Jump to content

Shadow Run style Private Police


薔薇語
 Share

Recommended Posts

I was listening to the news as is normal and heard what is tragically super normal in the US: a young black boy's cop murderer was protected by a biased prosecutor and set free as a bit of a holiday gift. Why I think this is salient to the topic of the thread is it got me thinking about the unreasonableness of private-corporate police in the old Shadow Run series (Although it applies to most cyberpunk genre games, I would imagine). One thing that got me about it was that it was so clearly woven into the fabric of society that no one really seemed to question the idea that a police department would be privately owned and funded and thus not under some general obligation to protect the whole of the citizenry. It struck me as an odd proposition to swallow but one that was doable for the genre of course. 

But what if we switch things around and have the private police not evolve from corporate militia but from civil rights groups? A system where because of some major travesties, private groups were allowed to take up the mantle of law enforcement for their communities in the ever fracturing US. Thus we didn't just have the City and County Police of LA but all the various burbs and business communities also came together to form or support local groups that would do the bulk of the work. 

This new system, per the fiction I have in mind, would then be seen largely has champions and pillars of the community and more responsive and caring when it comes to particular community needs. Alas, while the programs had general support there was little funding for the programs - one of the reasons why the principalities allowed it was because they would be independently funded - and so corporations were able to sway the leadership of certain districts and thus effect the whole eco-sphere of what is thought of as acceptable. This is what lead to branding of police as "Dole-Inc Local Guard." 

 

Poorer communities were left to fend for themselves as the general police department  maintained a stand-off approach to the various communities, even when their Local Guards were starting to show problems. 

The Police would now be more akin to Internal Affairs or the FBI for locales who do interjurisdictional work or review work of local guards. But of course the Local Guards have money on the line so they do well to keep the police higherups happy. While rarely exercised the police can disincorporate a Local Guard and return a district to police exclusive protections. This can either be done with the police deem a LG no longer fit to serve or when the community petitions for redress. But cops, not wanting to deal with the hassle of actual police work will often make it 'clear' that being under their direct gaze is not a particularly good situation. Even more so given the history of police abuse in the real world that lead to communities opting for this L.G. situation. 

 

The last bit is that while some groups are really good and well intentioned, the Police Forces that what over all LG are used to being paid off: be it in money, access, goods, or illicit services. So when some goody-two-shoes groups even just minds its own business but doesn't provide for the police, they will put pressure on them to change. This of course leads to tensions but much like our current climate there is little political will to change this. 

 

What do you all think of this? Does this seem like a better explanation for the semi-privatization of police forces in a cyberpunk setting? What have you all done in your games to explain this genre trope? 

Soar. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm Australian and we only have State and Federal Police services. But what you describe seems to be somewhat akin to the U.S. system of sheriffs departments, from my limited knowledge the sheriff is elected by the citizens of the town(ship) (is that correct?). Although I doubt that most sheriffs departments resort to collecting protection money in order to fund their activities. Your L.G. sounds like an expansion of this concept operating under the oversight of the state or city police departments, who then adopt the role of IA and perhaps intelligence analysis and dissemination.

Some possibilities might be:

Funding:

Community Citizen and Business Levy: probably wouldn't meet the financial needs of a police department and would be considered rather onerous by the community members.

Government Subsidy: perhaps the government would subsidise L.G.s providing the bare minimum in basic equipment, with wages and equipment upgrades or repairs the responsibility of the community.

A benefactor: whether publicly or in secret this might provide adequate or even generous funding for an L.G. to do its job. However the benefactor may expect to be allowed certain liberties.

Altruistic Benefactor: may expect to have his parking fines ignored, but not much else.

Crimelord(s): might secretly fund an L.G. and subtly steer it towards the opposition.

Corporation: essentially the same as the Crimelord, but could also be used for field testing prototype equipment (OCP - Robocop)

Self Funded: The L.G. is funded fully or partially by the illicit funds and goods of the felons they convict, providing an incentive to do their job well.

 

Direction:

There would be considerable variation in approaches to policing among the different L.G.s, some would resemble the police we know today, some might degenerate into vigilantes or street gangs, others might go full Judge Dredd.

 

I like the different take on privitisation, it makes for some interesting situations as players encounter wildly different L.G.s.

 

But there is one problem with this model:

Without the full backing of some powerful organisation , like the government, a multinational corporation or crime syndicate, street gangs and criminal organisations are going to treat these guys as just another gang trying to muscle in on their turf. Any gang with enough foot soldiers and money will probably make a serious dent in an L.G.s personnel roster, unless the L.G. has decent support.

 

Another thing: The government might insist that all L.G. personnel attend and pass the standard police officers training course at a government run police academy, at the L.G.s expense of course, this would provide the government revenue in addition to savings from reducing actual government funded police services. Additionally L.G. personnel would be required to refresh their training on an annual basis.

 

 

My own game is set in Australia, with Hudson City transplanted and renamed as a rebuilt Brisbane city. The HCPD has become the Queensland Police Service Brisbane Region, one of five Regions in the State. My setting is based upon the Wold Newton Timeline with the Kazei 5 Timeline included, so the game is approaching the cyberpunk era, street level supers and urban fantasy elements. There are several fledgling private police forces forming at the present time, these are corporate owned and at present are little more than in-house security services, however the corporations are pushing for full police powers wherever and whenever they can. A precedent will be set in 2016 (game time) when the NYPD transforms into the NYPD, Inc. Once this occurs, the numbers of privately owned Police Services will gradually increase. I plan to use Deadman's HCC setting in my campaign, it is planned for some time in 2016 (real and game time) the aftermath of this situation may lead to the privatisation of some Police Services, particularly in New Brisbane.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah, the financing of such groups would probably add in a lot of flavor from LG to LG. Some in the industrial districts would probably have well financed forces since they can rely on the businesses there to keep them well armed and staffed. The wealthier business and financial districts would likely have lots of well equipped LG but who have a stronger motive to keep things discrete. And while there may be public funding from general cash pools, I can easily see that being siphoned off and the LG that would really need are left out in the wild fending for themselves. Drug gangs and such would pose a serious problem for such LG and might even find themselves taking over for some LG as the defacto guards. 

Given that Cyberpunk settings are normally not too happy go lucky, I am okay with the idea that this system would likely not produce great results. But I think it would be a system that could come about in reasonable terms as an outcry against police violence and corruption. 

As to the sheriff thing we have in the US, it is a bit varied from state to state but in general they are elected positions. When it comes to law enforcement in the US there are four levels of administrations: Federal, FBI; State, Highway Patrol normally; County, sheriff; municipal, City police. In my home, the only group there that is elected is the County Sheriff who operates akin to a president in their commander and chief role. They are allowed to operate a police force (the sheriff and his deputies) that is more expansive than a city but still limited to a single county or so. Unlike a presidential cabinet, the deputies tend to stay the same from one sheriff to the next but it is up to the sheriffs discretion, I believe. But while they do act as law enforcement, there is still a county government that is actually in charge. 

I think the system I am proposing is akin to more expansive and powerful neighborhood watch program. The police still have final authority and the prosecution of criminals is still a function of the state, but the day to day business of patrolling and responding to crimes would be left to the LG. They would likely be invested with minor police authority like issuing tickets and collecting fines, arresting people in the act or of those with a warrant / bounty. The minor police powers would probably make for an appealing goal for a local crime boss to have. Why force shop owners into paying illicit protection money when you can demand they pay legally enforceable taxes or be shut down. And since the larger police forces would get a small cut of the revenue, they can turn a blind eye to the cries for justice from the local shop owner. 

 

Soar. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The opportunity to go crazy with wildly different LGs is awesome.

There could be LGs with members from:

Biker Gangs

Street Samurai

Mercenaries (A PMC using it as a training ground before deployment overseas)

The Military could also do this..

or any number of different groups

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was listening to the news as is normal and heard what is tragically super normal in the US: a young black boy's cop murderer was protected by a biased prosecutor and set free as a bit of a holiday gift. Why I think this is salient to the topic of the thread is it got me thinking about the unreasonableness of private-corporate police in the old Shadow Run series (Although it applies to most cyberpunk genre games, I would imagine). One thing that got me about it was that it was so clearly woven into the fabric of society that no one really seemed to question the idea that a police department would be privately owned and funded and thus not under some general obligation to protect the whole of the citizenry. It struck me as an odd proposition to swallow but one that was doable for the genre of course.

 

But what if we switch things around and have the private police not evolve from corporate militia but from civil rights groups? A system where because of some major travesties, private groups were allowed to take up the mantle of law enforcement for their communities in the ever fracturing US. Thus we didn't just have the City and County Police of LA but all the various burbs and business communities also came together to form or support local groups that would do the bulk of the work.

 

This new system, per the fiction I have in mind, would then be seen largely has champions and pillars of the community and more responsive and caring when it comes to particular community needs. Alas, while the programs had general support there was little funding for the programs - one of the reasons why the principalities allowed it was because they would be independently funded - and so corporations were able to sway the leadership of certain districts and thus effect the whole eco-sphere of what is thought of as acceptable. This is what lead to branding of police as "Dole-Inc Local Guard."

 

Poorer communities were left to fend for themselves as the general police department maintained a stand-off approach to the various communities, even when their Local Guards were starting to show problems.

 

The Police would now be more akin to Internal Affairs or the FBI for locales who do interjurisdictional work or review work of local guards. But of course the Local Guards have money on the line so they do well to keep the police higherups happy. While rarely exercised the police can disincorporate a Local Guard and return a district to police exclusive protections. This can either be done with the police deem a LG no longer fit to serve or when the community petitions for redress. But cops, not wanting to deal with the hassle of actual police work will often make it 'clear' that being under their direct gaze is not a particularly good situation. Even more so given the history of police abuse in the real world that lead to communities opting for this L.G. situation.

 

The last bit is that while some groups are really good and well intentioned, the Police Forces that what over all LG are used to being paid off: be it in money, access, goods, or illicit services. So when some goody-two-shoes groups even just minds its own business but doesn't provide for the police, they will put pressure on them to change. This of course leads to tensions but much like our current climate there is little political will to change this.

 

 

What do you all think of this? Does this seem like a better explanation for the semi-privatization of police forces in a cyberpunk setting? What have you all done in your games to explain this genre trope?

 

Soar.

Wow do you kmow when this tragedy qas suppose to occur? And which news service? Cause that was a very biased assesment of a crime that I heard about.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wow do you kmow when this tragedy qas suppose to occur? And which news service? Cause that was a very biased assesment of a crime that I heard about.

 

 

The case that was the impetus for this post was the Tamir Rice murder. I think that discussion about the merits of that case would be best left to a different, non-Dark Champions thread. 

 

The take away is that I was envisioning a setting in which communities were highly skeptical and distrusting of the police. As a result they formed local guards with the aid of some local politicians that would operate as defacto police in areas. This, however, has lead to even greater issues which sets the setting for a ShadowRun-esc game. 

 

Soar. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

State laws have some influence also, which gets overlooked. Here in Washington, only governmental agencies --federal, state, county, city -- may be armed. Private security outfits are explicitly forbidden from carrying weapons. So, for example, the private university where I work has a campus security "force", but there are no guns, no nightsticks. We are also only two blocks south of Seattle PD Eadt Precinct HQ, and Seattle Police most definitely have guns. And the University of Washington police, a few miles away in town, also have guns, because they are a state institution.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That is interesting. As I recall, the University Police at my university were basically lowgrade state cops. They had jurisdiction for all crimes committed on campus and could carry guns. But it has been a few years so maybe I am misremembering them being armed.

 

Soar.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, in one respect, I see much of the Shadowrun history as a shoehorn to establish their own brand of dystopian future. When you really look at most of those pivotal points, you really can see where it breaks down. Governments granting extra-territorial status with nothing in return? Never going to happen. They might grant that status in exchange for a huge chunk of money to keep that extra-territorial license active. In those cases, while on their own grounds, corporate security would have to, in effect, become a policing agency for the people that work inside of the bounds of that extra-territorial plot of real estate. 

 

Addressing the specifics of community enforcement by private corporations, I don't see a problem with whatever justification you use for your campaign. More and more law enforcement agencies are becoming unionized. It isn't a far stretch to see them become privatized as well. In the beginning, there would probably be a lot of hope, but as the system matured and the unscrupulous members of the increasingly privatized law enforcement agencies learned how to game the system, faith would be lost. You would end up with something that would look like any other policing force; something that exists primarily to exist. Any actual law enforcement or community protection would end up being incidental to the primary goal of self preservation. Of course, the executives of this force would be skimming off the top, cutting corners, and generally placing the whole police force in danger due to greed. Dystopian future after all.

 

That brings up an interesting concept (to me at least). What if a lot of expensive and exclusive communities applied for and received that same extra-territorial privilege that corporate enclaves received. They could then have their own law enforcement organizations as well. More and more of the financially wealthy would then have access to law enforcement that somebody in a ghetto or barrio could only dream of having. As the tax revenue from corporate (and by extension their high paid employees) dwindled, local communities would have less resources to police lower class neighborhoods. I think in that case, more and more of the LG model that you're describing would take effect. Finding funds would be the biggest challenge and philanthropy in cyberpunk is as rare as a June frost in Arizona. Those neighborhoods would quickly fall to the organized criminal elements or abandoned entirely to the gangs.

 

On the public sector side of things, the yearly licensing fees would be diverted into anything but maintaining a state of the art police force. Oh sure, every couple of years the police unions raise enough of a stink to prompt some money being funneled their way, but the private sector cops would almost always have better gear and resources.

 

Almost makes me think I want to run a game where the characters are public sector law enforcement that deals with crimes across the city. Some potential fun dealing with the corporate secrets and extra territorial. And what happens if the Friendly Local Ethnic crime family pulls some strings and gets their own extra-national status granted?

 

Good topic.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That is interesting. As I recall, the University Police at my university were basically lowgrade state cops. They had jurisdiction for all crimes committed on campus and could carry guns. But it has been a few years so maybe I am misremembering them being armed.

 

Soar.

Mizzou's campus police are commissioned police officers.  While I can't find anything right now indicating specifically if they're armed or not, I know that Missouri does allow private security to be armed--at least some of the guards at my job (a healthcare IT company) are armed--so it's quite likely that the campus police are armed.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mizzou's campus police are commissioned police officers.  While I can't find anything right now indicating specifically if they're armed or not, I know that Missouri does allow private security to be armed--at least some of the guards at my job (a healthcare IT company) are armed--so it's quite likely that the campus police are armed.

 

Well, it is nice to be backed up by another Missourian about Mizzou. Thanks!

 

Soar. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It seems more likely that Shadowrun/Cyberpunk Private Police forces would evolve from private Security which is very common in the US. We also DO have a history of private police forces in the US. The Pinkerton Detectives being the most famous version of that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I personally think the evolution of a private security force being given actual police powers (ability to legally detain or arrest, maintain an armed presence on public property and enter private property, ability to request and receive warrants, etc) would not be a reasonable transition. While I do fully understand the Private Security forces that guard warehouses, R&D labs, etc. of a MegaCorp, I just don't see the normal police becoming fully sponsored and subservient goons of any particular corp. There is a leap of disbelief there that is too great for me. It is in response to that issue that I proposed this 'local guard' scenario in which there still exists a distopian police force that presides over locally organized groups that grew out of a general disdain for inept, racist, sexist, and/or ineffectual police units. Of course what started as a good and perhaps reasonable counter to corruption and such has fallen as so many other institutions have due to genre mandates but still within the bounds of reason. 

Everyone is free to think as they will and accept what they will, but once again, I personally have always found the idea of the Shadowrun-esc privatization of all local police and other arms of the judiciary a bit suspect and even more so with the rise in authority of private security forces. 

 

Soar. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It seems more likely that Shadowrun/Cyberpunk Private Police forces would evolve from private Security which is very common in the US. We also DO have a history of private police forces in the US. The Pinkerton Detectives being the most famous version of that.

I have to agree write up a private security company and increase their police powers

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I personally think the evolution of a private security force being given actual police powers (ability to legally detain or arrest, maintain an armed presence on public property and enter private property, ability to request and receive warrants, etc) would not be a reasonable transition. While I do fully understand the Private Security forces that guard warehouses, R&D labs, etc. of a MegaCorp, I just don't see the normal police becoming fully sponsored and subservient goons of any particular corp. There is a leap of disbelief there that is too great for me. It is in response to that issue that I proposed this 'local guard' scenario in which there still exists a distopian police force that presides over locally organized groups that grew out of a general disdain for inept, racist, sexist, and/or ineffectual police units. Of course what started as a good and perhaps reasonable counter to corruption and such has fallen as so many other institutions have due to genre mandates but still within the bounds of reason. 

 

Everyone is free to think as they will and accept what they will, but once again, I personally have always found the idea of the Shadowrun-esc privatization of all local police and other arms of the judiciary a bit suspect and even more so with the rise in authority of private security forces. 

 

Soar. 

 

That can be one possible origin of such an organizations. But my RL experience is that security companies are full of former and current Police. Along with a number of Wannabes that couldn't get into the Police Academy for one reason or the other. Also, here in the US security companies can and do make arrests and have to gather and investigate crimes before the regular police arrive. This on top of being credible witnesses to any crimes they happen to see. There's already licencing for security guards (even the unarmed ones), Armed guards have even more training and a harder test to get their "guard card".

 

To my mind that kind of organization would be very natural to gain Police powers. Also given that Corporate enclaves include residences and would already have internal security. It would be pretty natural for them to deal with crime in their own way with their own people handling the Police work. If you add to that Government giving more power to the corporations, you would have a recipe for Corporate police that act like they are the FBI (even if they don't really have the same powers).

 

For private security to become more police like. You would have a city like Seattle who can't/ won't support their city police. So you have Security firms step up to fill in the void left.

 

BTW the rise of a good guy organization that tries to help a community becoming corrupted and nearly criminal then totally criminal. Is the story of many criminal organizations here in the US. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That can be one possible origin of such an organizations. But my RL experience is that security companies are full of former and current Police. Along with a number of Wannabes that couldn't get into the Police Academy for one reason or the other. Also, here in the US security companies can and do make arrests and have to gather and investigate crimes before the regular police arrive. This on top of being credible witnesses to any crimes they happen to see. There's already licencing for security guards (even the unarmed ones), Armed guards have even more training and a harder test to get their "guard card".

 

Well sort of. Remember that each state handles guard registration differently. Here in California, there are several tiers of Security Officer. All of them either have a PSO (Private Security Officer) Card or more commonly a Security Guard Registration (Guard Card). The PSO Card is used exclusively for "in house" security. The guard card is used for contract security as provided by companies like Securitas and Allied Barton. Having armed credentials is another step up and requires training and certification in the use of each armament (stun gun, pepper spray, baton, firearm). Only some companies even have armed guards currently, due to expense of bonding armed officers.

 

Other states have different rules. Some even have the potential security officer's license issued to the company that employs him.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Private policing could also evolve from existing policing bodies. Over here in the UK, there's a sect in the Political Class which would very much like to privatise all services currently provided by the state (except maybe the Armed Forces). It's just a matter of cutting budgets until the existing organisation can't do its job, then asserting that the private sector could handle policing more efficiently, then selling off the assets cheap to their friends in a massive privatisation of the police. The largest private security force in the "not really United any more Kingdom" of my dystopian near-future cybersetting is "The Met, PLC"...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Security Guards in Australia are required to undertake a nationally standardised and accredited training course.

Security Guards in Australia have no more powers than the average citizen, although the police are generally quite accommodating during situations where a security guard has detained an offender.

Crowd Controllers (Bouncers) are required to undertake a crowd controllers course.

Numerous other courses are available at various institutions, NSTA is one of these, and incidentally is directly responsible for getting training standardised across Australia.

I just had a look at some of the course available, interesting.... although I am now way too old for that industry. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Security Guards in Australia are required to undertake a nationally standardised and accredited training course.

Security Guards in Australia have no more powers than the average citizen, although the police are generally quite accommodating during situations where a security guard has detained an offender.

Crowd Controllers (Bouncers) are required to undertake a crowd controllers course.

Numerous other courses are available at various institutions, NSTA is one of these, and incidentally is directly responsible for getting training standardised across Australia.

I just had a look at some of the course available, interesting.... although I am now way too old for that industry. :)

 

Good to know. Not that I ever plan on going to Australia, but being in the business, it is interesting. In California (and I'm guessing most, if not all, other states) the only way a security officer can detain somebody is to place them under Private Person's arrest. Law enforcement is then obliged to respond, upon which that suspect is remanded to their custody. Not doing so is tantamount to illegal detention here. On the flip side, if a suspect refuses to be detained, a resisting/evading arrest charge can be added to whatever else they are ultimately charged with.

 

I have heard (and since dispelled) a rumor that one of our local security companies had gained limited police powers and were actually patrolling some sections of town as backups to the Sacramento PD. That would have been an "in" for this sort of progressive privatization of police forces. Luckily, that rumor is nothing more than that. One local company is composed almost entirely of former police officers, candidates that have completed the POST academy, and off-duty law enforcement officers. Even though they have no official recognition, they also have a lot of friends in the local agencies around town. They have been known to use force exceeding their technically legal mandate without more that the proverbial slap on the wrist.

 

The point of all this is, this could very well be the inspiration for the genesis of privatized police forces in a cyberpunk\dystopian future setting. Not much of a step from fringe law enforcement to private cops. All it would take is the right amount of political and economic pressure applied at just the right moment. The right moment could be St Louis style riots, natural disaster, etc. If the world is already going to crap, it could be something like food or medicine riots. Season to taste.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

In Texas authority is derived from the State constitution that gets it’s Authority from the U. S. Constitution.  County Sheriffs who are elected by the citizens of the county hold police powers and the ability to grant same to police departments in their county.  In the 1970s all peace officers where given state wide authority none of this stop at the line stuff.

It also empowers the State police, (Department of Public Safety) which regulates for example private investigators; who have to have liability insurance and collect sales tax and regulate security companies under the authority of the occupational code of Texas.

 

California has some intresting laws, in San Fransico there is private police.   whact this movie.  http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0104647/?ref_=nm_flmg_act_87

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In Oklahoma, we had an issue recently where the local District Attorney was allowing a private security firm to pull people over, arrest them, and seize their property.  Mostly these guys were targeting drug traffickers who were driving through the state.  They pull over a car full of Mexicans with out of state tags, run a drug dog around the car, and if the dog alerts, they search it.  If they found anything, they'd arrest the people.  They'd seize any money they found, and they'd get a cut of it.

 

https://www.rt.com/usa/contractors-pose-oklahoma-police-aclu-818/

 

When word got out what they were doing, there was a huge backlash against it.  No charges against the security people (or the DA, who should go to jail over this) have been filed, but as soon as people found out what was happening, it got shut down.

 

If I was going to come up with a legal method for doing the Shadowrun thing, I'd have the megacorp own all the land, or have contracts with the other owners to allow their security forces to operate throughout the city.  So OmniMegaCorp owns their corporate headquarters, Mega Tower One.  But they also own the six surrounding city blocks, consisting of smaller office towers and residential high-rises.  Beyond that, subsidiary companies own large portions of the city slums, factories, ports, parts of the "public" transportation system, etc.  Basically if you're in their part of town, it's all owned by the corporation.  Part of the city (anything non-residential, you want to keep your official population very limited so that you keep control) might actually be a separate municipality, at least on paper.  Sure, it still looks like you're in Metro City, but much of it is actually Slumburg, population: 50.  It's got its own set of municipal codes, and the mayor is the CEO of the company.  The only people who are counted as official residents are company execs who are considered to reside in their executive offices.  And Slumburg hires out its policing to the company security forces.  They have their own municipal court system, and there's an instant combination search/arrest warrant for anyone/anywhere the police need to go after.  There's a "judge" (re: corporate employee) on standby who hits a button and gives an electronic signature to an automatically generated warrant that the computer creates anytime they're about to kick in a door.

 

In the real world, municipalities have cooperation agreements, so a cop from one jurisdiction may have some limited authority in a neighboring city.  There's a procedure for that, like a vampire they basically have to get invited to come in and assist.  So you'd probably get an expanded form of such agreements between Metro City and Slumburg, so that Slumburg cops can patrol areas owned by OmniMegaCorp that are not within the official boundaries of Slumburg.  And it's not like the city cops want to go to those places anyway, not that they have the manpower to do it even if they wanted to.  Get enough of these types of agreements around the city, and you'll have zones controlled by different megacorps.  Very little of the actual city would be patrolled by city cops.  I'd suggest breaking up the city itself into a hundred little sub-cities, so none of them ever get enough power to exert control.  People might still refer to it as "Metro City", but there wouldn't be an actual single government body over it.  It would be a dozen megacorp zones that have most of the money and land (with a tiny amount of residents), and then virtually the entire population would be packed into unincorporated areas that lease their government services from the megacorps.

 

In real life, this kind of arrangement would bring all sorts of scrutiny.  The FBI would be there in two seconds flat, investigating a buttload of illegal operations.  While that sort of system wouldn't necessarily be illegal, you probably couldn't get that sort of system set up without violating all sorts of federal laws.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In real life, this kind of arrangement would bring all sorts of scrutiny.  The FBI would be there in two seconds flat, investigating a buttload of illegal operations.  While that sort of system wouldn't necessarily be illegal, you probably couldn't get that sort of system set up without violating all sorts of federal laws.

Maybe the TPP will change that.

 

In the Kazei 5 timeline 2019 is the year Australia passes laws stating that "replicants are to be accorded all the same rights and privileges as natural born humans" p.310

Therefore they must have a work visa, be paid a fair wage and pay taxes.

This was in an effort to stem the tide of replicants imported to work in the country.

 

If the warnings about the TPP are true, then the corporation(s) importing replicants would be able sue the Australian Government for passing laws that interfere with corporate profit generation.

Apparently one reason Australia did this (in the setting) is because it was suffering financially, in the timeline these laws apparently helped to stabilise the Australian Economy.

But under a TPP being sued at this critical period would ruin the economy and probably cause political chaos as well, the corporations might be able to step in and act as saviours to the Australian people, or could instigate a hostile takeover on a national level.

How Australian citizens would react to either event is difficult to determine, but I could see some sort of resistance to either option being mounted.

We are notoriously laid back and far from patriotic, however that has been changing over the last few decades with each new generation being more highly strung and recently with the anti-terror campaign in the media, patriots seem to be crawling out of the woodwork. Even so most of this is usually expressed on social media, where the individual can be anonymous and safe, so perhaps we would sit by and meekly accept a corporate takeover of govenrment and infrastructure, (including law enforcement).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have heard (and since dispelled) a rumor that one of our local security companies had gained limited police powers and were actually patrolling some sections of town as backups to the Sacramento PD. That would have been an "in" for this sort of progressive privatization of police forces. Luckily, that rumor is nothing more than that. One local company is composed almost entirely of former police officers, candidates that have completed the POST academy, and off-duty law enforcement officers. Even though they have no official recognition, they also have a lot of friends in the local agencies around town. They have been known to use force exceeding their technically legal mandate without more that the proverbial slap on the wrist.

 

The point of all this is, this could very well be the inspiration for the genesis of privatized police forces in a cyberpunk\dystopian future setting. Not much of a step from fringe law enforcement to private cops. All it would take is the right amount of political and economic pressure applied at just the right moment. The right moment could be St Louis style riots, natural disaster, etc. If the world is already going to crap, it could be something like food or medicine riots. Season to taste.

My son was a bouncer for several years in Brisbane and Ipswich, and according to him there were negotiations taking place with the Queensland Police Service and a particular security company (can't remember which), in regard to having security officers patrol the Brisbane CBD as first responders to nightclub incidents. Apparently the plan was for the security company to provide foot patrols equipped with pretty much the same gear a police officer was equipped with (excepting firearms and taser), they were to patrol the CBD and respond when a Nightclub called for assistance (a unified comm system was to be implemented). They would then assist the inhouse security deal with the problem until police arrived on scene.

Whether this plan was put into place or not I cannot say, but it could be used as an early step towards corporate law enforcement, a precursor to actively backing up the police.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...