In addition to passing background checks, remaining physically fit, and showing a willingness to confront dangerous situations if needed, police officers need to find some way to distinguish themselves from other job candidates in their field. A good police officer cover letter should demonstrate the ability to make long-term commitments, an interest in remaining current on the changing practices of the field, and as much on the job experience as possible.
To become a police officer, you will need to be a United States citizen, be at least 21 years old, have a valid driver’s license, and have a high school diploma or GED equivalent. You will also need to be able to pass a background check and a drug test. If you think there might be any red flags on a background check, such as a poor credit history that you are trying to repair, you should be as honest and forthright about this as possible. Don’t bring it up in your cover letter, but do be willing to mention it in a face to face interview.
When it comes to writing your cover letter, you should make sure to highlight qualities that show your dedication and ability to follow regulations. Prior work in law enforcement is also desirable. For example, the candidate in the sample police officer cover letter presented below makes mention of some time spent as a security guard, which translates into useful experience for this position.
21 Railroad Street
Greensboro, NC 27401
June 30, 2014
Chief, Greensboro Police Department
88 Main Street
Greensboro, NC 27401
Dear Mr. Hayden,
I would like to make known my interest in joining the Greensboro Police Department as a police officer. As you can see from my enclosed resume, I have law enforcement experience, a dedication to making sure that the rules of society are upheld, and a strong exercise regimen that will keep me physically fit and capable of performing my duty.
I graduated high school from Raleigh Academy and went immediately into military service as a member of the United States Army Reserve. Following four years in the military, I entered the civilian sector but retained my desire to help make the world a safer place. Employed as a security guard with the Greensboro Center Retail Service, I got first-hand experience in law enforcement procedures, tips on how to identify potential crimes before they happen, and training with detainment procedures. My next professional goal is to translate those skills into broader service with the Greensboro Police Department.
My experience in the Army and as a security guard has given me a taste of the dedication and respect for authority that I will need to be successful as a police officer. My resume is enclosed, and I hope that you find it intriguing enough to pursue a face to face interview. You can reach me at (336) 855-9922 or via email at [email] Thank you for your time, and I look forward to speaking with you in person.