NSW Police deputy commissioner Nick Kaldas has quit his post after serving the police force for 34 years.
Kaldas, who was touted to take over police commissioner Andrew Scipione in 2017, announced his resignation on Friday with reports by the ABC that he has been headhunted for an international role.
He has held the position of deputy commissioner of field operations since 2011 after being appointed to deputy commissioner of specialist operations in 2007.
An impromptu guard of honour was held outside the Sydney Police Centre by senior officers in Surry Hills for the second in command.
“Nick has been a very proud detective and those skills have been the bedrock of a very varied career that has seen him lead commands such as the Homicide Squad and the Gangs Squad,” said Scipione.
He also said that Kaldas “continued to shape the NSWPF Counter Terrorism and Special Tactics Command as the country’s first specialised state-based counter terrorism command” and “implemented strategies that ultimately saw a significant reduction in gun crime, particularly in metropolitan Sydney”.
In November last year, Kaldas introduced a “shoot first” policy in response to armed terrorists. The new tactic allowed members of the NSW police to shoot on sight and came 12 months after the the 16-hour siege between Man Haron Monis and police in Sydney’s Lindt Cafe leaving two dead.
In 2004 Kaldas also spent eight months in Iraq helping train and rebuild the Iraqi police force before being seconded to the Special Tribunal for Lebanon in 2005 to investigate the assassination of Lebanese prime minister Rafiq al-Hariri.
“I guess my time in criminal investigation is probably the thing where I hope I’ve left my mark.”
Kaldas is expected to retire following extended recreational leave.
Reports by AAP say that fellow Deputy Commissioner Catherine Burn is now tipped to take on the new role.