QUEENSLAND'S police commissioner has been farewelled at an emotional ceremony in Brisbane.
Commissioner Bob Atkinson officially stepped down from his 12 year role as the state's top cop on Wednesday afternoon, ending his 44 year career in the police service.
The entrance to Police Headquarters in Brisbane was flanked with colleagues, media and onlookers as the well-respected officer made his way out of his workplace and into a waiting car with his partner, Glenda Atkins.
The Police Pipes and Drums Band played as Mr Atkinson gave a last salute to his replacement, incoming Commissioner Ian Stewart.
Mr Stewart will officially take over as Commissioner on Thursday.
Police Minister Jack Dempsey paid tribute to Mr Atkinson earlier in the day.
"Today we are not saying goodbye to Bob Atkinson but we are saying thank you on behalf of all Queenslanders for his professional and dedicated service to Queensland police for the past 12 years," he said.
"He raised the high standard in relation to Commissioners."
Mr Atkinson oversaw the police investigations into some of the biggest crimes and tragedies in Queensland's history, including the disappearance of Daniel Morcombe, the Palm Island riot and the murder of Noosa schoolgirl Sian Kingi.