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Police Officer Resignation Letter Template – with Samples

Police Officer Resignation Letter Template – with Samples

Updated September 12, 2023

police officer resignation letter is a formal, professional way of delivering a notice of resignation to a law enforcement body. It’s important that you attempt to leave on good terms with your employer since their reference can be an invaluable tool when looking for a new position. With that in mind, you shouldn’t consider this an opportunity to express any resentment that you may have towards management or other officers as this will only sour the process and reduce your chances of receiving a positive reference.

Table of Contents

What to Include

Since police departments are hierarchical organizations with top-down command structures, it is usually not up to the resigning officer to set plans for the final weeks, but it is a nice touch to express the willingness to help out.

Like any resignation letter, this formal notice should include key details about the departure, including:

  • The date of departure
  • Any special provisions for the transition period, if relevant

How to Use a Police Officer Resignation Letter (5 steps)

  1. Notify the Chief of Police
  2. Give Reasons
  3. Date of Resignation
  4. Submit Letter
  5. Return Items

1. Notify the Chief of Police

Departments usually have set protocols for departures. Check with yours to determine who to notify about the planned resignation – often, it will be either the Chief of Police or your commanding officer.

2. Give Reasons

Police work is surely not for the faint of heart. And though law enforcement can feel like a calling and a job for life, departments are no strangers to turnover. (A recent study put the turnover rate in police departments, nationwide, at greater than 10% per year).

Explain to your department why you have chosen to resign. It may not be necessary to write this into the letter, but you can share details with your commanding officer or other supervisor.

3. Date of Resignation

Though two weeks is the professional standard for notification, check with your department about their procedures. An abrupt departure, especially from a small force, can really throw a wrench in things.

4. Submit Letter

Proofread your resignation letter, sign it, and submit it to the appropriate party. Keep a copy for your records.

5. Return Items

Perhaps the most demanding step in any police officer resignation is returning the gun, badge, and other department-issued accessories. But return these you must. Check with your department for relevant procedures.

How to Write (Format)

Your resignation letter shouldn’t be too lengthy; your commanding officers just need to know that you’re officially resigning and the last day that you will be working. It is quite common to include details regarding the reasoning behind your departure or other factors that have lead to your decision to leave. Below, we will go over each paragraph in detail so that your letter will include the basics of what’s required.


The introduction will state your intention to resign and can include your final date of employment, although feel free to include this later on in the letter as there is no strict format to follow. Look to our examples below for more information. Note that the introduction includes the current date and contact information of who the letter is addressed to.

Example 1

January 1, 2017

Sandra Smith
NYPD 1st Precinct
123 Fake Street
New York, NY, 10013

Dear Ms. Smith,

I regret to inform you that I will be terminating my employment as a police officer with the 1st Precinct. My last day will be February 1, 2017.

Example 2 

March 20, 2017

Frank Collins
HPD 8th Precinct
123 Fake Street
Houston, Texas, 12345

Dear Mr. Collins,

While it has been a privilege to serve as an officer of the 8th Precinct, I regret to inform you that I will be stepping down from my position and continuing my professional career with an organization better suited to my needs and those of my family.

Body Paragraph

The body paragraph will further the explanation of your departure. You can also take this opportunity to give some insight into your future plans which might paint a better picture of the reason behind your leaving. Again, this paragraph doesn’t need to be too lengthy. If you have yet to mention the last date which you are able to work, be sure to include it here.

Example 1

It has truly been an honour to work alongside yourself and the other officers of the 1st Precinct. However, as you know, I have been trying to acquire a higher position that would be better suited to my skill set. Therefore, I have accepted a position at another organization which will enable me to continue my growth as an officer.

Example 2

I have decided after deep consideration that this line of work is not well suited to a person of my disposition. Consequently, I will be ending my employment with the 8th Precinct as of April 1st, 2017. I would like to thank you for giving me a chance and supporting me throughout this entire process.


The concluding sentence or paragraph will allow you to give thanks to your employer and/or create a final thought to summarize. It should also be capped off with a valediction (complementary closing).

Example 1

Thank you for the great opportunity. I wish you and the other officers of the 1st Precinct nothing but the best.


Mike Brown

Example 2

It was a privilege and an honor getting to know yourself and the other fine officers of the 8th Prescient.

All the best,
John Smith

Sample 1

May 1, 2017

Frank Rivers
Los Angeles Police Department
100 West 1st Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012

Dear Mr. Rivers,

I am writing to you today to inform you that I will be ending my employment as an officer with the LAPD, effective as of April 1, 2017.

The birth of my daughter has changed many aspects of my life and I would like to find a position in which I have more time to spend with her and my wife. My family is grateful for the support you and the entire staff have given us these past few years, however, it is time for us to move on.

Don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or if there is anyway I can make this process easier.


Mario Batali

Sample 2

September 7, 2017

Marsha Waters
Helena Police Department
221 Breckenridge St
Helena, MT 59601

Dear Mrs. Waters,

This letter is meant to serve as a formal notice of resignation. I will be terminating my employment with the Helena Police Department as of October 1, 2017.

I have had nothing but a positive experience working as an officer. Unfortunately, I no longer have the time to invest in the Helena Police Department and I feel like it would be best if I moved on. I appreciate the opportunity you presented to me and I am sincerely grateful for everything you have done.

Thank you for giving me a chance. I wish you and the other officers of the Helena Police Department nothing but the best.


Chandler Parsons

Sample 3

October 9, 2017

Carrie Langstrom
Michigan State Police Department
Hart-Montague Bicycle Trail Park
3793 W Polk Rd, Hart, MI 49420

Dear Ms. Langstrom

I regret to inform you that I have decided to leave the MSPD and pursue a new career path. The last day which I’m able to work will be the 2nd of November, 2017.

There are many reasons why I am choosing to terminate my employment, but mainly my decision is based on the fact that I have been given an opportunity to take over the family business now that my father has retired.

I wish you and the rest of the MSPD staff all the best.


Don Donaldson