A policeman known as “Mr Merton” is set to hang up his hat after more than a decade fighting crime in the borough.
Superintendent Pete Dobson, the deputy borough commander, has gone on retirement leave after 35 years with the Metropolitan Police.
He has been based at Merton for more than 10 years, taking operational responsibility each year for policing at the Wimbledon tennis championships at the All England Club.
The borough commander, Detective Chief Superintendent Darren Williams, said the man he calls “Mr Merton” would formally retire in March after his retirement leave, which began on November 23.
Det Chief Supt Williams said: “He has been an inspiration to colleagues and partners.
“He will be missed by each and every one of us.”
The new deputy has been named as Superintendent Dave Palmer, who has served as a senior policemen in three other boroughs as well as a year at Merton.
Merton Council leader Stephen Alambritis said: “I’ll certainly be writing to him and wishing him all the best. He is modest but also hard working.
“The borough commanders have been and gone and have all been able to work well with him because he quietly gets things done.”