The search for the next chief constable of Essex Police will begin immediately.
Current chief constable Jim Barker-McCardle announced last month he would be leaving the role.
It will be the job of new police and crime commissioner, Nick Alston, to appoint his successor.
Mr Alston said: "Jim and I have now agreed that he will leave Essex Police on May 3, 2013.
"I have decided that we will start the search for the next chief constable of Essex Police with immediate effect.
"I will be doing my utmost to ensure that Essex has the opportunity to recruit a first class chief constable from a range of high calibre candidates.
"Jim has been a fine chief constable, constantly striving to deliver the best possible policing service to all the communities of Essex.
"I am delighted that Jim has agreed to lead Essex Police well into next year, and I look forward to continuing to work closely with him."