In about six months’ time the PSNI will have a central role in guarding a big stage political summit and protecting the world’s most powerful leaders.
It will take thousands of officers and co-operation with police services across the UK and in the Republic, as well as international assistance.
The job and the challenge come with hosting the G8 summit.
And Chief Constable Matt Baggott recently told this newspaper the decision to come here demonstrated “huge confidence” in the PSNI.
In the here and now there is a different policing challenge that doesn’t have the world headlines of G8, but which is hugely important.
It is to protect local politicians in the fire and fury that is the fallout from the City Hall flag row.
The Alliance Party is vulnerable.
You can see it in the faces of its members and hear it in their voices. They are the softest of targets for those looking for someone to blame for the city council vote and decision.
MP Naomi Long has been advised of a death threat, councillors’ homes have been attacked, the office of Stewart Dickson set on fire in a list of incidents that come together to show a concerted campaign of intimidation.
We don’t know yet who is behind these attacks and threats and it is unclear if there is organised paramilitary involvement.
But at the weekend police did link the UDA and UVF to the street battles of last Friday night when there was violence in south Belfast and Newtownabbey.
Indeed, Assistant Chief Constable Will Kerr said that violence had been “orchestrated”.
It was an important intervention, because it has put a focus on those organisations and those who are the public faces of loyalism. In private conversations with police, PUP leader Billy Hutchinson asked for more specific information.
He wants to know in what areas the violence is being orchestrated and by which organisation.
Last week senior loyalist figures told this newspaper they were powerless to intervene to get it stopped, but many will take those comments with a large pinch of paramilitary salt.
Even after ceasefires and decommissioning, these organisations still have considerable clout and authority.
And, if they really wanted to, they could order an end to what is happening.
Hutchinson argues that the flag protest needs a strategy and leadership.
“We need to be looking at a legal challenge and at lobbying the political parties to agree a way forward,” he said.
And maybe he is beginning to think about how to get the protests off the streets.
This would be an important first step.
At the weekend Alliance MLA Judith Cochrane posted a quote from Albert Einstein on her twitter account, which read: “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”
After the madness of recent days, there is plenty of food for thought in that short sentence.