Where to Start When Writing a Police Officer Biography
Writing a good police officer bio begins with identifying the purpose of the biography and the audience it is being written for. Police bios are most often used either for community relations such as on a website or PR handout, or for seeking employment. One audience will be the general community while the other is prospective employers. Much of the information included will be the same but the bios will differ in some areas.
Structure and Content of a Police Biography
The basic format of a police officer bio follows that of most other professional biographies. The general layout of the bio for a police officer will be similar to the following:
- Introduction: Provide your name and title (Patrolman, Officer, Sergeant or whatever is appropriate) and the number of years you have been with the department.
- Professional background: Discuss your professional law enforcement experience. If the bio is being written for a prospective employer, include all law enforcement positions you have held.
- Training: Provide information on relevant training. This can include the police academy as well as any college degrees you may hold related to law enforcement. Include any specialized training and certifications you have.
- Awards and affiliations: Mention any awards or special recognition you have received related to law enforcement. Include membership in any relevant organizations.
- Contact information: For bios that can be viewed by anybody, contact information provided will be that of your police department. Bios for potential employers will need to include personal contact information
General Guidelines for Writing Law Enforcement Biographies
Professional biographies for police officers should be no longer than one page. Write in the third person and use a narrative style. Technical jargon should be avoided in your biography unless the bio is targeting other law enforcement members. Clear and concise writing should be used. Keep paragraphs short so that they are easily scanned by the reader and use language that is easy to understand. Avoid the use of clichés in the bio. Use a tone that is friendly but respectful and professional.
Additional Tips for Writing Police Officer Bios
The following tips may prove useful when writing your police biography:
- Avoid including any personal information related to your family in the bio. In other professional biographies it is common to mention if you are married or have children but for police officers it is better left out.
- Key words and phrases that are specific to law enforcement such as “criminal investigation”, “arrest warrant”, “uniform patrol” and “crime analysis” can draw attention to your bio if you are looking for a law enforcement position.
- Don’t worry about making your first draft perfect. Just write what you want to say. You can revise it later to make it more polished and readable
- Proofread your biography. Spelling mistakes and grammatical errors make a bad impression
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