What Is a Police Officer Resignation Letter?

A police officer resignation letter is the document written by someone who wants to make his or her intentions of leaving the police force clear. It contains many of the same elements as nurses, engineers, or teacher resignation letters, such as the specific reasons for resignation, the number of days to be rendered until the last day, and others. Once this is submitted by the police officer to his or her superior, it takes a legal effect that results in the termination of its author’s employment status. Multiple contractual appointments can be rendered terminal with the use of unilateral notices or even the advanced notice of a specific period of time, regardless of any further conditions.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, “on average, 115 police and sheriff’s patrol officers suffered fatal work injuries each year from 2003 to 2014.”

According to Sage Journals, “the (national) turnover rate was 10.8% in both 2003 and 2008 (in the United States). Turnover rates, however, were higher in smaller agencies, municipal agencies, those in southern regions, and those in rural areas.”

The Types of Resignation Letters

When it concerns the type of letters of resignation that you want or need, the varieties are primarily focused on the specific period of time in the notices. Below is the list of the types and a short description for each one.

Immediate Resignation Letter: An immediate resignation letter is far from the most common or traditional document, but it isn’t unheard of for professionals to make an attempt at leaving right then and there. Although there will be scenarios where this is tolerated or even perfectly accepted, this is a resignation letter type that can be frowned upon due to the massive inconvenience that it can create. There may not be other people who are equipped to take over the resigning professional’s duties and even if there are, it may leave the workforce undermanned. Personal emergencies are among the most justifiable reasons for the use of immediate resignation letters.30-Day Notice Resignation Letter: A resignation letter that indicates a 30-day notice is the most commonly used and one of the most appreciated by employers and superiors. The reason for that is rather obvious since 30 days is enough time for the transition period to take place. A suitable replacement for the departing professional can be found, hired, and trained in that period of time and any files or duties can be successfully turned over as well. Any legal or financial issues can also be adequately resolved within 30 days, barring any unforeseen complications that develop.2-week Notice Resignation Letter: Although it offers only roughly half the time provided by the previous type, a 2-week notice is still acceptable and common enough for the most part. Organizations may not have enough time for a fully comprehensible hiring process and even the turnover can be rushed, making this less preferable than the 30-day variant but still more appealing than the next two variants on this list.1-week Notice Resignation Letter: Of all the sudden resignations letters to be given, the 1-week notice variation will be the one that is most appreciated by employers and superiors. Depending on the position of the departing professional, it may not be enough to find someone who can replace him or her and the training and onboarding processes will have to be conducted at a later time. Still, this remains a resignation letter type that many turns to in the event that their new jobs give them very little time to stay in the previous work or if certain emergencies are great enough to warrant only a week’s notice before the final departure.3-day Notice Resignation Letter: Along with the immediate resignation letter variant, the 3-day notice is a type that can possibly lead to much resistance and inconvenience for the organization. Much of the transition period may even have to be done without any help from the departing professional, seeing as how little time three days can offer anyone. This is uncommon among the different types and professionals are advised not to rely on this as much as the other variants. Family or personal emergencies are the reasons best known to allow this type of resignation letter to be valid in the eyes of most employers or superiors.


How to Write a Resignation Letter

There will come a time when you need to move on from your present position and leave for the next one. When that time comes, you need to learn how to write your resignation letter and kick your departure off in the right way. This is for those who have yet to experience resigning from their jobs, so follow each step of this general set of instructions closely and you will find the experience to be much faster and easier than you might have expected.

Step 1: Compose a Friendly Yet Professional Opening

Before you get started, let us first acknowledge the fact that this is still considered a professional document. That should be enough to tell you that you can’t be too casual with your tone and it must be handled with grace and class as befitting of your position. Next, ensure that your opening paragraph comes off as friendly as possible. Address your direct superior or employer directly and don’t include any titles unless there is a genuine need for it.

Step 2: State Your Intent to Resignation in a Clear Manner

The next step is to get right down to the chase and let the recipient know that you are resigning. Leaving a job that depends on you greatly is never an easy thing to do and neither is leaving a workplace where you have fostered so many positive relationships. However, the entire point of this letter is to inform your employer that you are leaving and it must be stated as clearly as possible. You don’t want them thinking that this is just a temporary leave of absence or that you will be back soon. Do not mince words and state your intent directly.

Step 3: Include a Proper Notice

The reasons for your resignation is going to influence how you handle this next step. Regardless of how much time you will volunteer to stay with the company until your last day, it is best to specify and not be vague about anything. Most people in any given position are known to render at least thirty more days to help smoothen the transition process. However, there may be more urgent reasons for the resignation, which is why it is not unheard of for some employees to provide a two-week notice, a notice of just a few days, or even immediate resignation.

Step 4: Specify Your Reasons for Resigning

From there, follow it up with your reason for doing so. Take note that this is something that should be handled delicately. Although the overall tone of your letter should be direct and specific, it pays to frame your reason in a way that is not offensive — in the event that it is negative — while remaining as clear and specific as possible to avoid misunderstandings. For various reasons, an amicable departure is always wise to achieve whenever possible and how you handle your reasoning can play a big role in it.

Step 5: Offer Your Help During The Transition Period

Towards the end of writing the letter, acknowledge that your departure may put the company or organization in a tight spot. Offer to help them out during your last remaining days as a gesture of goodwill and continued cooperation until the very end. Although you do not have to specify what you are willing to do, this will most likely entail training your successor, turning over any equipment or important files over to management, and a few others. Regardless of what it is, show your enthusiasm to remain a team player throughout your last days.

Step 6: Thank Them For Your Experience

Whether your overall experience with the company you intend to leave was good or bad, it is still the right move to thank your superiors for the time you spent with them. Learning should be a continuous thing and there is no doubt that you learned multiple lessons during your tenure. Employers will also greatly appreciate reading about how your time with them has enabled you to grow both personally and professionally, so don’t hesitate to express your gratitude.

Step 7: Wrap It Up and Decide How to Send It

The last step involves your concluding remarks. If you decide to print this out in order to hand it over in person, then affix your signature on it. Otherwise, you may simply send it digitally as an email resignation letter. Before doing either of those, re-read what you’ve written and checked for any errors. You can even rewrite it and come up with as many drafts as possible until you are completely satisfied.


The Dos and Don’ts of a Police Officer Resignation Letter

Even those who are experienced in the creation of resignation letters would benefit from a few tips from time to time. Because of that, we guarantee that the following list of dos and don’ts will prove quite useful. The quality and effectiveness of your resignation letter are sure to improve when you adhere to the following:


Do be as positive as much as possible

Not everybody leaves on the best terms. Despite that fact, it will reflect better on you if you maintain a positive tone with your resignation letter as much as you can afford to do so. Emphasis the good parts of your employment experience. Although some negativity may be understandable and even expected, you can still frame it in a way that comes off as more neutral rather than inherently negative.

Do keep your letter’s length in mind

A professional document like this does not need to be incredibly lengthy or detailed. Having a direct, clear, and minimal approach will often suffice since the exact opposite of it would be too confusing and time-consuming on the recipient’s part. At the same time, you also do not want it to be too brief either. You owe it to your soon-to-be former employer to be forthcoming about your intentions for the sake of transparency. Go for a letter length that hits the middle ground and you should do fine.

Do make sure to ask for a reference

If your resignation is anything other than voluntary, then this is a tip you can afford to disregard. The same goes if you are leaving on less than positive terms. However, if you are resigning on your own terms and without leaving behind any major problems, then it is wise for you to ask for a reference from your direct supervisor or your employer. Doing so can help further your career in the long-term since your references will be able to vouch for your character, skill set, and qualifications.


Do not be too critical of your employer or workplace

A cordial relationship with your previous workplace and superiors can help the long-term direction of your career as a police officer. Through this, you can attain references and perhaps acquire help with unexpected predicaments in the future. Primarily for those reasons, a resignation letter that is not too critical of either the workplace or the superiors in charge is heavily recommended. There is no need to burn any bridges, especially if you have burned none on your way out.

Do not be too critical about your colleagues

With the previous tip, you learned to refrain from going overboard with criticisms of the organization and the ones in charge of it. Here, you are advised to apply the same advice, only directed at your peers. The reasons for doing so are similar: connections made at any stage of one’s career on the police force are invaluable resources. If gaining them was tough, getting it all back after losing them due to unnecessary or avoidable criticism will be even tougher. Any personal or professional grievances you have against anyone will have their place in other documents. Your resignation letter will never be among those places so be professional and stick to the letter’s purpose, which is to inform about your impending departure.

Do not explicitly mention being offered a better salary as the motivator for your resignation

There is an implicit understanding among superiors that higher pay from competitors can always be among the reasons why their employees resign from their jobs. Sometimes, it does not even have to be a competitor. A police officer can leave the force and enter into a brand new line of work that happens to be much more profitable. However, this is still something that you should refrain from writing down on your resignation letter. For one, this is an unnecessary detail that may just serve to make all involved uncomfortable for various reasons. Two, it may show that your primary motivation for working in your previous job in the first place was money, which is something many would not appreciate.

Do not be too vague regarding your reason for resigning

Transparency is an important thing to have in any kind of relationship. Even as your working relationship with others come to an end, that does not mean that transparency has to come to an end as well. You may not entirely want to come clean with your reasons for resigning, but being too vague may sow the seeds of confusion and even distrust. Specific reasons will help clear the air and keep you and your superiors on the same page.

Do not forget to proofread

Any professional document that is littered with avoidable and glaring mistakes will always reflect on its author, even one who is on his way out. Before you even consider presenting your freshly-written resignation letter, go over it again and again so that you can sniff out any errors. Whether they are minor issues like typos or more serious ones like writing the wrong information, it pays to re-read and make edits whenever necessary. That way, there won’t be any chance of you embarrassing yourself with a poorly written resignation letter that could be better if you only tried harder.

There you have it. A police officer resignation letter can be just as nuanced in as many areas as any other professional document. Those who are looking to leave their jobs anytime soon but are not keen on creating a letter from scratch will find comfort in the fact that there are online resources available at their disposal provided they know where to look. When downloading any of these letters of resignation templates, it is important to thoroughly check and edit it before printing it out.