A former Chief Constable of Bedfordshire died on Friday morning (June 16) following a short illness.
Alf Hitchcock, aged 58, became Chief Constable of the county in 2011.
He became chief constable of the MoD Police two years later.
MoD Police Deputy Chief Constable Andy Adams said: “It is with deepest regret that I have to inform you that our chief constable, Alf Hitchcock, has sadly passed away this morning following a short illness.
“Our thoughts are with his family at this very sad time and I have already expressed our condolences, on all our behalf, to Helen.”
Mr Hitchcock began his policing career with Lancashire Constabulary in 1977, just before his 19th birthday.
He later joined the Metropolitan Police Service where he served as commander for specialist operations, progressing to deputy assistant commissioner and acting assistant commissioner.
He left the force in 2009 to become deputy chief constable at the National College of Police Leadership, before joining Bedfordshire Police as chief constable in 2011.
While there, Mr Hitchcock was praised for leading the force out of a period of intense scrutiny regarding its performance and finances.
Mr Hitchcock served as national lead for knife crime from 2008 and as national lead for equality and human rights between 2012 and 2016.
He was the only chief officer to receive a ‘major’ award in the New Year Honours in December, being appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE).
Olly Martins, former Bedfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner tweeted: “Saddened by tragic news about former @bedspolice chief Alf Hitchcock. A warm smile and always professional.”
Eamon Keating, chair of the Defence Police Federation, said: “It is with deep sadness we announce the passing of our chief constable, Alf Hitchcock. Thoughts and prayers are with his family at this time.”
Dee Collins, chief constable of West Yorkshire Police, said: “Just heard incredibly sad news about colleague Alf Hitchcock passing away. A gentleman and will be missed - thoughts with his family and friends.”
A statement from Beds Police says: “It is with great sadness that we can confirm former Bedfordshire Police Chief Constable Alf Hitchcock has sadly passed away this morning (Friday).
“Alf was a hugely popular Chief Constable throughout the force, across partnerships, and many organisations that he became involved with across Bedfordshire.
“We are liaising closely with the Ministry of Defence Police where Alf was serving as the Chief Constable, and our condolences and thoughts are very much with his wife and their two daughters.
“Our force flags are being flown at half-mast as a mark of respect, and a book of condolence will be opened in due course.”