Law Enforcement in the Cosmic Era
In the Cosmic Era, the proliferation of arcanotech, cyborgs, robots, parapsychic threats, black market weapons, new illegal drugs constantly hitting the market, all backed up by large organized criminal syndicates, the average police officer doesn't stand a chance.
Life in the favelas is dangerous, every slum has a gang. Almost every gang is an extension of a larger criminal organization. Guns, drugs, exotic tech, black market robots, and more flow from groups like Amerikka Command, Armas, and Shadowlaw into the slums. Traditional police became easy targets. The drugs flow faster than departments can keep track of, and hunting down sources is not a matter of local law enforcement, but rather international agencies like Sigma Blue. The presence of cyborgs, androids, and even the rare Seibertronians makes life even more dangerous. These machines can shrug off non-lethal weapons, and walk through most police issue weapons. Parapsychics, the spread of Nipponism and the associated McDojos has turned the average street punk into a competent hand to hand fighter, and some are able to deal out fiery kicks and sonic boom punches. The average cop just is trained for this at the Academy.
Cyborg Law Enforcement
One of the early answers to the increasing danger and versimillitude of the Cosmic Era was the introduction of cyborg police officers. The law enforcement agents start as mundane police officers who voluntarily swap out their flesh parts for mechanical ones. The cyborg cop has the advantages associated with cyberware and machine components.
The Republic of the Great Lakes and Omni-Consumer Products pioneered the creation of cyborg cops, in the Murphy Series cyborg package. An almost full body swap, the arms, legs, and most of the internal organs are replaced with machine parts. The brain is upgraded with cyberware and some artificial components to make a more effective and loyal police officer. The series ran into issues as the invasive nature of the upgrade had negative impacts on the mental stability of the new cyborg officer. It also didn't help that almost all the Murphy series were made from not volunteers, but officers killed in the line of duty.
Cyborg Cops have the drawbacks of being expensive to make, and have high upkeep requirements. Special diets, regular maintenance, upgrading software and the rest run up a high bill. Repairing a damaged unit it even more expensive. Cyborgs can also be unreliable, as more than one cyborg (not just police officers) has decided that after receiving his modifications it was time to cut and run. These black market cyborgs are a major section of the Shadowrunning industry. The high risk, high reward nature of the business and its close connection to high end tech and favor swapping strongly appeals to them.
Androids, Gynoids and Mechanoids have also been pressed into police service. The robot offers a number of advantages, with mass produced parts, streamlined maintenance, and uniform diagnostic procedures, they are relatively low cost compared to cyborgs, and are much more durable than flesh and blood cops.
The European Faction of the Atlantic Federation relies on the mass produced wojek police mechanoid for its law enforement needs. The mechanoids are a common sight, and compose more than 60% of the available police force in the region. This style of police robot has been exported to California, Nippon, Australia and a large number of 2nd world nations. The machines have performed well in suppressing civil unrest, fighting domestic terrorism, and other high danger jobs.
The synthetic cop has a number of flaws. Being a machine, there is a disconnect between the organic population and the mechanical law enforcement. This is exacerbated when the powers utilizing these robots is a bit more 'oppressive'. Violence between the machines and organics is much higher, and there is a much decreased cooperation between said police units and the civilian population. Some regions, such as the Republic of California counteracts this effect by running a Tandem Program, where every synthetic agent is paired with an organic agent. Robots are also more prone to anti-robot warfare (obviously) and can be effected by electronics warfare, and are vulnerable to being captured and being reprogrammed to serve new masters.
With the ability to cheaply and quickly produce human clones with intact memories and programmed motor skills, there is always the option of simply 'growing' more cops. Once the initial overhead of a cloning facility and a production series model is invested, the project typically pays itself off in a short amount of time, 3-5 years on average.
The Tyson Series was created in the New Miami Seacology and resembles a large bodied man of mixed Caucasian/Caribbean ancestry, with physical traits favoring the African sourced Caribbean gene stock. Tysons are implanted with a youth raised in squalor and poverty, and a strong disposition against criminal activity. They are also designed to have mild allergies to common narcotics and compounds such as alcohol and tobacco. Not disabling, this ties into their conditioning to enforce their dislike of mind altering substances, and the criminal rackets behind them.
The biggest problem with clone cops is the general problem with clones and cloning in general, racial profiling by the population, and a disposable attitude towards the clones. Other problems are generally systematic in the neural programming and memory matrices of the clones. Unlike machines, human beings are much less precise in their programming, and the strokes have to be a bit more broad, and clones can under the right circumstances throw off their training and learned behaviours. once broken, few beings are more capable criminal masterminds than former police clones.
Sometimes the answer is just bigger better and more stuff. Just as SWAT utilized paramilitary weapons and tactics, there are police organizations that use the weapons, gear, and techniques of the Cosmic era military in their dispensation of justice. This includes obvious additions such as firearms and magnetic weapons, but also police issue power armor, and police issue mecha.
The Tokyo III police have long utilized a combined arms approach to law enforcement. They have integrated body suits, SLAB armor suits, and light mecha for years. These vehicles have also been supported by androids and mechanoids to fill out the ranks, as well as being one of the first agencies to accept Seibertronians as full fledged officers.
The Mobile police department is expensive, and it is going to be a regular target of fiscal cuts. If the police can afford jetpack gynoids, then they have too much bloody money. Also, along with the police robot, it is easy for mobile police departments to be co-opted by heavy fisted local governments. Mobile police departments are also prone to tech corruption.
The Judicator/Adjutant System
Within some areas it is common for the judicial system and law enforcement departments to be rolled into one. The argument is that attempting to send every single criminal encountered through a legal system would create a bureaucratic leviathan that would be both a massive waste of resources, but also an organization prone to corruption and legal moebianism. The solution draws on the Old West idea of the traveling Law Man, he carries a gun, and dispenses a brutal frontier sort of justice without recourse to lawyers, courtrooms, or any sort of appellate process. The role of the Adjutant is to serve as a second. an advisor, and a witness to justice dealt. Most Adjutants are robots, to hold the requisite data, and to provide a neutral opinion.
The Judicators of New Nuyork are well known, and they consider the urban megaplex of megacity 1 to be their jurisdiction. The Judicators carry smart guns, advanced non-powered armor suits, and have widespread prosecutorial power and judicial discretion in meting out justice. While most of their work involves finding known criminals and hauling them to jail and serving as a high profile deterrent to criminals, they are most famous for their public executions. A judicator in the slums has full jurisdiction to weigh judgement against a suspect, and if determined to be guilty, the criminal is executed. The Judicators are famous for the heavy magnetic autopistols equipped with micro scaled synthetic intelligences. The weapons record executions, sent telemetry data, and are smartlocked to prevent anyone from using them if they arent authorized.
The Judicator system has the primary flaw of vigilantism. The lawmen have a great deal of freedom in their job and can become very resentful of oversight or review. Thankfully, most judges who have the urge to go rogue lay down the badge and become freelance bounty hunters. To also limit the Judicator, they are not augmented in any way, and any modifications they have must come from their own finances.
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? Responses (1)
This gives a very concise overview of law enforcement in CE and I like both the italic text showing usage in different geographic locations and the subsequent text on the shortcoming of a particular option to law enforcement. This is a very article-y piece but it was a easy read and I liked the overall discussion presented here as being very logical.