The Chief Constable of Essex Police has said he'll stand down from the post before the end of his contract in 2014.
Jim Barker-McCardle, who took up the role in 2009, said he would be stepping down for personal reasons.
He said his decision wasn't linked to the recent police and crime commissioner elections, but he did inform all the candidates of his intentions before last week's vote. No date for his departure has been set.
A spokesman for Essex Police said: "The priority of the chief constable is to welcome the newly elected Police and Crime Commissioner to ensure the very best police service is delivered to the diverse communities of Essex.
"As a courtesy, the chief constable wrote to all PCC candidates before the election about his future plans, but his current focus remains firmly on supporting Nick Alston in the weeks ahead and policing Essex."
A spokesperson for the Police & Crime Commissioner for Essex said: “Nick Alston takes up the office of Police and Crime Commissioner for Essex on November 22.
"During the course of the PCC election campaign, as a courtesy, Chief Constable Barker-McCardle made all candidates aware of his medium term plans.
"The Police and Crime Commissioner greatly looks forward to working with Chief Constable Barker-McCardle, who has tremendous policing knowledge and experience, from November 22 onwards.”