The Australian federal police commissioner Andrew Colvin will quit in September, after he revealed on Monday he will not seek an extension of his contract.
Colvin announced the end of his 30 years as a police officer in a statement describing the move as hardest of his career but “the right decision for me, for my family, and for the AFP”.
Colvin nominated implementing a health and wellbeing strategy for police officers and transforming the AFP with new technologies and thinking to deal with “rapidly changing crime types” as major achievements of his term since his appointment in 2014.
The home affairs minister, Peter Dutton, paid tribute to Colvin for his “inspirational leadership, diligence and hard work in protecting the community” and thanked him for “making Australia a safer place”.
Colvin joined the AFP in 1990, coordinated the AFP’s response to terrorism from 2002 to 2005 – including the Bali bombings – and served in senior roles including AFP chief of staff, national manager of high-tech crime operations and as deputy commissioner.
In 2003, Colvin was awarded an Order of Australia for his contribution to the investigations of the Bali bombings and in 2008 he was named in the Queen’s birthday honours list where he received the Australian Police Medal.
Dutton said Colvin’s leadership “in responding to serious terrorism plots – such as we saw in 2017 when an explosive device was prevented from being placed on an international aircraft at Sydney airport – have improved the security of our nation”.
“In addition, the significant work he has completed in an effort to dismantle commonwealth fraud, combat criminal gangs and counter child exploitation has been instrumental in countless arrests and prosecutions,” he said.
“The commissioner’s role is a demanding and relentless one and the success Andrew has enjoyed is a reflection of his lengthy experience as a police officer as much as his unquestionable qualities of integrity, intelligence and dedication to the men and women he leads.”
Colvin said: “The AFP is a great organisation and we do incredibly important work every day to keep Australia safe.
“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.”
Colvin said he had informed the secretary of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet of his decision prior to the federal election, and the minister for home affairs “shortly afterwards”.
Dutton said the government has commenced the process of selecting the next commissioner and will make an announcement “in due course”.