OFFICERS and staff said goodbye to Chief Constable Andy Marsh today (July 1).

After 34 years of service, Chief Constable Marsh decided to retire from Avon and Somerset Police this summer, and not extend his contract.

READ MORE: Avon and Somerset Police Chief Constable Andy Marsh stepping down

He joined the force as a new recruit in 1987 and started in operational and detective policing roles.

He worked his way up to Chief Superintendent and BCU Commander, firstly for South Bristol and the Somerset East.

He returned to his home police service as Chief Constable in 2016.

"Alongside being an advocate of new technology in policing, Andy has increased the understanding of the real value of being inclusive and the role that individuals can play," said a spokesperson for Avon and Somerset Police.

"He was the strategic lead for promoting racial equality within Avon and Somerset Police, looking at the issues impacting people at work with the aim of creating an inclusive environment where people of all races and ethnicities can contribute and flourish.

"In 2018, Andy was presented with the prestigious Queen’s Police Medal (QPM) in recognition of his leadership and contribution to policing.

"We wish him all the best for whatever the future holds for him."