What is an RPA?

All you old-timers in the audience might be a little confused by our frequent use of the phrase “RPA”, and why it is interchangeable with “cops”. Well, to put it simply, police work is a tad different these days. Instead of the municipal police forces you might be familiar with, most modern law enforcement is handled by Rights Protection Agencies: quasi-private military corporations which augment (or in some cases supplant) municipal police forces. Instead of being wholly state-funded, RPAs only receive a fragmentary portion of their income—called a commission—from the municipal budget. The lion’s share of their money comes from individual citizens, who may opt to pay their RPA of choice for extra benefits. Common benefits include your distress calls getting prioritization over others, and agents being dispatched to investigate the aftermath of a crime where no perpetrator is apprehended at the scene.

Today the largest RPAs active in the UCAS are Gatekeeper Security, Southwark Protection Service, and Long/Thicke Security Co. Each one specializes in a different theater of operations with a unique MO—each of which is detailed on their respective pages in this guide.

What happened to the police?

They’re still there, sort of. The adoption of RPAs in Canada was a necessary response to the I-day aftermath: the number of inkish people living in and around Canada was so vast that there was quite literally no way for the Canadian government to mount an effective law enforcement program with their extant corpus. Therefore, during the early days of inkish settlement, the government deputized a number of inkish persons to act as law enforcement within their communities—prioritizing those persons who had some familiarity with police work from their homepages. At that point, it was generally thought that inkish persons would have no use for money, food, and other comforts; and so these people were promised no particular compensation by the government.

Nature ran its course. The small number of deputized inkmen began to sub-deputize trusted members of their community, and even then they had to prioritize specific needs over others. Their charges, naturally, began attempting to curry favor by offering services or what few goods they could scrounge; and life in inkish housing projects began to resemble the wild West of the American expansion. The most effective enforcement groups were able to keep a crude form of order among their camps, often using smuggled American firearms. With no real oversight, corruption and favoritism became part of everyday life for nearly every inkish settlement; but it was ultimately preferable to the alternative of rampant chaos. During this time, it became common to call these “rights protection agencies”—borrowing terminology from the law enforcement industry of America.

In 2053, as the chaos of Canadian/American unification finally began to settle down, Parliament finally turned its attention towards the inkish RPAs, which had by this point become well-entrenched. Here they were faced with a very real issue: for while their methods were unorthodox and occasionally unconstitutional, the RPAs had found success at a near-impossible task. In May, MP Spotty Giraffe introduced the bill to integrate the RPAs’ corpus into the Canadian government, more or less unaltered but subject a new series of checks and balances which would reduce corruption. The public reaction was initially very negative: a similar plan had been instituted in the United States shortly before its collapse, to absolutely disastrous results.

After nearly 6 months of continuous discussion, parliament finally drafted the unimaginatively-named Private Law Enforcement Integration Bill, which officially empowered Canadian RPAs to act as law enforcement officers—albeit with a series of far-reaching caveats. Chief among this was the stipulation that any given municipality could only spend up to 10% of its total law enforcement budget on RPA fees, and the rest would have to be reserved for city-run police officers. In theory this ensured that even the poorest city would still have a dedicated police department, and that for-profit businesses would never be able to unilaterally divide a region into “safe” and “unsafe” as had happened during the American cordons.

In practice, many parts of his country are still near-lawless: underprivileged areas, as a rule, do not benefit from RPA protection. In places like Cob Country and Nunavut, underfunded police departments struggle to patrol vast swathes of populated terrain without the RPAs’ aid; and in Saskatoon’s own spaghetti district, the municipal budget only pays for 12 hours’ worth of RPA protection each day. In brief: it’s the second verse, same as the first. While conditions have yet to deteriorate to the level of the American cordons, it is no secret that the Canadian government has been scrambling for decades to keep the situation from becoming completely unmanageable.

Notable RPAS Today

Gatekeeper Security

<div class="content"

Gatekeeper Security is the most venerable private security firm on the planet, dating all the way back to 1997. Founded by ex-members of the US military as Deep Dusk Security Service, the company specialized in rural operations—serving in nearly every one the Middle East proxy wars. Throughout its history, Gatekeeper’s reputation was persistently spotty: the company and its leadership were implicated in numerous war crimes across multiple theaters; and to avoid a near constant-barrage of scandal, the company changed names a total of 16 times.

After the institution of RPAs into American society, Gatekeeper (under the name Leafdown Protections) began working domestic contracts across the Midwest. During this time they helped to enforce, but did not institute, the cordon of Missouri. After the outbreak of the war, Gatekeeper briefly fought on the side of the government, before withdrawing after just two weeks. One quick rebrand later, they helped secure rebellion supply lines up and down the Mississippi River and provided security for the second constitutional convention—thus securing their place in the new American order. Though initially tenuous, Gatekeeper would strengthen its position in the cultural consciousness with a wildly successful community outreach campaign. During this time it would settle on its current, and so far final, business name.

Today, Gatekeeper primarily operates in Cob Country, the Deep South, and subrural Saskatchewan. While they are nominally a protection service, they never really made the transition from “private army” to “private police”, and their current MO reflects that: their marksman corps is world-renowned, with an average engagement range of between .7 and 1.5 kilometers. They are the only RPA which regularly uses active camo and artillery as part of its normal going order, and they shy away from almost all direct engagement. Their doctrine prioritizes a strategy of hitting hard, fast, and exactly once. If you’re moving on a Gatekeeper property, presume at all times that you are being watched. Stay indoors, use camouflage, move carefully; and if you see a bush you should always, always take a moment to attack it with an axe or machete.

</div>

Southwark Protection Services

They’re the angriest, shoutiest, punchiest RPA on the planet. SPS was founded in 2077 by a drawing of an Anglican bishop, who named it after his old diocese. Ever since then, they have been steadily beating the piss out of malcontents, criminals, and minorities the world over. Of the major Canadian RPAs, they work the most like a conventional police department: specializing in low-income urban areas and close-quarters tactics, SPS regularly employs shields, shotguns, and good old-fashioned English bum rushing.

Controversially, Southwark Protection has branded itself as a Christian organization since its inception—making it one of the only publicly-trading companies in Canada to openly espouse any particular religion. This has lead many detractors to accuse Southwark of abusing Canada’s constitutional separation of church and state; but RPAs, technically being government-subsidized companies and not actual governmental entities, are not required to abide by that particular provision. Perhaps more notably, it has lead to a popular and persistent rumor that the Bishop—who has remained the company’s majority owner—is carrying on an illicit affair with one of the Beef-Pat-E chickens; but so far such claims have remained unsubstantiated.

Your best bet against the Southies is to bring a big gun and draw it before they draw theirs. As soon as they decide you’re a security concern, they’re gonna come at you all piss and vinegar, with every high-impact close-range weapon you can name. They have shotguns, flashbangs, submachine guns, and armor thick enough to give you a real pain in the ass. You shouldn’t be too surprised if you run into a mech suit or two, so make sure you bring a few EMP tools if you’re going in on a particularly well-fortified area.