Victorian Police Chief Commissioner Ken Lay has resigned, citing the need to look after his ill wife as a priority.
Lay, who has been in the top job for the past three years said he had been considering his decision for the past six months, but believes now is the right time.
“I simply cannot invest that energy whilst my family is facing this other challenge,” he said. “My decision has not been made lightly but I believe it has been made for all the right reasons.
“It’s more than a job, it is a privilege – a privilege I have never taken for granted.”
Lay, who has been a member of the police force for 41 years, said he was most proud of the shift in the way police thought about family violence in recent years.
Under his command, the force had been bolstered by 2700 police and Protective Services Officers – marking a 20% growth.
His resignation becomes formal on January 31 until which he will take leave.
Deputy Commissioner Tim Cartwright will act as chief commissioner until a new leader is appointed.
Police Minister Wade Noonan said the role of a new Chief Commissioner would open immediately to a national and international recruitment process, but it could take up to six months to fill the position.
Lay, sometimes called “Uncle Ken” for his seemingly benevolent style, brought a steady hand to Victorian policing after the turbulence and political intrigue that dogged the leadership of his predecessor, Simon Overland.
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.