PROVIDENCE, R.I. — The head of Rhode Island State Police is stepping down.

Col. Steven O’Donnell said in a letter to Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo that he’s leaving with a heavy heart but wants to start a new chapter in his life.

He plans to retire on Sept. 23.

O’Donnell has been police superintendent for more than five years and has a decades-long career in law enforcement. He first joined the State Police in 1986 and spent six years working undercover on mob investigations. He was later appointed to be the U.S. Marshal for the Rhode Island district.

Raimondo and other top political leaders praised his tenure Thursday.

O’Donnell says he looks forward to contributing to Rhode Island in new ways.

Raimondo says Lt. Col. Kevin Barry will serve as acting superintendent.