Australian Federal Police Commissioner Andrew Colvin is to step down at the end of September.
Commissioner Colvin said on Monday that he had decided not to seek an extension of his five-year contract, which ends on October 1.
The move will bring to an end his 30-year career in law enforcement.
Commissioner Colvin said he made his decision earlier this year and informed the Secretary of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet before the May 18 federal election. He told Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton shortly after that.
The AFP has come in for criticism recently following raids in June on the home of a News Corp journalist and the ABC’s Sydney headquarters. It was also revealed last week that federal police accessed the travel records of ABC journalist Dan Oakes.
Commissioner Colvin said the decision to leave the AFP was the most difficult of his 30-year career.
“The AFP is a great organisation and we do incredibly important work every day to keep Australia safe,” he said.
“Rapidly changing crime types both in Australia and overseas have required the organisation to transform by adopting new technologies and shifting traditional thinking about how crime is combatted.”
Commissioner Colvin joined the federal police in 1990, spending most of his early career in Sydney.
Between 2002 and 2005, he coordinated the AFP’s national and international response to terrorism, including the 2002 Bali bombings, 2003 Jakarta Marriot bombing and the 2004 Australian Embassy bombing. He went on to be the AFP’s chief of staff, and hold other senior roles in the organisation.
Mr Dutton praised the outgoing police chief.
“I thank Andrew for his inspirational leadership, diligence and hard work in protecting the community, and on behalf of all Australians, thank him for making Australia a safer place,” he said on Monday.