How to write a job-winning police officer cover letter
Police officers work in critical roles in our community, helping to keep the peace, respond to emergency situations, and uphold the law. Landing a job as a police officer in your preferred district or department requires you to write a well-thought-out cover letter that shows off your professional qualifications.
In this guide, we teach you everything you need to know about writing a cover letter as a police officer. Read on to learn how to:
- Format an eye-catching cover letter header and headline
- Personalize the greeting and content of your cover letter
- Create a compelling introduction on a police officer cover letter
- Convey your best professional attributes effectively
- Conclude your police officer cover letter with a strong closing statement
Still looking for a job? These 100+ resources will tell you everything you need to get hired fast.
1. Format an eye-catching cover letter header and headline
When you begin writing your cover letter, your first important consideration should be how you can make the document visually appealing and eye-catching for employers.
The best way to accomplish this is by creating a well-formatted header and headline.
Starting with your cover letter header, this element is placed in the top left or top center of the document and should contain all your professional information. This is also where you will list the address of the recipient of the letter.
In your header, an employer should find:
- Your name and professional title
- Your professional contact information
- The name of the company or employer
- The address of the company or employer
Here is an example of a well-formatted police officer header
John Doe, Certified Police Officer
(123) 456-7890 | firstname.lastname@example.org | linkedin.com/in/john-doe
To: Buncombe Police Department
1234 Street Address
Asheville, NC 28715
Directly following your header is where you should place your cover letter headline. A headline is widely considered an optional cover letter element — but when written well, it can make a tremendous difference in setting your letter apart from competing applicants.
In a headline, you always aim to include:
- A keyword related to the position
- A number or trigger word
- A strong adjective or action verb
- A promise statement that tells the employer you have written this cover letter specifically for them
Here is an example of a well-written police officer headline
My 3-Step Approach to De-Escalation & How It Can Improve Your Police Department
Trigger Word/Number: 3-Step Approach
Keyword: De-Escalation, Police Department
Promise: Your Police Department
2. Personalize the greeting and content of your cover letter
With your header and headline in place, your next key step is to personalize both the content and greeting of your cover letter. As a police officer, strong attention to detail is essential, and personalizing your cover letter is a great way to convey this skill to employers.
For the personalized greeting, it is crucial to not only research exactly to who you should address your letter but to also use their correct title or honorific.
Here are 3 examples of personalized police officer cover letter greetings
- To Chief of Police Joe King,
- Dear Sergeant Joe King,
- Dear Deputy Chief Kate Miller,
3. Create a compelling introduction on a police officer cover letter
Once you know who you are speaking to and the key details you need to personalize and tailor your cover letter, you can now begin writing your introductory paragraph.
In this introduction, you should include:
- A brief overview of your professional history as a police officer
- A statement on why you are enthusiastic about applying to this police department
- A mutual acquaintance (when possible)
Pro Tip: Police departments want to know they are hiring trustworthy officers. Including a mutual acquaintance is a great way to provide a department with a trusted professional reference right off the bat.
Here is an example of a compelling introduction from a police officer cover letter
To Chief of Police Joe King,
I am a seasoned police officer with more than 8 years of experience working in both rural and urban communities. Having specialized for the last 5 years in mental health crisis management, I am certain I can meet the needs of both your department and community. My former Chief, Sergeant Loretta Sullivan, is highly familiar with your department and strongly recommended I apply for this opening and relocate to your location.
4. Convey your best police officer attributes effectively
After writing an awesome and compelling introduction, you must now work on the body paragraphs of your police officer cover letter. In these next paragraphs, your main goal is to describe your best professional attributes, including key skills and accomplishments.
When describing your qualifications, make sure the information your include is highly accurate, relevant, and concise. As a police officer, you never want to mislead an employer by including skills or accomplishments that you do not actually possess.
Here are 6 skills to describe in a police officer cover letter
- Weapons handling and safety
- Conflict resolution
- Knowledge of local and state law
- Criminal justice
- Self-defense tactics
- De-escalation tactics
Here is an example of how to describe an accomplishment in a police officer cover letter
As a police officer at [Former Department], I worked diligently to not only ensure the safety of my community but also establish social programs aimed at reducing non-violent crime. After creating and operating a program to support homeless shelters in the area, my team and I were able to reduce homeless-related emergencies and incidents by more than 40%.
5. Conclude your police officer cover letter with a strong closing statement
When you are ready to finish off your cover letter, make sure the closing statement you write is highly professional. To accomplish this, you 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 a strong closing statement from a police officer's cover letter
I am greatly appreciative of the time taken to review my cover letter and application, and I hope to hear from you soon regarding this position. Please contact me at your earliest convenience at (123) 456-7890 between the hours of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. For after-hours communication, you may best reach me at email@example.com.
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.