Welcome to the APD
Welcome to the Albuquerque Police Department! We are a proud organization of men and women working in the best interest of the city, the state, and the country. We are loyal and brave individuals who enforce the law and protect the innocent. Our job is difficult, but we are the cream of the crop and can handle it. Glad to have you on board!
The law enforcement sphere here on Masquerade is very active and dedicated. But being part of the police department can often be rather frustrating. Other PCs tend to greet the police with skepticism, attitude, and downright antagonism. Many crimes are never unraveled, as they are perpetrated by PCs via supernatural means, and thus "unsolvable." The burn-out rate among officers can be high. However, it is important to remember that more of your RP will come through investigating crimes, rather than actually solving them. If you feel the frustration building, take a deep breath, step back, and give people some tickets for loitering and disturbing the peace.
Any ideas for improvements and comments can be mailed to +policestaff and they will get back to you ASAP. Now let's go out there and have some fun!
Divisions & NPC Officers
The APD currently has two main divisions, the Uniform (or Patrol) division and the Investigations (or Detectives) division. There are also civilians who work in conjunction with the APD, including people from the Coroner's Office, the District Attorney's office, etc. Finally, at least from an administrative point, those working for law enforcement agencies such as the FBI are also considered to be part of APD.
The Uniform division includes the Patrol Unit, K-9 Unit, Motorcycle Unit, Bicycle Unit, Accident Investigation Unit, Public Service Officers and Parking control. Most of the Uniform officers are part of the Patrol Unit; although we do not always have PCs in each of the other subdivisions, you are welcome to "specialize" into one of the units as part of your RP.
The Investigations division serves and protects the health, safety, welfare and morals of the public by conducting criminal investigations and enforcing laws governing public health, order, and decency. Detective PCs can specialize into various subdivisions, including Major Crimes, Organized Crime and Vice, Robbery Homicide, I.A.D., Narcotics, etc., or just be part of the general investigative unit.
Most importantly, each APD officer should familiarize themselves with the "NPC Officers." On the +police/roster, these are listed as "Officer <Whatever>." Whether you are a Patrolman or a Detective, you can use these NPCs to respond to a dispatch call, to provide "backup" for another officer, etc. If you would like to have a semi-permanent NPC "Partner," contact +policestaff to make arrangements.
Laws & General Procedures
There are some differences between the real life laws of Albuquerque and those that exist in our World of Darkness version. Our law will be interpreted differently in some ways than in real life. We follow actual New Mexico Laws. The Criminal Law can be found here: New Mexico Laws
New Mexico recognizes the Castle Doctrine. There is no duty for a private citizen to retreat from a hostile situation. While the state of NM tends to rule over this in terms of habitation, this is WoD. Castle Doctrine will apply wherever a citizen is, as long as it is LEGAL visitation.
We also use the RL Albuquerque radio "10-codes," described in Police.
Most of the commands that you will be using are stored under +policehelp. It is also very important that you make yourself familiar with NEWS IC LAWS and NEWS LEGAL SYSTEM, as they describe some of our "house" rules on matters such as weapons, gambling, prostitution, and the age of consent. Stay tuned: We will be adding more of what I feel to be appropriate "house" rules regarding the rights of the individual in our WoD society.
Each patrol officer is entitled to a firearm, an ASP baton, and a concealable vest. To request these objects, +mail weapons. The Glock 17 is the APD's standard issue firearm, but officers also have the option of requisitioning the Fornax Arms HTP-10. The Fornax Arms Heavy Tactical Pistol bears a striking resemblance to Heckler and Koch's USP. The upper assembly of the gun is made from high quality steel while the lower portion is made from high tech space age polymers. Complete with laser sighting technology, the Fornax holds 13 rounds, with a Damage rating of 7. The baton, handy for use in apprehending suspects, collapses down to a mere 6.5 in. The armor is concealable while offering an additional two dice for all soak rolls, but at the cost of raising the difficulty of all dexterity rolls by one. It covers the torso, and can be worn under your shirt. While on duty, each officer will have in addition, handcuffs, a flashlight (+help flashlight), and a radio. While off duty, every officer is required to have their badge, firearm, and handcuffs with him/her at all times.
Each officer is issued a midnight navy blue uniform, complete with utility belt and hat. Moreover, officers are entitled to a patrol car. The police page contains instructions on how to obtain said vehicle. All squad cars are equipped with loudspeakers, spot light, radio, computer terminal for background checks, and a Mossburg M500 for backup. Both marked and unmarked vehicles are available. Use a marked vehicle whenever requiring transportation or patrolling. Unmarked vehicles should only be used in special cases. Please be sure to return the cars to the APD parking lot when you are done using them.
Channels & Radio Procedures
Each APD officer should be on the APD channel and the Police channel (+help channels). The Police channel is primarily used for OOC police communication and chatting. The APD channel represents the IC radio that each officer is issued. These radios are highly advanced 800 MHZ radios. Each radio will identify the officer, allowing officers to talk to dispatch, other officers, and other police agencies. Officers are also able to talk to other departments like the Fire Department, E.M.S. and any other city department. The radios allow channels to be blocked, and/or encrypted and they can be used like a limited "cellular phone." We do currently use police "10 codes" to talk to dispatch; a good link for that is found here Each radio has its own identifier coded in place. As you transmit the signal informs the radio towers and dispatch center exactly what radio is transmitting. Trying to spoof the radio waves as your supervisor being stupid would be pretty foolish. Also, each radio is also equipped with an emergency button. It is a big orange button on the top of the radio. When pressed it will override other radio traffic on the channel with a signal, and tell dispatchers and other officers there is an emergency and which officer needs help.
This emergency button allows an officer to summon help without the officer ever having to talk into the radio. When using the emergency button during a Time Stop, you should page the staffer and inform them. Your pose should include reaching back to where your radio is. However, in most RP situations, when you are radioing something in, it is good form to pose or emit that you are doing so. If you are off duty or in a situation where you do not have access to your radio, you can leave the channel, but don't forget to rejoin it later.
Finally, all officers are encouraged to respond to +911 requests if they are in a position to do so. See +help 911 for more information.
As mentioned, being an officer is a hard job and not everyone is cut out for it. In theory, while on duty, every officer should be polite and respectful toward civilians. You'll soon find that being polite to captured criminals makes them increasingly irritated. However, it's common to encounter individuals who harass an officer or are extremely rude, calling an officer 'Pig' or mentioning 'bacon' every time one of us enters the room. It's fairly simple to discourage this type of behavior. At your discretion, give the person two warnings, the first one polite and nice, the second with a bit more bite:
> Enter Bob the Policeman. Joe Schmoe looks at him and sneers.
> Schmoe looks at Bob the Policeman. "Boy, I hate bacon."
> Bob says nicely, "Sir, I suggest you refrain from such derogatory remarks."
> Schmoe says, "I didn't know pigs could talk..."
> Bob says, "Sir, this is your last warning about such remarks."
> Schmoe says, "Oink oink oink oink..."
> Bob charges Joe Schmoe with interfering with the duties of a peace officer.
Note: There are many other misdemeanor infractions which can usually be applied to such situations, including but not limited to: Failure to Identify, Resisting Arrest, etc.
For a police department to function properly, officers need to be able to know what is happening with the other officers on the Force and the various cases. This is the key to a well run department. To facilitate the exchange of information, we are currently using two connected systems to keep track of criminals and cases. The more immediate system is documented under +policehelp investigation. Also, in the Records Room at the station, there are archive Case Boards which contain the old police files. A closed investigation is moved to the archives automatically.
It is vitally important that each officer keep track of their current cases via the +police/inv commands. Yes, it does take a bit of time to write up a new case, but if you can't handle the paperwork, this isn't the job for you. It's ok to use +mail to the POLICE mail alias to notify everyone when something happens, but to ensure that new players will be able to mesh seamlessly with the department, officers *must* keep on top of their paperwork. This can not be stressed enough. Even if you don't have time to add a huge write-up of a case, at least start it so others can add to it.
IMPORTANT: If you don't post your case information, there will be IC repercussions! Consider this a fair warning!
Also feel free to read over the older case files now and again for examples.
Eventually, you might have to arrest someone. Please be aware of +policehelp arrest and don't be shy about using the various commands. Whenever you arrest someone, you *must* read them their Miranda rights, it's as simple as that (+police/miranda <character>). If they don't understand their rights, explain them politely. If they ignore you, usually all you have to say is "Let it be noted for the record that <person> has waived their rights." That usually gets them around. Also, when you cuff somebody, make sure you pose/@emit that you cuff their hands *behind* their back. Always.
Once you have arrested someone and brought them down to the station, feel free to use the +police/book code and make sure that the person is OOCly aware of our pertinent news files (NEWS IC LAWS and NEWS LEGAL SYSTEM). It is the arresting officer's responsibility to update the Police Records of the individual who is booked (+policehelp record) and to update it once again if they are released on bail/charges are dismissed/etc. Please help us all out by doing as thorough a job on this paperwork as possible!
Currently, there are no PC Justices of the Peace to issue warrants. Although the Mayor can actually issue a warrant within the city limits, the fastest way to obtain a warrant will be to contact RP staff. Bail will be handled on a case-by-case basis; staff reserves the right to deny bail entirely if the suspect has committed a major crime or is considered a "flight risk."
Use of Force
Excessive use of force can be a very hot topic. Technically, police officers are allowed to use only the amount of force needed to control and detain their subject. So if your subject is fighting against you at a guesstimated level 4, you should use a level 5 force on him, etc. Of course, such things are hard to quantify, and for this reason, it is often best to have backup when you make an arrest. If you need backup and no other PC or Masq staffer can respond, pose radioing in for assistance, wait an appropriate amount of time, and assume other officers arrive (or you could bring out one of the NPC officers).
The ASP batons can often quell unrest just by their very presence. However, use your firearm *only* if there is threat of serious injury to another person. Avoid drawing your sidearm unless the suspect is considered armed and dangerous or the situation warrants. Of course, this is mostly up to the officer's discretion; after all, it's amazing how often a cigarette lighter can seem like a knife. But no one wants an I.A.D. investigation, if you know what I mean.