What a splendid anachronism, men and women wearing helmets and riding horses, in this age of power armor and mecha.
The Municipal Light Patrol
The Municipal Light Patrol was pioneered in the AmeroZone of the Atlantic Federation, and was created as a low level response force for non-violent and non-terrorist counter activities. The Light Patrol is not dependent on technology, and can respond to any threat or problem regardless of the availability of communication and computer support. This is useful for responding to problems in the urban rim, the under city, and even public areas where a very large number of people present can cause system wide lags in Comm support. The Light Patrol has been effective in countering the anti-tech tactics of Amerikka Command.
The main goals of the Light Patrol are the non-violent dispersal of crowds, crowd control, and security presence and visibility. The presence of a horse and rider is just as intimidating as a man in power armor, without the risk of a power armor trooper panicking. While a horse and rider can likewise panic in a tight situation, the horse will kill far fewer civilians than a rogue trooper. Men and women on horses are also less antagonistic, and offer a much better face for public relations.
Light Patrols deploy in minimum groups of two, and and large as patrols of twenty horses and riders. A section of twenty riders will be lead by a 'Winged Captain', the senior rider, who will have a silver helmet with literal wings on it.
Field Tunic - the tunic is a semi-formal looking garment that blends 18th century military styling with 24th century minimalist aesthetics. It is a reflexokinetic garment made of the same materials as encounter suits. This is generally more than sufficient to handle improvised weapons and thrown objects favored by rioters.
Field Cape - made of the same material as the tunic, the cape offers decent protection for riders, and the double laying of material can protect them ever from conventional firearms if shot from behind.
Sidearm - Patrol riders carry a standard issue sidearm, typically a Stun Pistol. These weapons fire low velocity rounds that deliver a strong electric charge when they hit something. Non-lethal.
Melee weapon - the patrol has riding crops they usually carry, though the training the horses undergo mean the crop is almost never for the mount. More often, the crop is used to harry protestors or rioters who dont warrant a stun round. In an age of plasma weapons and smart bombs, a light patrol rider can and will horsewhip people who cross the line.
Municipal Patrol units are only found in middle and upper level arcological cities that have access to farmland. The horses and barracks of the patrol are not located in the city itself, but beyond the urban rim. The riders train and care for their mounts in this area, and as duty rosters call, they are ferried into the city for their patrols, then either furlough at Municipal Stables in the undercity, or are ferried back to the country facilities.
The Municipal Light Patrol is technically considered part of the Public Safety Department, and they are typically the first level of escalation in the event of a public event, especially those involving crowds and large numbers of people.
The Municipal Light Patrol are deliberately low tech, making them invaluable in instances where technology is compromised or down, such as natural disasters, dimensional fatigue events, or terrorist attacks that shut down communications and power systems. Likewise, from a game angle, the horse offers a 1000+ pounds of biomass for cosmic horrors, carrying parasites, diseases, and likewise being infested by horrible horrible things.
Irony and oxymoronism are both present in the existence of the Municipal Light Patrol. Also, you cant have a western/cowboy/frontier angle without having a horse.
Additional Ideas (1)
Also known as FIM or FiM, this is the bread and butter of the Municipal Light Patrol. As the Public Safety Department learned the best police work is not done with giant mecha and cruisers, but by boots on the ground. This made the officers much more vulnerable compared with said equipped police. The reintroduction of the horseman allowed for both boots on the ground action, as well as keeping improved mobility and intimidation factor.
FiM is simply having Light Patrol elements providing visibility in non-arco areas to remind that local population that the local government and security forces have not forgotten them, and to maintain peace and presence in said field areas. FiM has many advantages, and the largest is that neither man nor horse can be hacked or hijacked, and even if rioters or dissidents take down a Light Patrol, they do not have the skills to use their mounts, and their weapons are of minimal value.