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Police Officer Cover Letter Examples and Templates for 2024

A well-written police officer cover letter will explain how the police department you're applying to will benefit from your law enforcement experience and skills. Read on for police officer cover letter examples plus comprehensive tips to write your own strong cover letter.

Donna Wright Profile
By Donna Wright 4 minute read

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Police Officer Cover Letter Example

Police Officer Cover Letter Example

Police officer cover letter: 5 key tips

1

Feature your top skills and abilities up front

In your police officer cover letter, describe yourself and your best qualities so you are memorable to the recruiter. What skills and abilities set you apart from other job seekers? Perhaps you have a story to tell about how you were the kid who stood up to a bully in the elementary school playground, kickstarting your passion for law enforcement? Small anecdotes can quickly demonstrate your top skills as a brave, motivated problem solver. Maybe you were a high school track star, baseball player or football player who can provide benefits to the police officer role with physical strength, stamina and effective teamwork.

2

Be specific about your credentials and achievements

Police officers are usually required to graduate from a law enforcement program in addition to passing state certification exams as well as rigorous tests in physical fitness, driving and shooting. In your cover letter for police officer, be sure to highlight that these requirements are satisfied and add in any special credentials or achievements that make you stand out from other law enforcement job candidates. For example, have you trained to work with K-9 police dogs or did you win an award at the law enforcement commencement ceremony for your police car driving skills, shooting accuracy or academic test scores? Think about impressive accomplishments that other job seekers won’t have.

3

Tailor your letter to the specific job

While police department job postings may sound similar, you want to avoid sending the same general cover letter to all job openings of police officers. Instead, tailor your cover letter and resume to match the job description of each position. If the job requires you to “be familiar with the Mason County neighborhood and surrounding areas” then you need to explain your familiarity with the county. If it asks for “Florida Law Enforcement Certification” then note that you are indeed certified in Florida. Also, you should always incorporate specific keywords and skills outlined in the job description when describing your experience because those keywords are programmed into applicant tracking systems (ATS) that are automated to select the job applications of qualified applicants.

4

Present a mix of hard and soft skills

Police officers must demonstrate a special combination of skills to effectively maintain law and contribute to crime prevention within a community. In your professional cover letter for police officer, feature your best hard skills that match the job posting, such as physical stamina, outstanding driving skills, and knowledge of First Aid for first responder situations. Also, feature your best soft skills that help you do your job while assimilating with the people in the community like communication, empathy, active listening, negotiation and interpersonal skills.

5

Proofread for grammar and accuracy

When it comes to efficient police work, attention to detail is crucial as you’ll need to identify minuscule details, locate suspects, discover evidence and observe even the slightest of behaviors. You’ll also be required to write police reports and citations. Think of your police officer as your first opportunity to show you’re detail-oriented. Proofread your letter or ask a friend or relative to review it so you can ensure there are no embarrassing typos or grammatical errors. 

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Write a police officer cover letter in 5 steps

Here’s our breakdown of the police officer cover letter examples on this page and the process you should follow to create an effective cover letter that will land you a job with law enforcement.

1. Heading/contact information

Display your contact information in the cover letter header so that it is easily visible to the hiring manager. That way, they can contact you to schedule a job interview. At the top of your cover letter, include your full name, location, professional email address, phone number and any links to your job networking profiles, such as LinkedIn.

2. Professional salutation

If the hiring manager’s name is not listed in the job posting, demonstrate your research skills to find the law enforcement professional executing the hiring process. Direct your police officer cover letter to that person by addressing their proper name such as “Officer Smith, Mr. Smith or Ms. Smith.” While it’s not suggested to use a generic cover letter salutation, you can use “Dear Hiring Manager” if you are unable to find the right contact person at the police department. Avoid ever using “To Whom It May Concern” as that phrase has become outdated.

3. Introductory paragraph: Capture attention with a hook

The first paragraph of your cover letter will be the prospective employer’s first impression of you. You want to appear passionate about the position and list some specific achievements that are related to the job description. If you’re a recent law enforcement academy graduate, mention that fact along with your most impressive on-the-job training experiences shadowing high-level officers. If you have expertise diffusing domestic disputes, use numbers to show your impact (i.e., your calls answered exceeded the department average), as well as any commendations you’ve received for your achievements, as well as your disposition, critical thinking, negotiation and persuasion skills.

Introductory paragraph example:

I am writing to express my interest in the position of Police Officer with your organization. With many years of experience in law enforcement and serving with the U.S. Marines, I am confident that I can bring a strong commitment to the role, build positive relationships and provide the highest level of service to the community.

4. Body paragraphs: Why you’re the best fit for the job

The second paragraph is the main paragraph of your cover letter. Here is where you will list specific skills and achievements that are in line with the job you want. You can share specific achievements using numbers, such as budgeting and saving the department $2,000 annually, as the applicant in this cover letter sample describes. You can also share past experiences you have from other police departments that are similar to what is being requested by the job. For example, if you’ve had work experience working crime scenes, you can explain how that will prepare you for possible scenarios in the new position.

Body paragraph example:

My background in law enforcement includes six years of service in the U.S. Marines. During that time I held leadership positions and was awarded numerous commendations for my excellent service record. I also have a degree in Criminal Justice, which I obtained with honors, and I am currently enrolled in a master’s program with the goal of furthering my knowledge and skills.

I have extensive experience in patrol, traffic control, crowd control, budgeting and investigations. I am confident that I can carry out the highest quality work as a police officer to meet the needs of your department. I am also committed to continuing my education and professional development in order to remain up-to-date on the changing law enforcement landscape. 

4. Closing/sign-off: Strong call to action for job interview

The closing paragraph of your single-page cover letter is where you want to thank the hiring manager and reiterate your enthusiasm for the specific police officer position with a brief summary of your best qualities. Most importantly, close off your strong cover letter with a bold request or notification for a follow-up message or job interview, to move forward in the job application process.

Closing/sign-off example:

Thank you for your time and consideration as a candidate for the position of Mason County Police Officer. My commitment to the U.S. Marines combined with my law enforcement knowledge and leadership experience will allow me to be a valuable addition to your outstanding police department. I look forward to discussing my candidacy at your earliest convenience and further explaining how I can make a positive contribution to your team.

Sincerely,

[Your name]

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20 key skills for a police officer cover letter

In addition to the physical and mental prowess required for a police officer, there are also technical skills and personality-related skills that will help you maximize job performance and get recognized by employers during a law enforcement job search. Consider these 20 patrol officer skills that will allow professionals like yourself to manage public safety within your assigned community.

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Create your police officer cover letter (and resume) with our help

ResumeHelp has the tools, templates and examples you need to create your best police officer cover letter and police officer resume quickly, effectively and professionally. 

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FAQ: Police officer cover letter

Have questions? We’re here to help.

To write a compelling police officer cover letter, highlight your best qualifications to show you’re the ideal candidate for the law enforcement role.

  • Header with your full name, phone number, email address and location.
  • Direct the salutation to the specific hiring manager’s attention (i.e., “Dear Ms. Jones”). Avoid “Dear Hiring Manager.”
  • Start your letter with an elevator pitch hook to show your passion for law enforcement.
  • Highlight your most impressive accomplishments in law enforcement that make you stand out.
  • Use quantifiable past achievements like how many police calls you attend to in one 12-hour shift.
  • Make it clear how you can benefit the police department and not the other way around.
  • Include a call to action in the closing expressing thanks, enthusiasm and asking for a job interview.

Remember, cover letters are a great way to show a glimpse into your personality and work ethic, and demonstrate to a potential employer why you’re a good fit for the job you’re applying to.

If you’re writing an application letter for law enforcement, you are looking to show your interest in working for that police department. Since the letter will typically not be accompanied by a job application, be sure your letter provides a thorough explanation of your previous law enforcement work experience and standout skills in jobs such as patrol officer. Make it clear why you would make a valuable addition to the staff and worthy of a police officer role.

Yes! While a police officer resume lists your qualifications, a cover letter is your chance to give more details about how your professional skills align with the job description. A cover letter will allow a hiring manager to learn more about your skills and personality, and how those skills will benefit you in this position. Think of a cover letter as an extended elevator pitch that lets the hiring manager know you are worthy of an interview.

Yes, this police officer cover letter example will work no matter your experience level. If this is an entry-level position, you won’t be judged on your lack of experience. In this case, connect your schooling and training experiences, and even volunteer experiences, to the job description. For instance, you may not have handled a domestic dispute on the job, but maybe you received training in school to de-escalate this type of situation. Furthermore, perhaps you volunteered for a junior police force in college. Taking classes in law or criminal justice is also relevant to the job. Include anything in your cover letter for police officer that is relevant to the job. Look at cover letter examples on this page for help writing an entry-level cover letter.

To start a cover letter for police officer, you want to refer to any sample cover letter above. The first paragraph should introduce yourself and briefly explain why you’re applying for this position and a major skill or accomplishment you have that relates to the position. Be sure to include keywords from the job description in all sections of your cover letter in case the potential employer is using an applicant tracking system (ATS) to filter applicants based on keywords that match the job description.

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Donna Wright Profile
WRITTEN BY Donna Wright

Donna is a career expert with extensive experience in the fields of Marketing, Publishing, Direct Mail and Communications. She’s witnessed firsthand the importance of a powerful resume and cover letter to a job search, so she takes great pride in helping change the lives of job seekers by sharing expert career advice and tips to help land the perfect job.

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