A journo is certainly not the first person a cop would turn to in his hour of need.
The so-called vulture who turns up at a fatal crash or bloody crime scene, hungry to broadcast every gory detail, isn't top of your average cop's list to share a debrief about the stresses and tribulations of the job.
Most cops I've met keep a brave face and their cards close to their chest. That's just how they operate.
Which is why the candid revelations of so many over recent months have been nothing short of mind-blowing.
They fidget nervously with their cigarettes, looking over their shoulder, their hands shaking.
Then, without warning, in the middle of small talk, they burst into tears.
We're not talking one or two isolated cases. It's not just the half-dozen whose stories the Mercury has published over the past month or so.
It is many.
And nor are the personal accounts that we published in any way exceptional.
Rather, they are typical.
The details may vary from person to person, but the bottom line never does.
Some have invited me into their homes, concerned they might be recognised in public.
Others have insisted on clandestine meetings in places such as service station car parks.
They hand over bundles of documents, video footage and other evidence gathered against them by insurance companies fighting them in their claims for compensation.
They don't want to be identified in our stories. The fear has got to them. Fear of reprisals, or flak from their colleagues, or trouble with the insurance companies.
They are paranoid and jumpy. They feel persecuted. Like criminals.
But they push me to keep going. They want their stories to be heard, their pain to be known.
These are men and women who joined the NSW Police Force to protect and serve their community.
Now they are scared, broken and sad people whose lives have been ripped apart.
They all tell the same sorry tale.
Isolated, ostracised from their colleagues who they considered friends, and let down by the system.
Some speak of ruined relationships. They confess, sometimes in shocking detail, to physically and verbally abusing the people they love most.
If they're not popping pills to stay on an even keel, they're smoking a pack or two a day and drinking themselves to sleep.
Drugs, prescribed or self-medicated, are one of the few ways they've been able to briefly silence the demons, the haunting screams in their heads of victims they couldn't save, of the evil and depravity they've witnessed, of the wrongs they couldn't right.
The raw honesty of these people is overwhelming.
But more chilling is the severity of their symptoms.
Post-traumatic stress disorder has crippled so many of them.
Big burly detectives who've solved some of the region's worst homicides, who've faced the most evil of criminals, have been reduced to shells of their former selves.
Their sense of abandonment and helplessness triggers fluctuating emotions. One moment, their eyes are heavy and sad. In the next instant, those same eyes flicker white with rage. Or drown in tears.
What makes no sense, though, is that these men and women genuinely feel they have nowhere to turn. The welfare system does not exist for them. They have been cast aside.
From what I've seen, these people aren't faking it to secure a compo payout.
They are not putting it on. No-one would choose to live like that.
No doubt there are some who rort the system. But the broken human beings I've met in recent months certainly haven't chosen this path.
Hiding away, day after day, struggling with "normal" activities such as buying bread and milk or sitting on the beach, trying to deal with the guilt of broken relationships, staring into the future and seeing nothing there, feeling hunted by insurance company surveillance whenever they venture outside.
It's not a life anyone would choose.
If so many of the brave men and women who sign up to protect the community only feel safe when they are behind closed doors, then what hope do we have?
Society owes it to these people to pull them out of their despair. We need to get them the help, treatment and support they need.