The head of the Australian Federal Police (AFP) will retire from the force after three decades, triggering an international hunt to find his replacement.
In a statement, Commissioner Andrew Colvin said he told the Federal Government before the election he would not seek an extension to his five-year contract, which ends on October 1.
“This has been by far the hardest decision of my 30 years as a police officer, but I believe this is the right decision for me, for my family, and for the AFP,” he said.
Commissioner Colvin joined the AFP in 1990 and went on to lead its response to national and international terrorism between 2002 and 2005.
“It is with enormous pride that I have led the AFP for the past five years, a time during which we have achieved incredible success against a range of crimes both at home, and abroad,” he said.
Commission Colvin’s departure comes at a tumultuous time for the AFP, which has faced scrutiny from media organisations for raids on journalists after the election.
He was overseas when officers raided the home of News Corp journalist Annika Smethurst and the ABC’s headquarters in Sydney.
But his departure appears unrelated to the circumstances surrounding the raids.
Commissioner Colvin said he told the secretary of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet before the election that he would retire.
Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton, in a statement, said Commissioner Colvin told him of his plans “shortly after” the May 18 election.
Mr Dutton thanked Commissioner Colvin for his service, and said he had offered “inspirational leadership” as the nation’s top police officer.
“Andrew has played a significant role in responding to many of our nation’s major security issues in his 30-year career in law enforcement, this has included coordinating the AFP’s national and international response to terrorism events to the 2002 Bali bombings, 2003 Jakarta Marriot bombing and the 2004 Australian embassy bombing,” he said.
Former prime minister Tony Abbott picked then deputy commissioner Colvin in 2014 to lead the AFP after the Government carried out an international search.
Mr Dutton said the Government had begun its search to select a new commissioner.with, abcnews