How to build an outstanding law enforcement cover letter

Law enforcement professionals fulfill a variety of crucial roles that help keep our communities safe and secure. To land a job in this field, it is essential to write a cover letter that showcases your best professional qualities and commitment to upholding the law.

In this guide, we cover everything you need to know about writing a law enforcement cover letter. Continue reading to learn how to:

  • Craft a highly professional header and headline
  • Tailor your law enforcement cover letter for a specific jurisdiction
  • Write an introduction that clearly conveys why you are a great fit
  • Showcase your top skills and accomplishments in law enforcement
  • Conclude your law enforcement cover letter effectively

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1. Craft a highly professional law enforcement cover letter header and headline

When writing a law enforcement cover letter, your first focus should be to include all the correct information about who you are and how to contact you in an appealing format.

This is known as your header, which is commonly found at the top left of the page.

Your header is essential for introducing you quickly to the employer and should include:

  • Your name and professional title
  • Your professional contact information
  • The name employer’s office or institution
  • The address of the employer

Here is an example of a well-formatted law enforcement header

Megan Smith, Certified Police Dispatcher
(123) 456-7890 | megsmith@email.com | linkedin.com/in/meg-smith

To: Redding Police Department
777 Cypress Ave.
Redding, CA 96001

Having completed your header with all the necessary and accurate information, you can then move on to crafting your cover letter headline.

A headline is useful for many reasons, the most important of which is that it helps immediately grab the employer’s attention, making you stand out from other applicants.

To write a header, you should always include:

  • A keyword related to the position
  • A number or trigger word
  • A powerful adjective or verb
  • A promise statement that tells the employer the letter is for them and only them

Here is an example of a strong headline from a law enforcement cover letter

My 4 Essential Skills as a Dispatcher & How They Can Improve Your Department’s Response Rates

Trigger Word/Number: 4 Essential Skills
Keyword: Dispatcher
Adjective/Verb: Improve
Promise: Your Department’s Response Rates

Some applicants prefer to write their headlines after completing the body text of their cover letter. This allows you to identify the main point or idea of the text and highlight it more accurately.

2. Tailor your law enforcement cover letter for a specific jurisdiction

Whether you are applying for a position as a police officer, an administrative professional, a dispatcher, or any other role in law enforcement, you should always tailor your cover letter for the specific department and jurisdiction you are applying to.

Hiring departments want to see that you not only have the technical skills needed but that you also have a deep understanding and commitment to the community.

As part of this tailoring process, you need to create a personalized greeting — a type of greeting that addresses the specific person who reviews applications by name.

Here are 3 examples of personalized cover letter greetings for a law enforcement cover letter

  • To Recruiting Officer John Doe,
  • Dear Mr. John Doe,
  • Dear Assistant Chief John Doe,

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3. Write a compelling law enforcement cover letter introduction

With your personalized greeting in place, you have hooked the employer’s attention. Now, you must keep them interested with a clear and concise introduction that highlights why you are the perfect applicant for the open position.

In a law enforcement cover letter introduction, you should include:

  • A brief overview of your professional history and goals
  • A statement on why you are enthusiastic about applying to this specific department
  • A mutual acquaintance (when possible) — mutual acquaintances build respect, rapport, and trust.

Here is an example to help demonstrate how to write a law enforcement cover letter introduction

To Recruiting Officer John Doe,

I am a professional dispatcher with 5+ years of experience working in a fast-paced urban community with a diverse range of emergencies and callers. My long-term career goal has always been to return to my hometown community to help support the local law enforcement team and create a safer town for all citizens. My professional mentor, Mr. Leonard Paul, is a retired officer of your department and can speak to my qualifications that make me perfect for this role.

4. Showcase your top skills and accomplishments in law enforcement

While your introduction does a lot of heavy lifting in terms of establishing your key qualifications and hooking the employer’s attention, the work is far from done.

Next, you must showcase your top skills and accomplishments as a law enforcement professional in the body paragraphs of your cover letter. As you describe your qualifications, make sure to include details that are highly relevant to the employer’s stated wants and needs.

Here are 6 law enforcement skills to describe in a cover letter

  • Active Listening
  • Weapon Safety
  • De-Escalation Tactics
  • CPR and First Aid
  • Physical Stamina
  • Leadership and Teamwork

Here is an example of how to describe an accomplishment in a law enforcement cover letter:

As a dispatcher at my former department, I achieved a high level of success at quickly communicating with callers, averaging a response rate of less than 10 seconds. Furthermore, callers in my previous jurisdiction expressed great satisfaction with my service, earning me a county-wide rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars. 

5. Conclude your law enforcement cover letter effectively

The last step you must take to finish off your law enforcement cover letter is to write an effective conclusion. In this conclusion, it is important to let the employer know that you are awaiting a response, as this helps to add a sense of urgency and compels them to respond quickly.

A law enforcement cover letter conclusion should include:

  • An enthusiastic sentence saying you are looking forward to hearing from them
  • An additional sentence stating you will follow up, including how you will contact them or how they can contact you
  • A formal sign-off

Here is an example of an effective conclusion from a law enforcement cover letter

It would be to my utmost delight to serve in your county’s police department. I am eagerly awaiting your response and am available to speak in person or over the phone Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. The best way to reach me during these hours is at (123) 456-7890 or after-hours at megsmith@email.com

Sincerely,

[Applicant Name]

If you have ever wondered how a cover letter differs from a resume, this article will tell you everything about the key differences between the two.

Published on Aug. 31, 2022

Martin is a resume expert and career advice writer at Kickresume. In his five years at Kickresume, he has written nearly 100 in-depth, painstakingly researched resume advice articles and, as chief editor, he has also edited and revised every single article on this website. Tens of thousands of job seekers read Martin’s resume advice every month. He holds a degree in English from the University of St Andrews and a degree in Comparative Literature from the University of Amsterdam.

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