letter is complete, you’ll need the perfect closing. One of the most effective ways to conclude is through a call to action. This sentence directly states your enthusiasm or interest in the position and encourages a hiring manager to contact you. If you have space, you may even leave your phone number or email again here.

Finish your letter with a signature that is both polite and formal. “Sincerely” or “Best regards” are great choices for a closing salutation, right above your name.

The goal of the cover letter closing: Wrap up your cover letter on a serious but positive note, with an effective call to action preceding your sign-off.

Below is the closing section of our sample police officer cover letter.

Adaptable cover letter conclusion and sign-off example

I would welcome the opportunity to understand your policing challenges and hope that I can make your community feel even more safe and protected.

Sincerely,

Brian Mendez

Copied!

 

Writing psychology

While your resume is a great place to highlight hard skills relevant to your police work experience and other jobs, your cover letter is the perfect place to showcase the innate qualities that make you a great officer. Here are some examples:

  • Integrity: Honesty, character and respectability are more important now than ever considering the additional scrutiny police officers are facing around the world. Use your cover letter to highlight moments when you did the right thing and achieved positive results.
     
  • Willingness to serve: Community policing may sound like a buzzword, but it’s shaping the hiring decisions of more and more agencies. Make sure your love for the community and desire to see it thrive are at the forefront of your motivations on a police officer cover letter.
     
  • The right temperament: The tone of your cover letter can say just as much about you as what you write. A positive attitude, calm demeanor and ability to work in a team are key qualities that will make you a welcome asset to any police force.
     
  • Tenacity: Policing is a tough job. The hours are long and the days can be unpredictable. At the worst times, the job can be downright dangerous. Your cover letter is the right place to convey your understanding of the sacrifices police officers make to do their jobs effectively.

Cover letter mistakes to avoid

Now that we’ve discussed qualities to include on a great police officer cover letter sample, let’s explore the biggest pitfalls that trip up many candidates for this position.

  • Generic cover letters: Just because a police officer job is a serious position doesn’t mean your cover letter should be bland. Make sure to express your interest in the specific agency, the community and a willingness to take on the duties outlined in the job description.
     
  • Grammar and spelling mistakes: Typos and grammar issues make your cover letter less likely to be read all the way through. These mistakes also suggest you’ll struggle to fill out forms and reports accurately — a significant part of the policing job.
     
  • Poor formatting: Unprofessional fonts in the wrong sizes send a big message before the hiring manager even begins to read. Your balance of white space to text is also an important factor in keeping your cover letter reader-friendly.
     
  • Lack of visual style: A police officer cover letter shouldn’t be filled with colors and images, but that doesn’t mean style doesn’t count. A clean, black-and-white layout that’s well organized can go a long way in making a great presentation.

Police officer cover letter with no experience

Believe it or not, you can become a police officer with no previous experience in this specific job, but perhaps some experience in adjacent fields. In this section, we’ll offer a sample of what to include on your cover letter when applying for your first police officer job.

Policing is a rewarding job that can provide you with plenty of room for career advancement. And the best part? You may only need a high school diploma and clean background check to get started. Many of a police officer’s tasks are learned on the job. Some of them include:

  • Responding to a wide variety of calls
  • De-escalating emergency situations
  • Collecting evidence from a crime scene
  • Tracking and arresting suspects
  • Filing reports and logs
  • Patrolling communities
  • Making traffic stops and issuing citations

Although the process varies by state, generally, police officers with no experience take part in police academy training after they are hired. When their training is complete, they receive certification and are sworn into the police force. Since agencies spend lots of time and money to train each new recruit, they want to be sure that the candidates they’ve selected have the right temperament and teachability to persevere through the difficult training process.

Expert tip

If you’ve never worked as a police officer before, here are some skills that can help you stand out in your cover letter:

  • Security guard or safety officer
  • Military or ROTC experience
  • Lifeguard
  • Team leadership
  • Martial arts or fitness training
  • Foreign language skills
  • Crisis management
  • Community service and youth education experience

Use related experiences to highlight transferable skills — qualities that are applicable in both jobs. A police officer cover letter is also the best place to explain your motivations for the career change. Do you have officers in your family? Did you have a personal experience that prompted you to apply? A sincere cover letter with the right attitude and reasons for applying can quickly put you ahead of many young candidates who seem unfocused.

How to write a cover letter with no experience
Related article
How to write a cover letter with no experience

When you don’t have much experience in the field you’re applying to, writing a cover letter can feel like a daunting task. While you might be tempted to submit your application without one, that would be a big mistake.

Key takeaways

  1. A cover letter is an essential tool for landing a police officer position, especially as many jobs are becoming increasingly competitive.
  2. Your cover letter should convey all the necessary information through a well-organized structure, including a header, greeting, body and conclusion.
  3. Choose professional fonts and keep a balance of white space to text for a format that is polished and easy to read.
  4. If you are applying to a police officer position with no experience, your cover letter should explain your interest in the role through examples of related jobs in safety and community service.
  5. A cover letter template can make great visual presentation much easier. Since a police officer job is a formal role, make sure to choose a neutral color palette with a traditional feel.
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Build your cover letter in minutes
Build your cover letter in minutes
Stand out and get hired faster with our collection of free cover letter templates expertly-designed to land you the perfect position.
Create Cover Letter

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