Superintendent Wayne Starling fears it is only a matter of time before a police officer is seriously injured or killed by someone under the influence of the drug ice.
"Drugs are a major problem throughout society and ice is a major part of that at the moment," the Lake Illawarra Area Commander said.
Last week former Victoria Police commissioner Ken Lay was selected to head up a new "National Ice Taskforce", with state and federal governments to develop a "National Ice Action Strategy".
An interim report is to be handed to Prime Minister Tony Abbott in the middle of this year on how to deal with the "scourge" of the drug ice.
Supt Starling said ice was identified as a major problem in the Lake Illawarra Area Command in 2002.
"Since then we have had several strike forces established to attack the problem and these have had outstanding success, however we lock up 10 suppliers, we soon get another 10 to replace those people and we start the process again and again."
Supt Starling said he had no answer as to why the regeneration was so quick.
He said an ice user can come from any socio-economic background, but he had particular concerns about young kids sampling the drug under the influence of peer pressure.
"You have young people that try it and once they get on it they don't get off it," he said.
"The child could be the happiest person in the world and all of a sudden shift over, they injure themselves and loved ones."
Supt Starling said he was seeing more violence towards police officers.
"'People under the influence of ice feel strong and indestructible in the short term," he said.
"The problem for police is that people may seem normal at first, then they have can a severe mood swing, which takes them from one extreme to the other.
"Capsicum spray doesn't always work and Tasers need to be in the right area to be effective.
"I do fear it is only a matter of time before one of our police officers is seriously injured or killed."
Ice "most definitely" increases the likelihood of guns being used.
"Police are trained that the best way to de-escalate a situation is verbal communication and we then have a number of other tactical options before we use a firearm.
"Sadly you can't reason with people under the influence of ice ... they are just not reasonable.
"I believe it is a widespread problem in the community but we need the community to step up and report the ice users.
"We need to address the problem now and if we don't there will be long term effects within society, families will lose children and parents could be killed.
"It is already a horrific problem to us now, but it could get worse."
Supt Starling said organised crime remains an issue when it comes to supply and many outlaw motorcycle gang members had been charged.
"Outlaw motorcycle gangs are just there to make money not serve the community ... they pride themselves on thinking they are above the law but they are not.
"We have shut down several OMCG club houses in the Illawarra.
"We need the community to use common sense and not make heroes out of people that think the law doesn't apply to them."