Often it's in the worst of times that we have any contact with the police.
In the normal, everyday way of life for most of us they can be not much more than a uniform in the distance, or a face to a news report about a crime we can barely wish to even contemplate.
In a regional community though they also come with a familiar face.
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Our police services, in these times, place great stock in working on their wider links into the community.
It makes sense for solving crime but, just as importantly, in forging bonds that prevent crime and make us all feel safer.
That is especially the case in the country; indeed, the smaller the community, the more integral the local copper is seen to its residents.
It's why country towns will fight vehemently against any political or bureaucratic push to take that away.
It takes all sorts of skills to be a good at the job, but certainly that ability to relate to all types and to keep a clear mind while tackling often complex situations is a major plus.
As we often hear, the physical and emotional trauma our police deal with on a daily basis means they have to have a special mix of resilience, empathy and grit, to be able to quickly analyse a situation and act accordingly, or to have the patience to see-out a lengthy investigation.
Retiring Wodonga detective Graeme Simpfendorfer recognised some of those traits in himself a few decades ago.
The ways of the police beat were already on his radar, but it took an experience as a young bloke working in a Wagga bank to crystallise that curiosity.
In what for most would be a highly stressful experience, he remained "calm and focused" throughout a hold-up that day.
This was to be his watershed moment, and for that countless others have been helped over the years.
There is no doubt that his will be a big loss, but one he would have full confidence in his fellow officers covering in spades.
As it is for anyone, there comes a time when other challenges just have to be tackled.
And for Graeme Simpfendorfer that time is now, with our best wishes and thanks.
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