The Simple Guide to Quitting the Police Force

So you got into the police force and now you’re in a dilemma because you want to get out.

I’m not going to tell you that it’s impossible because everyone has free will to do what they want with their life, but it is going to be a difficult road.

It gets harder the more time you’ve invested in being a police officer.

Going from law enforcement back to a civilian is equllay as hard as the training that went into becoming a police officer!

And sadly, no one is covering this topic of ending their careers and being a normal civilian again.

Well I’m here with you all the way and I hope at the end of this article you are a lot more prepared and you know what to expect in the upcoming weeks, months and especially years.


Why do Police Officers Leave their Jobs?

There are many reasons a police officer may want to quit their job.

One of the main reasons is retirement which can become extremely difficult to transition successfully, which I’ll talk more about soon.

Another main reason is lack of quality life.

You’re working super hard on your shifts so it makes sense that you want a good quality of life outside of work.

This may not be possible in a small town, you may want to be city dweller which means you’re going to have to look elsewhere for opportunities.

Other common reasons are:

  • Not enough time to spend with family
  • Being called all kinds of bad names like racist murderer
  • Having someones life in your hands is too stressful
  • They want to pursue another career
  • They get sick of seeing people mistreat each other
  • They don’t want to tell parents their child has passed away
  • The police force is corrupt and cops are worse than criminals
  • You can get away with doing illegal stuff which creates too much guilt

Why Do You Want to Leave the Police Force?

Answer me this, why do you want to personally leave the force?

Is it too stressful, are you scared for your life everyday, are you not enjoying it anymore?

Do you not trust your partners or are they lacking in ethic?

There are many reasons for you to quit the police force but you need to know what your exact reasons are and then see if you can find solutions.

You may think you need to leave the force but your problems may be fixed in an instant with a one-on-one chat with the head chief.

It’s all about communication, so if you’re letting people know what you want and what needs to be done, then your part is done and you shouldn’t have to continue yelling to make yourself be heard.

If no one else wants to make changes and you’re becoming unhappy because of it, then it may be a good time to move on.

Is Leaving the Police Force a Long Process?

Fortunately, when you want to get into the police force, they welcome you with open arms and want the very best for you.

They want you to succeed!

They want to get as many people into the force as they can which is where their biggest focus is on.

Unfortunately on the other hand, there is less need to get people out of the force, which is why officials overlook the need for officers to leave the force successfully.

This is what causes problems for those that are leaving and have just left.

Going from a police officer to civilian can make your life feel meaningless because you don’t feel as important anymore.

It’s not uncommon for cops to require therapy after the transition because they have no idea what to do with their life anymore.

This is something you need to expect because it will help you identify the problem before it arises and start creating goals before this happens to you.

Create an Exit Strategy

Without an exit strategy, that little thing called “quitting” is going to be at the back of your mind everyday, every shift, every foot chase, every car chase, and it’s going to stop you from doing your job effectively.

You are uncertain of what the future holds because you have not made any plans, which causes you to not make a date to leave.

You’re constantly going to put the leaving date off and it’s going to stress you out even more.

Your first step is to choose a date and stick to it.

This will reduce your stress about the future because you have a plan in place, and now you can continue focusing on the job at hand until the exit date arrives.

You now have a concrete date in place and it’ll help you focus on your day-to-day life as you won’t be constantly worrying about a leaving date.

Keep Your Life Meaningful With Goals

The second step is to keep your life meaningful.

Becoming a civilian is a second life believe it or not.

You’re going from law enforcement…from fighting baddies, jumping fences, chasing cars, to just a normal civilian.

Which can be a tough pill to swallow.

After you leave and become a civilian, you’re going to find it hard to feel important again.

You might even feel that life is meaningless, or you might start to have questions like “who am I”.

To combat this, create goals and make a plan BEFORE you even quit the police force.

You should start creating goals right now because this is apart of your exit strategy.

Some goals to strive for could be:

  • Going on a year long vacation – You’ve had a tough career and now it’s time to relax and enjoy life over again.
  • Visiting your favorite countries in the world – This is another great goal, as you’re going to be doing something you’ve always wanted to do and you’ll be happy in the process
  • Finding another job – Maybe it’s a job you wanted to try out before entering the police force to begin with. Maybe you’ve had thoughts of joining a company but couldn’t because you were loyal to your current job
  • Finding a part-time job – Finding a part-time job is another great option. This allows you to still keep your feet up while having a consistent income coming in
  • Starting a business – We’ve all had that next million dollar idea or business we always thought of building. Well this is something to strive for
  • Date nights with your spouse every week – Since the police force was such a busy lifestyle, you probably couldn’t find time to spend with your spouse. Well now you have the time to do it, make it a weekend tradition to go away with your spouse or even just out to lunch, create that spark again

There are so many goals you can strive for my friend.

One tip I have is to think of all the things you wanted to do while you were in the police force but couldn’t, and then plan to do those things when you quit.

If you’re able to do it consistently, then make it your routine.

Make it a daily or weekly habit, make it apart of your lifestyle.

Essentially you’re creating a meaningful second stage of life, and you can only do that by making goals and sticking to them, achieving them and creating new ones.

This is what makes the exit plan successful so please don’t overlook this step.

You’re Highly Employable

Just remember you are highly employable being an ex cop.

You have picked up amazing skills throughout your career, all can be put to good use in all your future jobs, and even everyday life.

Employers love hardworking people, and cops have one of the hardest and most dangerous jobs in the world.

You are very responsible, courageous, trustworthy, loyal, reliable and hardworking.

You’re full of skills that every employer wants, so don’t think for a second that you won’t be able to find a good job.

So even if you go on a year long vacation before entering the work force again, know that it’s completely okay because you’re still employable thanks to your previous police career.

Every employer would love to have you on board 🙂


Quitting the police force is 100% possible and easier done than you might think.

Just remember, to create a successful transition, you NEED an exit plan.

That’s really the biggest takeaway to all of this.

The more successful your exit will be with the more time you invest in your plan.

Even if you have a couple years up your sleeve, start planning now.

It’ll make quitting a walk in the park and you’ll be fully prepared when the time comes.

Thanks for reading.

Let me know in the comments if you’re thinking of quitting or you’ve already quit the police force.

We’d love your input!

Cheers and have a great day


Job Quitters Unite

8 thoughts on “The Simple Guide to Quitting the Police Force”

  1. You are very correct, leaving the police force can be hard but it is not unachievable. My dad used to be a police man and he was getting tired of the risks and the routines everyday plus he needed time to spend with his family. It took him a long time because he told us for up to a year he wanted to quit. Your tips are really good and I have to agree with you. Nice one you put together here.

    • I’m glad your father finally took the giant leap and got out while he still has lots of time to spend with you and the rest of the family. Police work is no joke, it’s a second home and a hard job.

      But fighting crime and helping the community become a safer place is what makes it all worth it, and that’s why so many great police officers stay in their career for what feels like forever, even when they were ready to give up years ago.

  2. This is a very good post honestly and it is something that is very popular but the issue is that the police never say that they are looking to quit. A friend of mine is a good example. He has been really moody for a while and so on and off so I had to engage him in a discussion and he told me he wanted to quit but didn’t know how to. I think I have to share this with him so he can learn from this. He really does need an exit plan. Nice educative post you put together here.

    • Sounds like he has made his decision and he’s ready to get out of the force all he needs now is a step in the right direction and a plan. Definitely send him to this article, he’s going to learn a lot.

  3. I haven’t enlisted in the police yet but I like to comment because I think all the tips and strategies you shared are very useful and applicable to just about any other 9 to 5 regular job as well. For instance, leaving any job requires an exit plan put in place, like learning a new trade, perfecting some skills, or starting a business gradually, which someone can fall back to after quitting. Thanks.

    • Yes you are right but the police force requires an exit strategy even more than other jobs due to the transition that takes place, from law enforcement to civilian, it can take a real toll on the mind if you’re not ready for it.

  4. This is the first article I have come across that discusses that a police officer wants to leave the force. After reading all the reasons the individual would like that it makes a lot of sense. It is good to change house every now and again. Burn out can happen quite easily if not handed properly. The skills learned as a LEO can be utilized in many other sectors. 

    Many ex police officers enter the world of security. The focus and discipline can also be applied to management. Police officers in my opinion would be good candidates to learn about running a business.

    There is a psychological adjustment that must be made. The chain of command works differently in the civilian environment. It is not as rigid as people in regular jobs are given more latitude in carrying out their duties. There are exceptions of course.

    Thanks for sharing a refreshing view about what is involved in leaving the police force. 

    • I have to agree with you about police officers making great managers and leaders.

      The skills they learn as a cop are priceless and that’s why any job they have after the force, it is easy to get accepted and once they are in they absolutely kill it.


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