Most people only come into contact with police officers when they need help or they've broken the law.
So it stands to reason their opinions of the men and women tasked with protecting their streets are not always favourable.
Wollongong’s police chief is well aware residents in his command have grievances about real or perceived shortfalls in the work of his crews and he’s here to give them a chance to air them.
Superintendent Chris Craner will be at Corrimal on Wednesday night to cop it on the chin.
This is not about showing our strengths and hiding our weaknesses. This is about listening to the community and responding to their needs.
He hopes all residents and business owners will take the time to meet him face to face and discuss any concerns.
“This is an event that I want to see more of,” Supt Craner said.
“The local community should meet their local police on a regular basis at a time of no crisis to build our relationships,” he said.
“This is not about showing our strengths and hiding our weaknesses.
“This is about listening to the community and responding to their needs.”
Supt Craner is passionate about preventing and disrupting crime by authentic community engagement and “crime disruption strategies”.
“Nothing is off the table on the night, the community will get answers because I truly believe that people will take good news, people will take bad news but people will not take no news,” he said.
“I encourage all residents and business owners to attend.”
Supt Craner, who took over as Wollongong commander several months ago, held similar public meetings as commander of Port Stephens.
“At one of those meetings, an 82-year-old man gave him an ‘Oh my God’ moment,” he said.
“We were all lined up (the senior management team) and he said ‘I’ve got no faith in the cops, I don’t trust you, you won’t turn up, the kids are outside hooning, I’m scared and you’re not helping me’.
“And I said to the whole community, ‘I could get that in an email and just go righto, task someone and not think about it again … But you, in front of me, you look like my dad, you hit me in the heart, saying you don’t trust me.
“‘Hopefully it’s hitting these inspectors in the heart too and they’ve gone ‘oh my God’ like I did.”
The meeting will be held at Corrimal Uniting Church Hall on Russell St, from 6pm to 8pm. There’s no agenda, the floor is open.