Chief constable Andy Bliss has announced he will retire from policing to pursue a passion for archaeology.
In five years serving Hertfordshire Constabulary, Mr Bliss has overseen events such as the Olympic Games at Lee Valley and royal visits.
He was on the ground as officers responded to the London riots and stopped them spreading through Herts in 2011.
“My time with Herts has been both challenging and fulfilling,” said Mr Bliss. “And it’s been a big decision to move on from a job that I love.
“I am taking the opportunity to pursue my interest in archaeology and to seek new challenges.
“I am proud about all the work done by so many dedicated and talented colleagues to keep people safe, catch criminals and tackle emerging crime trends during my time with the force.”
He added that the constabulary is ‘well placed financially and operationally’.
Herts PCC David Lloyd said: “Andy Bliss is an exceptional chief constable.
“He brings a keen intellect and a quiet authority to policing and in everything he does he is urbane.
“I will particularly miss his dry sense of humour which often helps to alleviate a tense moment in meetings.
“On a national basis, his successful work to counter illegal drugs in the country has been one of the most important roles in policing.
“The whole policing family in Hertfordshire will want to thank him for the brilliant job he has done to keep Hertfordshire a safe place, and I want to thank him personally for working with me in such a positive way. I have learned much from him and will miss him.”
Mr Bliss first joined Sussex Police as a Police Constable in 1982 and progressed through each rank up to Superintendent working as both a uniform and detective officer.
He was appointed assistant chief constable of Essex Police in 2004. He became deputy chief Constable in 2006.
Nationally, he chairs the National Policing Drugs Committee and is a member of the National Policing Crime Business Area. He also chairs the UK Drugs and International Drugs Threat Group.
He was awarded the Queen’s Police Medal in Her Majesty’s 2010 New Year’s Honours.