How To Write a Resignation Letter as a Police Officer

Updated July 5, 2023

When police officers finish their careers, they may find it useful to write a letter of resignation that formalizes their withdrawal from their position. This can help officers leave their jobs professionally and maintain good relationships with their former employers. If you're a police officer planning to resign from your job, it may be helpful to learn more about writing a letter of resignation. In this article, we explain why a letter of resignation might be important for police officers, describe how to write one, provide a resignation letter template and examples and list some tips for writing your own.

Related: How To Write a Simple Resignation Letter: Tips and Examples

Why is a police officer letter of resignation important?

These are some reasons that writing a letter of resignation might be important for police officers:

  • Shows respect for employers: Writing a letter of resignation is often a good way to show respect and appreciation for your coworkers and employers. This can help you maintain valuable relationships after leaving the force.

  • Gives a good last impression: A letter of resignation can help you leave your former employer with a good impression. This can help you obtain good references if you move to a new precinct or find a job in a different industry.

  • Sets expectations: Writing a letter of resignation is a good way to inform your employer of your last day ahead of time. This can help avoid surprises and ensure that they adjust the schedule and maintain coverage on all shifts.

Related: How To Write a Resignation Letter (With Samples and Tips)

How to write a police officer resignation letter

These are some steps you can follow when writing a letter of resignation:

1. Review protocols

When you decide to resign, it may be helpful to review your department's policies for departing officers. Adhering to department protocols can help you leave a good impression and secure references for other jobs. If possible, it's best to allow 30 days before your resignation to help your department make the transition. It may also be helpful to notify your commanding officer of your planned resignation. They may be able to guide you through the process and help you complete any final tasks before you leave.

2. Create a header and an introduction

Once you've reviewed department protocols, you can start drafting your letter or email. You can begin by creating a header at the top of the page. Consider including the date, your full name and title, your phone number and your email address. Alternatively, you can use a header that lists the addressee, their position, office and address and include your own contact information at the bottom of the letter. Next, you can write a formal salutation to the reader, usually to the chief of police in your district, using "Dear" followed by their title and last name.

3. State your purpose

Most letters of resignation begin with a short introductory section of one or two sentences. When writing the first sentence, it's often best to state your plan to resign from your position with the department. Ensure that you state your intention directly while remaining professional and respectful. Next, you can provide a date for your departure from the force. When choosing a date, ensure that you give at least as much notice as your department requires for departing officers.

4. Describe your reasons for leaving

After stating your intentions, you can consider adding further details about your resignation. You can describe the reasons that you are leaving, which may include family reasons, stress or trauma, retirement, working conditions, moving or other reasons. If you are resigning your position at short notice, ensure that you clearly describe your reasons for doing so to help maintain a positive relationship with the department.

5. Express appreciation

Once you complete the main body of the letter, it may be a good idea to express your appreciation for the opportunity to serve in your precinct. Consider describing why you valued working as a police officer, thanking your commanding officers for their support or expressing admiration for your colleagues' work. You could also describe how your time as a police officer helped you grow personally and professionally.

6. Offer support

If you are leaving voluntarily and on good terms, it may be helpful to offer support in the transition period before you leave. Consider using the final section of your letter to offer whatever support the department might need. You can offer to train your replacement, find coverage, resolve scheduling conflicts, finalize paperwork or take on extra tasks during the transition. These steps can demonstrate respect and concern for your coworkers' well-being.

7. Conclude and edit your piece

Once you finish your letter, you can finish with a professional conclusion. Consider writing "Sincerely," "Regards" or all the best followed by your full name. Next, consider reading your letter out loud to ensure that it is easy to understand. You can also use a spell-checking and grammar-aid program to review your piece and locate any spelling errors or grammatical mistakes. Once you finish editing it, you can send your email, or print and deliver your letter.

Related: Great Resignation Letter Examples

Police officer resignation letter template

Here is a police officer resignation letter template that you can use to write your own:


[Your supervisor's name]
[Your supervisor's job title]
[Your supervisor's department]
[City, State]

Dear [Police chief or supervisor's name and title],

[In the first sentence, inform your commanding officer of your resignation and give the date for your last day of work.]

[In two or three sentences, describe your reasons for leaving the force. Next, express your gratitude for the opportunity and explain how the experience helped you grow professionally and personally. You can also express regret for any inconvenience you might cause and offer to help your coworkers through the transition.]

[Your name]
[Your signature if using a hard copy]

[Your full name]
[Your job title]
[Department name]
[City, State]
[Your Email]
[Your phone number]

Download Resignation Letter Template

To upload the template into Google Docs, go to File > Open > and select the correct downloaded file.

Related: How To Hand in a Resignation Letter (With Tips and Example)

Example police officer resignation letters

Here are two examples of police officer resignation letters:

Example 1

January 28, 2021

Kim Fischer
Chief of Police
Wallerton County Police Department
Wallerton, Wisconsin

Dear Chief Fischer,

I regret to inform you that I will be resigning from my position as sergeant effective on February 27, 2021.

It has been a privilege to serve with you and all the other officers in this department, but my family's needs make it necessary to move out of the county. As you know, my son requires intensive medical care that is unavailable in this area. I feel very fortunate to have worked with such a dedicated team of officers, and this experience has given me skills and experience that will prove valuable throughout my career.

If there is any way I can make this transition more efficient, please let me know. I am ready to provide training to whichever officer takes over my current responsibilities. Thank you again, and I wish you and all the Wallerton County officers the best.

Duncan Torres
Wallerton County Police Department
Wallerton, Wisconsin

Example 2

January 12, 2022

Janet Shostakovitch
Bloomingdale Police Department
Bloomingdale, Missouri

Dear Chief King,

Please accept this notice of my resignation from the position of captain at the Bloomingdale Police Department. My last day with the department will be February 10, 2022.

While I value my time with this department, I am stepping down to pursue a career in corporate security. I believe this career change will be better suited to my skills and allow me to spend more time with my spouse and children. The support that I have received from you and every other member of the department was outstanding, and I regret the fact that I will no longer be working with this talented and dedicated group of professionals.

If I can help train Lieutenant Flores to take over my responsibilities, I am more than willing to do so. If possible, it would be very helpful to receive a reference from you, as I'm sure it would be valuable to future employers. Thank you again, I wish you all the BPD staff the best.

Janet Shostakovitch

Tips for writing a police officer resignation letter

Here are some tips for writing a letter of resignation as a police officer:

  • Stay positive. When writing a letter of resignation, it's often helpful to remain positive when mentioning your coworkers and place of work. This can help you obtain references and maintain a good relationship with former colleagues after you leave.

  • Maintain transparency. When describing your reasons for leaving the force, it's helpful to be transparent and specific. This can help your commanding officers better understand your motivations and can help maintain trust.

  • Ask for a reference. If you are leaving voluntarily and on good terms, you can consider asking for a reference near the end of your letter. This may be especially useful if you plan to look for a job in a different police department.

  • Avoid mentioning salary. If salary is a primary reason for your resignation, it may be helpful to avoid mentioning it directly. Instead, you can say that you are changing jobs to meet your family's needs or to pursue new opportunities.

  • Keep it short. Since letters of resignation are formal documents, it's often best t keep them relatively short. Consider making yours just long enough to state your intentions, list your reasons for resigning and thank your coworkers and commanding officers.

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