Written by Christian Fassel
Web Posted September 18, 1999
Updated August 05, 2000
In Car Wars, the only things weaker than a police car are a pedestrian and maybe an amateur cycle gang with about six members. The only vehicles that Car Wars has for police are woefully under-equipped $30,000 autos. Even in today's world, without the advanced technology of the Car Wars realm, the law enforcement community can outgun all but the biggest crime organizations. Sure, today's average police officer would have a hard time facing up against a submachine gun-wielding drug lord, but, per capita of our population, drug lords are few and far between (thankfully). To the average citizens, their own small-town local police are well enough equipped to deal with almost any situation.
You must also take into account the big-city law enforcement agencies. These agencies have hundreds of police officers, and special task forces to deal with certain emergencies. The most known of these would be the SWAT (Special Weapons And Tactics) teams. Most special teams have the most advanced weapons and technology to deal with their emergencies. Most of these cities are equipped with several different types of vehicles, including helicopters, motorcycles, "paddy wagons," boats (for riverine police), and sometimes even horses. The local municipality, along with state and federal support, equip our police departments with the most advanced equipment to deal with crime.
This supplement is designed as variable rules and equipment for law
enforcement in the year 2050. It will go into the various levels of law
enforcement, from the local police officer to the Federal Marshal, and
even will delve into the Armed Forces and their equipment and tactics.
Hopefully, we can beef up the police department, and make lawless people
think twice before opening fire on the sheriff.
Sure, Mayberry only had two police officers, but the New York City Police Department had over 55,000 officers in 1995, making it the largest police force in the world. Population has a significant role in determining not only on the number of police officers, but their equipment as well. Obviously, a town with a population of 3,000 would not have a 2,000-officer police department. A modicum of common sense needs to be used here. The formula I use is one police officer per 300 people in a population. Out of that, only half of the police officers would be assigned to field duty, the remaining officers manning desks, providing logistics and support, and administrative occupations. So, for every 600 people in a population, there is one police officer that will actively patrol and maintain the peace. Out of those police officers, only two-thirds will be manning vehicles. So, to simplify it, there is one patrol car for every 1,000 people in the population. However, this is somewhat misleading because very small towns with fewer than 3,000 people will have no patrol cars at all. In these cases, the local sheriff's department or the state police will patrol these areas. You must use discretion in determining how many patrol cars a town or city will have.
In wilderness and lawless areas, there would be far fewer police. However,
the Federal Marshals and County Sheriffs would patrol these areas, just
like in the Wild West era of the late 1800s. These officers often have
to face death alone, and conquer. These guys have no back up. Whatever
trouble there is, they face it by themselves. Wyatt Earp didn't use an
Astra 9mm; he packed a Colt 0.45. Similarly, the Federal Marshals and county
sheriffs operating in the badlands would be "packing" more offensive weaponry
than the average police officer.
Law Enforcement Agencies
There are several levels to the law enforcement community in the United States, and a lot of them, while being separate entities, perform the same functions as other agencies. However, there is almost a hierarchy to law enforcement. At the lowest level, there is the local police department. These officers belong to the municipality that they live and work in. They would be the law enforcement agency that the players would interact with the most, especially if the players are in a city scenario. The local police departments would have the least technology for their normal duty officers, but depending on the size of the municipality, may have many special task groups assigned to the department, such as SWAT and bomb squad teams. These special task groups would have high technology and almost limitless money for their groups. For example, the Mayberry RFD may have an annual allocation of $100,000 a year for total budgeting for the department, while the NYPD has an annual budget of over $2.4 billion a year. Obviously, this evens out in that Mayberry only has to pay two officers, and maintain their equipment, while the NYPD has to pay 55,000 employees, and maintain their equipment.
The rule of thumb here would be that the larger the city, the more money
would be allocated to police vehicles and equipment. The extent of the
police department's jurisdiction would be for that specific municipality,
and no further. Any pursuits that would go beyond those boundaries would
have to be handed over to the next highest level of law enforcement, or
given to the next municipality the pursuit ventures into.
Sometimes these organizations are just to complement the local police department in their jurisdiction, but sometimes they are the only law enforcement agency for miles, such as in wilderness and lawless areas. Their equipment would be varied according to their jurisdiction and operational purpose. If the sheriff is there to complement the local police department and to transport prisoners, then they would have similar equipment to the local police department. However, if their jurisdiction happens to be a wilderness area, then they would have specialized off-road equipment to pursue criminals. Also, if operating as the only law enforcement agency in a lawless area, they would be allocated much more funding for vehicles and equipment, to protect themselves and the local citizens. Remember that much of the United States in 2050 is a lawless area where local cycle gangs rule the roads with violence and brutality. In order to combat these gangs, a single sheriff department would have to have the technology and power to handle these gangs by themselves, or maybe with only one other car as a backup.
The county sheriff department would have little or no special task groups,
and, at the most, might have a helicopter to track down criminals. The
county sheriff himself or herseufl is an elected official, and whatever
deputies he or she might have would be hired for the department. There
is only one sheriff per county; all the other officers would be deputies.
It is the job of the state police to patrol the highways and interstates
that run through their state. They work hand-in-hand with the local police
and the county sheriff's office, and they all make a very effective team.
Being specialized to patrol the highways and roads, the state police have
little use for special task groups, such as SWAT teams. They are specialized
themselves, being primarily intercept and pursuit teams. Their vehicles
would be geared for speed and accuracy (to shoot out tires), but not meant
to have lengthy offensive engagements. State police are obviously found
mostly on the highways and interstates, the roads being their main concern.
Other vehicles might include a helicopter for aerial tracking and offense,
but would probably be limited to a fast small helicopter. Sometimes the
state police agencies use quick, agile motorcycles to pursue felons and
criminals. However, in the world of Car Wars in 2050, these cycles would
be limited to areas of low resistance. State police do not patrol lawless
areas of highways, as they are not equipped to do so, and the great distances
on highways would make it hard for singular patrol cars to deal with violent
criminals effectively. Instead, they would rather let the county sheriffs
and the Federal Marshals handle these areas.
These peacekeepers are given vast territories to enforce, and are sometimes not even necessarily bound to a specific territory. However, these officers of the law almost always operate in lawless areas by themselves, or with a deputy/gunner. They are completely self-sufficient, and have an almost limitless account for supplies and equipment. The Federal Marshals are the toughest law enforcement agency around, being judge, jury, and executioner by themselves. The lawless territories demand it. There are only a handful of Federal Marshals compared to the other law enforcement agencies, with less than 2,000 marshals and deputy marshals nationwide.
The Marshals have no special task groups, operating singularly in vast
territories. Some Marshals may be incognito, especially in areas where
there is high criminal activity that they cannot handle alone. These Marshals
would prefer to remain anonymous, penetrating the criminal organization,
and taking it down brick by brick, instead of a head-to-head confrontation
that even the Mighty marshal could not hope to singularly win. A Marshal
can swear in anyone as a deputy in an emergency situation, and they have
been known to swear in criminals to combat other criminals. Such is the
way in the lawless lands.
Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI)
The players would not have much interaction, if any, with agents of
the FBI. The Bureau would prefer to use local enforcement agencies to detain
criminals, as their main area of expertise would be investigation, not
enforcement. The FBI would have a limitless amount of budgeting, and if
the players should run into them, the FBI would be highly armed and armored
compared to the players. In any situation involving the FBI, the players
should run first, and ask questions later. These guys have too much firepower
to contend with.
U.S. Armed Forces
The highest level of law enforcement is, surprisingly, not a law enforcement agency. It is the U.S. Armed Forces, comprised of the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines. Again, the military has a limitless budget with which to equip and arm itself with. However, in any fair campaign, the players would not be contending against main battle tanks (unless armed with several heavy vehicles). Instead, they would most probably encounter a squad-sized element, and possibly a light armored car. Anything higher than that, and the players better have military equipment themselves. The military would be deployed when no other alternative could be reached.
Technically not a police force, the military responds with brutal force
against the enemy. The military is not a watchdog; it's a finely
tuned attack instrument. Nothing is more terrifying than having a platoon
of armored tanks roll into your home town. Fortunately, the military would
be called in for nothing short of widespread riots, military engagements,
and possibly critical disasters and emergencies. Even then, it would be
the National Guard of that state that would be sent in first, rather than
the army or marines itself. The National Guard has slightly less allocation
for vehicles than the regular army, but they still have much of the latest
technology and equipment. What this means is that the National Guardsmen
would be outfitted with the same equipment as the Army, but their vehicles
might be a little bit older. The military has everything from GeePs (see
below) to helicopters, hovercraft to battleships. They are highly trained
and organized, and respond to any attacks with quick, lethal force. There
is no, "Put your hands up!" once you've shot at the military.
Officers of the Law
Training and skills of law enforcement officers varies with the agency,
and the jurisdiction that they patrol. Local Police officers are not as
highly trained as Federal Marshals are, and State Police officers would
not be as equipped to handle the same situations as military personnel
would. In this section, I have tried to put the "standard" skills and equipment
for the average officer of each agency. By no means are these unchangeable;
use whatever fits in your scenarios and campaigns.
Local Police Officers
The local police are not as well trained and equipped as the rest of the law enforcement agencies. However, this does not mean that they are wimps. Any police officer of 1999 knows a heck of a lot more about firing and using weapons than the general populace. So it is with the local police officer. While not as trained as any of the other agencies, they are invariably highly effective at their jobs. They would definitely be more trained than the average duellist, and have better equipment than most too. The local police officer would be Driver, Handgunner +1, Gunner, Paramedic, and Streetwise.
Equipment: Body Armor, Heavy Pistol, SMG with Anti-Vehicular Ammo, Gas
Mask, 2 Tear Gas Grenades (for use in anti-riot situations), Double-Barrel
Shotgun (in vehicle).
County Police Officers
The Sheriffs are the hardest of the law enforcement agencies to define. Sheriffs and their deputies can be from woefully ineffective and corrupt to highly trained officers of the law. They can be doughnut-eating slobs or stalwart heroes in lawless areas. Because of this, it is very hard to define their training and equipment. For game purposes, if the Sheriff/deputy is in a position where they are backing-up the local police departments, they would, for all intents and purposes, be Local Police Officers. If they happen to be the sole Law Enforcement agency in a lawless area, they would be Driver +1, Gunner +1, Handgunner, and Streetwise.
Equipment: Improved Body Armor, AV Rifle with Extra Ammo Clip, Heavy
Pistol, Shotgun (in vehicle), VLAW (in vehicle).
State Police Officers
The State Police Officers' job is to patrol and maintain peace on the highways and roads of the state. They are excellent drivers, but are neither really equipped nor trained for situations other than chasing down lawless speedsters and fleeing felons. Their training would be more towards driving and gunning, rather than being streetwise or handgunning. They would be driver 2, gunner 1, and handgunner.
Equipment: Impact Armor, Heavy Pistol, SMG with Anti-Vehicular Ammo,
2 Explosive Grenades.
The Federal Marshals would be the most highly trained of the law enforcement agencies, having to contend with varied dangerous situations all on their own. However, their equipment would also be varied according to the task they were performing. A Marshal that was trying to infiltrate a cycle-gang would surely not be wearing Impact Armor, as most cycle gangs couldn't afford it. The same would go for their training, depending on their tasks. Typical Federal Marshals would be Driver +2, Gunner +1, Handgunner +1, Law, and Streetwise.
Equipment: Anything that fits the mission.
Vehicles: The Long Arm of the Law
Local Police Cruiser
This vehicle is designed for use in the cities and towns. It has minimal offensive weaponry (one VMG) due to the fact that the Police Departments must avoid civilian casualties as much as possible. The municipalities they serve would be slapped with tons of lawsuits if the police went around shooting up the town with burst-effect weapons.
The vehicle also mounts tear gas dischargers on the front, sides, and back, for riot control. Similarly, the turret-mounted VMG has an anti-personnel ammo magazine with a magazine switch. The only defensive weapon is the drop-spike plate. Usually, this is used in high-speed chases when one of the cruisers can get in front of the criminals, then the DSP is dropped in order to immobilize the vehicle. The cruiser also has enough room in the back to accommodate a prisoner. For game purposes, assume that the passenger area is gated off from the driving officer. This space can also be used for a gunner to use hand weapons from.
Local Police Cruiser -- Luxury, x-hvy. chassis, sport PP with SuperCons,
active hvy. suspension, 4 solid tires, driver, passenger, VMG (with HD
ammo and magazine switch) in 2-space turret, extra AP VMG magazine below
turret, armored searchlight front, DSP back, FE, LD radio, no-paint windshields,
radar,TC, HDABS. Cargo capacity: 4 spaces. 50 lbs. LRFP plastic rmor: F30
(ramplate), R25, L25, B20, T10, U15 (125 points). Acceleration 10, Top
speed 125, Cruise speed 75, DM 1, HC 4; 6,050 lbs. $42,675.
State Police Interceptor
The State Police Interceptor is designed for use on the highways and roads where there is open area. This vehicle is designed with one purpose: incapacitating criminals. It is built for speed, with a top speed of 175 mph, and an acceleration of 15 mph per second.
The strategy of these cars is to get beyond the fleeing felon, and use the turreted laser and the FOJ to take out his or her tires, causing a crash. When the Interceptor is used, the police mean business. This vehicle is used to hurt the enemy, not hinder him or her. Blowing a tire at 100+ miles per hour is a scary situation. Notice that there is no space in the vehicle for passengers; it was never intended to carry any.
State Police Interceptor -- Sedan, x-hvy. Chassis, BP 400 ci gasoline
ICE engine (with supercharger, tubular headers and 15-gallon fuel tank),
hvy. suspension, 4 radial PR tires, driver in safety seat, laser in universal
2-space turret, FOJ (with HT fuel) back, LD radio, HRTC.
Cargo capacity: 0 spaces, 94 lbs. RPFP plastic armor: F30, R25, L25, B30, T10, U20 (140 points), four 10-pt. RPFP plastic AWHs, four 10-pt. RPFP plastic WGs. Acceleration 25, Top speed 175, Cruise speed 105, 13 MPG, Cruise range 195 miles, DM 1, HC 3; 6,026 lbs., $50,875.
State Police Pursuit Special
This is the workhorse of the State Police patrolmen. It is fast, but not overly so, and it is well armed (both offensively and defensively). The front-mounted, linked MGs provide good firepower to the Pursuit, which is designed to chase vehicles. The turreted VMG is excellent for shooting out tires, and the TDX mines are great for taking out the tires of any vehicle foolish enough to try and take the Pursuit from behind. The Pursuit is another vehicle that doesn't carry prisoners; either the prisoner is a smear on the road, or the officers will radio for a paddy wagon to pick up anyone who is left living.
State Police Pursuit Special -- Luxury, x-hvy. chassis, sport PP
with SuperCons, hvy. suspension, 4 radial PR tires, driver, VMG (with HD
ammo and magazine switch) in universal 2-space turret, extra explosive
VMG magazine below turret, 2 linked MGs (with 2 bumper triggers) front,
SMD (with TDX mines) back, HDSAs, radar, LD radio. Cargo capacity:
4 spaces, 150 lbs. LRFP armor: F30 (ramplate), R25, L25, B25, T10, U15
(130 points). Acceleration 10, Top speed 120, Cruise speed 70, DM 1, HC
4; 6,450 lbs., $37,200.
Police Motorcycle 2050
The Police Motorcycle is designed to patrol areas with little or no threat from well armed vehicles. It is also used for escorting paddy wagons carrying prisoners and other police functions. It has minimal weaponry, but can pack a small punch with its HD ammo. Sometimes the motorcycle is used as a back-up to other vehicles in chases, as its acceleration and handling are good. However, it is still a motorcycle, and with its carbon-aluminum frame, it would suffer greatly in any collision.
Police Motorcycle 2050 -- Heavy cycle with LRFP plastic cycle windshell,
medium cycle PP with PlatCats and SuperCons, hvy. suspension, 2 radial
PR tires, cyclist, MG (with HD ammo) front, FCGS (with extra magazine)
back, 2 TGDs, radar, HDABS, TC. Cargo capacity: LRFP armor: F15, B10 (25
points), 10 points LRFP plastic cycle windshell armor, two 10-pt. LRFP
plastic cycle WGs. Acceleration 10, Top speed 125, Cruise speed 75, DM
1/3, HC 3; 1,285 lbs, $13,650.
Paddy Wagon 2050
The purpose of a paddy wagon is to transport prisoners, rioters, and usually, drunks. The passenger compartment of this model can hold up to four prisoners in its cargo area, and is protected by two points of component armor, designed to keep prisoners in.
This vehicle is designed to hold its own in battle, but is better suited to a scenario where there are one or two escorts along with it. The four MGs can do some damage, but the Paddy Wagon 2050 lacks much in defensive armament, and its armor would be weak for a prolonged engagement. However, it accomplishes it purpose well; this is a very good all-around prisoner transport.
Paddy Wagon 2050 -- Six-wheel van, x-hvy. chassis, medium PP with
HD transmission, hvy. suspension, 6 radial PR tires, driver, gunner,
cargo passengers, 4 MGs (each with HD ammo; 2 linked F, 1R, 1L), HDFOJ back, HD brakes, HDSAs, LD radio, 2 TCs. Cargo capacity: FP plastic armor: F25, R20, L20, B20, T5, U10 (100 points), six 10-pt. FP plastic WGs, 2 points cargo FP plastic CA protecting all four passengers together. Acceleration 2.5 (5 at 25 mph +), Top speed 57.5, Cruise speed 37.5, DM 1, HC 3; 7,094 lbs. $29,910.
The Pursuer's main task is to make sure that fleeing felons do not get away from the police. With its 300-mph speed limit, there isn't a ground vehicle around that can outrun it. The Pursuer is a very versatile craft, able to maneuver in the city or the countryside. It has no defensive weaponry; only the laser and the two VFRPs in the EWPs on the sides. It can carry one passenger, in the gunner's position next to the driver. Because it relies heavily on the LGL, there is really no need for the gunner, since the driver can shoot the weapons himself or herself. Law Enforcement agencies use these and other helicopters to prevent fleeing felons from escape, especially when there is a threat the felon may be faster than the police car.
Pursuer -- Small helicopter, standard aircraft PP, helicopter pilot,
gunner, VFRP aimed front on EWP right, VFRP aimed front on EWP left, laser
in universal 2-space turret, LGL (laser and both VFRPs), HRTC for gunner,
LD radio. LRFP plastic armor: F40, R40, L40, B20, T10, U50 (200 points),
10 points standard plastic main rotor armor, 10 points standard plastic
stabilizing rotor armor, 10 points standard plastic armor on each EWP.
Acceleration 10, Top speed 215, Cruise speed 127.5, DM 2, HC 2; 9,230 lbs,
Federal Marshal Engager
Since Federal Marshals use all kinds of vehicles and equipment, depending on their current mission, it is difficult to develop an all-around Marshal vehicle. However, I have included the Engager, a standard camper with enough space for two prisoners, as serving warrants and taking custody of prisoners is one of the main jobs of the Federal Marshals. The acceleration on the Engager is good, and it has all-around good fighting qualities. The four linked, laser-guided heavy rockets in front would be more than enough match for just about any vehicle that is dumb enough to try and take the Engager head on. The sides are protected by MGs with heavy-duty ammo, and a fluid projector gun with flaming oil ammo guards the rear. The Engager has adequate armor, and can sustain battle for a medium amount of time. Again, the Engager is only one of the task-specific vehicles that the Federal Marshals use.
Federal Marshal Engager -- Six-wheel camper, x-hvy. chassis, sport
PP with PlatCats and SuperCons, OR suspension, 6 OR solid tires, driver,
2 cargo passengers, 4 linked HRs front, TL front, 2 MGs (each with HD ammo;
1R, 1L), FPG (with FO ammo) back, LGL (TL and 4 HRs), LD radio, HD brakes,
HDSAs, radar. Cargo capacity: (+4) spaces, 45 lbs. LRFP plastic armor:
F30, B25, R25, L25, T10, U10 (125 points), six 10-pt. LRFP plastic AWHs,
10 points cargo standard plastic CA protecting both passengers together.
Acceleration 10, Top speed 110, Cruise speed 65, DM 1, HC 1 (3 OR); 7,755