The man chosen to lead Scotland's new single police force has said the merger could mean the loss of up to 3,000 jobs.
Stephen House, 54, who is the current chief constable of Strathclyde Police, also said being offered the top job is the "pinnacle" of his career.
Speaking at the Scottish Police College in Tulliallan, which will be the interim headquarters for the Police Service of Scotland when it comes into force in April next year, he said there could be "many, many hundreds" of support staff jobs lost as the country's eight forces are merged and agreed with "up to 3,000" as a potential figure.
"It's difficult to be precise at this moment in time, because calculations are still being made and it depends on a lot of different factors," he said.
"I would stress that the plan and the expectation is that much of this will happen through voluntary redundancies and early retirement packages.
"The Government has said, and I think it's quite right, that we're not keen on the idea of compulsory redundancies, so we would be looking to identify jobs where there was some duplication, where we didn't need to do that work any more, and either redeploy those staff into other jobs or see if they wanted to take a voluntary redundancy package or early retirement.
"So, it's something that will be done in a co-operative and compliant way, working with the unions representing the workers."
He will be paid a salary of £208,000 when he takes up the new post this autumn but Mr House said he is "worth it".
He added: "I do believe I'm worth it. Time will tell, but that £208,000 wasn't decided by myself.
"It was decided by a fairly precise procedure of what other people are paid in similar-sized organisations. It's probably at par with that level for the size of the organisation."