Decorated former homicide detective Ron Iddles is stepping down as head of Victoria's powerful police union after three years in the job.
Mr Iddles, who grew up on a dairy farm in Rochester, announced on Friday that he would bring his long policing career to an end in February 2017, when he will retire as secretary of the Victorian Police Association.
In a statement, the 61-year-old said the time was right for him to quit the force and spend more time with his family.
"For the great majority of my 40 years in policing, I have put 'the job' ahead of my family," he said.
"It's high time this changed. I owe it to my beloved wife, Colleen, my three children and grandchildren to be more generous with my time – something I haven't done so well in the past."
Mr Iddles' departure will mean the police union will need to appoint a new secretary ahead of the next state election, when law and order is likely to be a key focus.
The union has been pushing for an increase in police numbers in response to the rising crime rate.
After joining Victoria Police in 1973, Mr Iddles started at the homicide squad seven years later.
In two long stints with the squad he came to wider attention as an investigator who worked on some of the state's most high profile murder cases.
Before leaving the homicide squad to become union head in April 2014, Mr Iddles investigated over 300 murders and had a conviction rate of 99 per cent.
Police Association President John Laird paid tribute to Mr Iddles and said he deserved every one of the many accolades he had earned.
He said Mr Iddles' key legacy was putting awareness around mental health for police officers into the spotlight.
"I'm confident that Ron's leadership on this important issue has created a platform for further improvements in this area, not just for police in Victoria, but on a national level," he said.