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The Colonial Police Force

British Law Enforcement on Mars in Space: 1889

by John Gannon

The Colonial Police Force

Just as Sir Robert Peel brought a uniformed police force to the streets of London in the 1830s, it was the efforts of another English parliamentarian that ensured that as British influence spread across Mars, a uniformed constabulary was not far behind. The Colonial Police Force, or CPF, is the creation of The Honourable William Winston Arundel, the first Colonial Secretary for Mars. Established in 1880, the CPF is empowered by the Colonial Administration to enforce law and order within the cities of the Martian Crown Colony. The CPF is a distinct and separate organization from the Royal Martian Constabulary (which is detailed in TRMGS).

Realizing from the outset that the CPF would be operating in circumstances unique from those encountered on Earth, the CPF was recruited and organized to cope with the realities of Mars. This including arming the CPF with pistols, as opposed to the traditional unarmed constable of the London Metropolitan Police. Also, with Human and Martian residents in each city, it was realized that the Colonial Police Force needed to be composed of both Human and Martian Constables and Sergeants. This was implemented, though only Humans may serve as Inspectors and Commissioners.

The CPF is administered and supervised by the Colonial Office on Mars, and the Chief Commissioner of the CPF reports directly to the Colonial Secretary (see the Colonial Civil Service for more details). Reporting to the Chief Commissioner are seven other Commissioners, each responsible for one of the cities in the colony. The names of these gentlemen are:

Chief Commissioner of the Colonial Police Force: Sir Vernon Woolford
Police Commissioner for Syrtis Major: Ronald Dunn
Police Commissioner for Avenel: Peter Taylor
Police Commissioner for Haat: John Woodward
Police Commissioner for Parhoon: Stephen Ashworth
Police Commissioner for Gorovaan: Sir Ronald Braithwaite
Police Commissioner for Meepsoor: Christopher Smith
Police Commissioner for Moeris Lacus: David Rowe

Under each Commissioner are the Inspectors, Sergeants, and Constables that comprise the CPF in each city. Please note that from amongst the total number of Inspectors in each city, one will be designated as "Chief Inspector" for that particular city. The distribution of these persons is based upon the following ratios:

Inspector 1 for each 10,000 inhabitants
Human Sergeant 1 for each 5,000 inhabitants
Native Sergeant 1 for each 3,000 inhabitants
Human Constable 1 for each 1,000 inhabitants
Native Constable 1 for each 500 inhabitants

Using these ratios for the city of Syrtis Major (Pop: 150,000) we find that the CPF in Syrtis Major should consist of 1 Commissioner; 15 Inspectors (one of whom is Chief Inspector); 30 Human Sergeants; 50 Native Sergeants; 150 Human Constables; and 300 Native Constables, for a total force of 546 policemen. Whether there are actually that many officers on the force or not, is an ongoing question, and the actual number of officers may indeed be less than shown.

The uniform of the Colonial Policeman consists of tan tunic and pants, low brown boots, White Police Helmet, and Sam Brown Belt. On the right collar is worn their Force Number and on the left collar are the initials "CPF". Inspectors and Chief Inspectors wear 2 and 3 silver pips respectively on their right collar (as opposed to a constable's Force Number) while Commissioners wear a gold Crown on red collar tabs and the Chief Commissioner wears a Gold Laurel on his red collar tab.

All constables and sergeants, both Human and Martian, carry silver whistles with which to call for assistance. As well, a baton (known as a "Billy Club") and a light pistol (with ammunition) are provided by the Force. The Service Pistol is attached to a shoulder lanyard to prevent it being dropped or stolen. Native Constables do not receive pistols or pistol training, until they achieve the rank of Sergeant. Not surprisingly, all members of the CPF, be they Human or Martian, are known amongst the citizens as "Bill" "Billies" or "Billy-Boys" (in reference to the creator of the CPF, William Arundel), in much the same was as British policemen on Earth are known as "Bobbies" and "Peelers" (in reference to Robert Peel). The correct form of address for members of the CPF is actually "PC", meaning Police Constable (for Humans), "NC" meaning Native Constable (for Martians), or "PS" (Police Sergeant) and "NS" (Native Sergeant) respectively. Inspectors and Commissioners are addressed by those titles.

Members of the CPF are paid in accordance with the rates shown below:

Pay Scale & Rank Insignia

Native Constable 10/month Black Cuffs, Plain Sleeve
Human Constable 15/month Red Cuffs, 1 Chevron on Right Sleeve
Native Sergeant 15/month Black Cuffs, 2 Chevrons on Right Sleeve
Human Sergeant 20/month Red Cuffs, 3 Chevrons on Right Sleeve
Inspector 35/month Red & Gold Cuffs, 2 Silver Pips on Right Collar
Chief Inspector 50/month Red & Gold Cuffs, 3 Silver Pips on Right Collar
Deputy Commisioner 75/month Red & Gold Cuffs, Gold Crown on Right Collar
Chief Commissioner 100/month Red & Gold Cuffs, Gold Laurel on Right Collar

Generating Colonial Police Force Characters

Because the CPF is administered by the Colonial Office on Mars, it is considered a
Government Career for the purposes of character creation. Human characters have the choice
of Constables, Sergeants, or Inspectors. Martian characters may select either constable or
sergeant careers. Please note there is no Detecive Branch within the CPF.

Government Careers:

Colonial Policeman
Human Constable: Pre-Requisites: (Str 3+/End 3+/Male Only)

Skills: Close Combat 2
Observation 1
Marksmanship 2 (Pistol)
Tracking 1
Linguistics 1 (Parhooni)

Native Constable: Pre-Requisites: (Str 3+/End 3+/Male Only)

Skills: Close Combat 2
Observation 2
Linguistics 1 (English)
Tracking 1

Native Sergeant: Second Career Only, Int 4+

Skills: As per Native Constable plus Marksmanship 1 (Pistol)

Human Sergeant: Second Career Only; Int 4+

Skills: As per Human Constable plus Leadership 1

Inspector: Pre-Requisites: (Soc 3+/Int 4+/Male Only)

Skills: Close Combat 1
Observation 2
Marksmanship 2 (Pistol)
Linguistics 1 (Parhooni)
Leadership 1

It should be remembered that the Police Careers described above represent the more "civilized" metropolitan/urban constable, similar to the London Metropolitan Police, as opposed to the rugged para-military constable of the Royal Martian Constabulary (as described in TRMGS). The Colonial Policeman is responsible for the maintenance of law and order within the larger cities of British Colony, not for battling foreign invaders or putting down native uprisings. Of course, whatever job the CPF may be called upon to undertake, the citizens of the Mars Colony may rest assured that it is being carried out by the most efficent, and proficient constabulary, the Red Planet has ever seen.

Author Biography:

Name: John Gannon
Age: 43
Background: Amateur Historian; Semi-professional writer, became involved in boardgames in the late 1960's, miniatures in 1970/71, and RPG's in 1976. Favourite RPGs are all discontinued games (GDW's Space: 1889, FASA's ST:RPG, TimeLine's Morrow Project, and FGU's Villains & Vigilantes). John is married with children and is now semi-retired after a 22 year career in the Canadian Army.

Posted Monday, 04-May-2009 19:51:56 EDT

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