Cheshire's top police chief has announced he will be retiring later this year.
Chief Constable Dave Whatton will step down in June following 30 years service in the police.
The married father-of-three joined Cheshire police as Chief Constable in December 2008, replacing Sir Peter Fahy.
He had previously served as Deputy Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police.
The process to find a replacement for Chief Constable Whatton has already begun.
Police and crime commissioner John Dwyer said: “I enjoy a professional and productive relationship with Dave Whatton and whilst I respect his wishes to retire from policing, I would happily have extended his contract if he had so wished.
“The transition from the old Police Authority to Police and Crime Commissioner model of police governance could not have been easy but David took on this challenge positively and we have made some difficult decisions together.
“As I am responsible for hiring the next Chief Constable, work is already under way to begin this process which itself will not be an easy task.
“These are big shoes to fill. I wish Dave all the best in his retirement.”
Chief Constable Whatton, who began his policing career with West Midlands Police in 1983, was awarded the Queen’s Police Medal in the New Year Honours List in 2010.
He currently holds the national portfolio for violent crime and public protection on behalf of the Association of Chief Police Officers.
Police say he will discuss his decision to retire nearer the time.
Interviews for his replacement are due to take place on February 10 and 11. The new Chief Constable is expected to start on June 25.