SUFFOLK Police Authority has elected a new chairman.
Joanna Spicer will take over from Colin Spence, who confirmed he was stepping down from the position at a meeting on Friday.
Mrs Spicer, who has served as a member of the authority for almost 22 years, takes up the position with immediate effect.
She said: “I am very happy to take on the role of chairman at this challenging time.
“The authority and the constabulary will be entering unprecedented circumstances over the coming year, which will involve significant challenges as we prepare to hand over responsibility and governance to an elected police and crime commissioner in May 2012.”
She added: “I look forward to leading the authority during this time and remain committed to ensuring that we work with our constabulary colleagues during our final months to sustain and improve the current high performance of our police force.”
Mr Spence, a Suffolk county councillor who had served in the role since April last year, said: “I would like to congratulate Joanna in her election to the role of chairman.
“I wish her every success and have no doubt that she will serve as an excellent leader for the authority.”
Police authorities are an independent body charged with setting the strategic direction for police forces, including the setting of budgets.