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Police Officer Cover Letter: Samples for Law Enforcement Jobs

Police Officer Cover Letter: Samples for Law Enforcement Jobs

You take police work seriously, and you’ve got the right mix of enforcement and community relations skills. Write a police officer cover letter that proves it to the Chief.

A good police officer cover letter is the only way the Chief knows you’re flesh and blood. Without it, your resume is just a list of job duties like the 75 others on his desktop. How will he know you’re responsible, efficient, and have great interpersonal skills? He’ll know because your cover letter will tell him.

 

But—you can’t just describe yourself in glowing terms and expect to get interviews. You’ll have to build your case with evidence from your career or training so far. Your time at the academy or your time in uniform have hidden gems. Those things are exhibits A, B, and C to get you interviewed.

 

It’s all in how you put them in the right law enforcement cover letter format.

 

This guide will show you:

  • A police cover letter better than 9 out of 10 others.
  • How to write a cover letter for police officers that lands 10x more interviews.
  • Why it all comes down to your understanding of the department’s needs.

 

Want to write your cover letter fast? Use our cover letter builder. Choose from 20+ professional cover letter templates that match your resume. See actionable examples and get expert tips along the way.

 

police officer resume and cover letter set

Police Officer Cover Letter for a Resume—See more cover letter templates and create your cover letter here.

 

Thinking about other roles? See:

 

This police officer cover letter template kicks like a .308:

 

Police Officer Cover Letter Sample

 

Your Name

Police Officer

Mailing Address

Phone Number

Email Address

LinkedIn

 

Date

 

Chief’s Name

Title

Department Name

Mailing Address

 

Dear [Chief Name],

 

I’m a former Marine and current patrol officer applying for work at [Department Name]. I’ve spoken in depth with three of your officers—Ken Hamilton, Jim Charles, and Mike O’Leary. They all say your approach to leadership gives them the freedom to liaise with the community in a positive way, while providing the enforcement and security your jurisdiction demands.

 

Ken said you most value new officers who take the time to understand the role and the Department. He said you place a lot of faith in officers who aren’t afraid to do the unloved jobs, who have excellent interpersonal skills, and who understand the importance of paperwork. Here’s proof I have those qualities:

  • Unloved jobs. As a Security Specialist in the Marines, led a team of 20 by doing the dirtiest jobs daily until my direct reports insisted they take over.
  • Interpersonal skills. Recognized at the Academy for excellent interpersonal skills. As patrol officer in Waylon, MS, resolved 99% of conflicts peacefully.
  • Paperwork. Achieved 100% on-time completion for all documentation.

 

[Chief Name], my resume shows the required skills and duties, including patrolling, weapons skills, legal knowledge, and leadership. I look forward to speaking with you about how my professionalism and dedication can help [Department Name] uphold its mission to serve all citizens with dignity and respect.

 

Best regards,

 

[Your Name], Police Officer

[Phone Number]

[Email]

 

A cover letter for police officer jobs like that could get you in at the Chicago PD.

The best cover letter in the world will fail without a matching resume. See our guide: Police Officer Resume: Sample & Complete Guide

Now, here’s how to write police officer cover letters that work:

 

1. Use the Right Police Officer Cover Letter Template

 

The Chief (or hiring board director) has to make snap judgements. That’s the nature of the job. Help him make the right one with a professional cover letter layout. Your cover letter margins, font, and paragraphs should feel like a crisp uniform at a glance. The three-paragraph plan works best.

 

Use this template when formatting your cover letter for law enforcement jobs.

 

Sample Police Officer Cover Letter—Checklist

 

  • your contact info
  • the organization’s info
  • Dear [Manager Name],
  • paragraph #1: make an impression
  • paragraph #2: key skills that fit the job’s needs like body armor
  • paragraph #3: revisit your skills and target the interview
  • best regards and name & title

Pro Tip: Do you need a cover letter for police officer jobs? Without one, you’re just another application. But only a targeted letter can make the Chief interview you.

2. Start Your Police Officer Cover Letter Right

 

“After I read your letter, I knew I had to meet you.” Your police officer cover letter should make the Chief say that. But there’s only one way to do it. Understand the Department’s job requirements as good as the Chief does. Sound like a tall order? It is—unless you do the right investigative work.

 

See these law enforcement cover letter examples:

 

Police Officer Cover Letter Examples [First Paragraph]

 

Right Example

Vereno Griffin

Police Officer

3532 Cinnamon Lane

Columbus, MS 39701

verenopgriffin@gmail.com

662-719-5318

linkedin.com/in/verenopgriffin

 

3/12/20

 

Don Mongillo

Chief of Police

Columbus Police Department

4905 Oxford Avenue

Columbus, MS 39701

 

Dear Chief Mongillo,

 

I’m a former Marine and current patrol officer applying for work at the Columbus Police Department. I’ve spoken in depth with three of your officers—Ken Hamilton, Jim Charles, and Mike O’Leary. They all say your approach to leadership gives them the freedom to liaise with the community in a positive way, while providing the enforcement and security your jurisdiction demands.

 

Outstanding.

 

Why does that cover letter for police officer jobs work?

 

Because it:

 

  1. Leads with an LAPD-worthy achievement.
  2. Proves you know the department and you’re not just shotgunning applications.

 

Even more important? That applicant took the time to meet some current officers. She probably bought them a beer. That’s called an informational interview, and if you really want your cover letter to work, it’s vital. And hey—it’s also fun, and most officers will appreciate your interest.

 

But this police officer cover letter example is Barney Fife:

 

Wrong Example

Dear Chief of Police,

 

I’m a police officer with 3+ years of experience with excellent interpersonal skills. I’ve undergone defensive driving training and I have deep knowledge of the law, including search and seizure, felony, drug, and general crime prevention skills. I have a long track record of community relations and am a firearms and weapons expert.

 

Generic.

 

The Chief just fell asleep in his minestrone. That letter just rehashes the applicant’s resume. It’s the cover-letter equivalent of answering an oral board question with, “I would assess the situation and act accordingly.”

 

But—what if you’re writing a police officer cover letter with no experience?

 

Entry-Level Police Officer Cover Letter Sample

 

A cover letter for police officers with no experience can start with:

  • Achievements from non-police officer jobs
  • An accomplishment from the academy
  • A fact you like about the department
  • A referral from a Chief or other officer at the department
  • Why you love police work

 

See these police cover letter examples with no experience:

 

Right example
  • It’s been my passion to become a police officer since I was in high school and was involved in a serious car accident. The officers who helped my sister...
  • Ken Hamilton suggested I apply for a patrol officer job at Precinct 2. He says my interpersonal skills...
  • During my time as a security guard for Mall of America, I increased peaceful conflict resolutions by 35%. My skills in...
  • When Sergeant LaPaz at the Academy commended my communication skills...

 

Flawless.

 

Those first sentences for entry-level police officer cover letters beat, “I’m a skilled police officer...”

Show you respect the department without sucking up. See our guide: How to Start a Cover Letter: Sample & Complete Guide

3. Lock Your Police Officer Cover Letter to the Job

 

Once you’ve got them reading, don’t stop. You have to prove you match the department’s job requirements. Of course, you can’t do that if you don’t know those job requirements. That’s why talking to a couple of officers there is vital. Don’t try for a referral—try for information.

 

Your second paragraph should show:

 

  1. You understand the role like nobody else.
  2. You fit the role like nobody else.

 

See these police officer cover letter examples:

 

Police Officer Cover Letter Examples [Middle]

 

Right Example

Ken said you most value new officers who take the time to understand the role and the Department. He said you place a lot of faith in officers who aren’t afraid to do the unloved jobs, who have excellent interpersonal skills, and who understand the importance of paperwork. Here’s proof I have those qualities:

  • Unloved jobs. As a Security Specialist in the Marines, led a team of 20 by doing the dirtiest jobs daily until my direct reports insisted they take over.
  • Interpersonal skills. Recognized at the Academy for excellent interpersonal skills. As patrol officer in Waylon, MS, resolved 99% of conflicts peacefully.
  • Paperwork. Achieved 100% on-time completion for all documentation.

 

Here come the interviews.

 

Your skills just fit!

 

But—

 

The next of our police officer cover letter examples needs an injunction:

 

Wrong Example

Throughout my four years working as a police officer at Precinct 3, I patrolled in patrol cars as well as on foot and by bicycle. I maintained above average performance while responding to domestic disputes, traffic incidents, and performing drug enforcement tasks. I was recognized for my ability to stay calm under pressure.

 

Hmmm.

 

That applicant is a police officer. Since her resume shows that much, why do we need to know her job duties in a cover letter? Also, what does “above average performance” mean? Says who? This is a great example of why numbers are essential if you want to get your point across.

Stay brief. See our guide: How Long Should a Cover Letter Be? Sample & Guide

When making a resume in our builder, drag & drop bullet points, skills, and auto-fill the boring stuff. Spell check? Check. Start building your resume here.

 

When you’re done, Zety’s resume builder will score your resume and tell you exactly how to make it better.

4. End Your Police Officer Cover Letter Strong

 

Imagine this—the Chief reads your cover letter and loves it. You’ve targeted it to the job. He knows you’re for real. But the last paragraph trails off. He glances at your resume and goes to get some coffee. End of story. What went wrong? You didn’t come out and ask for the interview.

 

See these how to end a cover letter examples:

 

Cover Letter Examples for Police Officer [Ending]

 

Right Example

Chief Mongillo, my resume shows the required skills and duties, including patrolling, weapons skills, legal knowledge, and leadership. I look forward to speaking with you about how my professionalism and dedication can help the Columbus Police Department uphold its mission to serve all citizens with dignity and respect.

 

Best regards,

 

Vereno Griffin

Police Officer

662-719-5318

verenopgriffin@gmail.com

 

Perfect.

 

You showed central policing skills. You also referenced a potential interview. Last, you showed you know a thing or two about the department.

 

But the next of our police officer cover letter samples is in violation:

 

Wrong Example

I thank you for your time.

Pro Tip: Make things easy on yourself by writing a cover letter outline before you start. Outlining your three paragraphs can save a lot on head-scratching and false starts.

Key Takeaway

 

Here’s how to write a police officer cover letter

  • Use the right police officer cover letter format. Add your Cook-County-level skills.
  • Start your cover letter with a first sentence that gets attention like a light bar.
  • In paragraph two, show you know the department’s needs. Then prove matching qualifications.
  • In the last paragraph, show you’re looking forward to the interview.

 

Not sure how to start your law enforcement cover letter? Want to write a cover letter for police department positions that makes the phone ring? Leave a comment. We’ll be happy to reply!

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Tom Gerencer, CPRW
Tom Gerencer, a Certified Professional Résumé Writer (CPRW), is a career expert who has published over 200 in-depth articles on Zety. Since 2016, he has been sharing advice on all things recruitment from writing winning resumes and cover letters to getting a promotion.
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