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LEO Jurisdictional Guidelines

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Law enforcement in 1876 was a somewhat less rigid affair than it is in the 21st century. Sheriff's offices sometimes changed hands on a whim after locals discovered the man they had elected was himself an outlaw and formed a posse to oust him from the position, while federal agents in unincorporated territory were often left to their own devices and expected to enforce the law by any means necessary. Nonetheless, there are some jurisdictional rules and expectations law enforcement characters must follow to ensure proper portrayal of their characters.

United States Marshals Service

  • Investigations into violations of federal law by American citizens and any peoples who are not tribal Indians
  • Fugitive pursuit and recovery
  • Protection details for state officials, on request of state government
  • Courtroom duties, on request of state government
  • Distributing bounty posters and arrest warrants statewide
  • Enforcing the law in unincorporated federal territory (New Austin)

Federal Marshals are, in a sense, the highest law enforcement agency in the land. A U.S. Marshal who is appointed by the President himself oversees regional Deputy Marshals in executing their authority in all states and territories across the nation. While the US Marshal Service can act as law enforcement anywhere they go, typically they only pursue plain sight lawbreakers, whom they detain and deliver to local authorities. Unless their aid is requested, Marshals rarely intervene in local affairs.

United States Army, Cavalrymen

  • Large scale manhunts and organized action against threats to the nation
  • All tribal Indian affairs
  • May be levied against significant threats by the Governor or Lieutenant Governor

Soldiers are not law enforcement agents, traditionally speaking. Their primary directive is to handle the Indian peoples of the United States, ensuring that they remain on federally appropriated tribal land, adhere to the tenets of any agreed upon treaties, and are not otherwise impinging upon American citizens. Though they are not charged with state law enforcement, they may detain plain sight lawbreakers and deliver them to local authorities.

Sheriff / Chief of Police / Undersheriff

  • Oversee law enforcement and peacekeeping efforts at a county/large city level
  • Employ, organize and direct rank and file deputies/policemen
  • Liaise with other sheriff's offices/police departments and the state and federal government
  • Engage in miscellaneous political affairs at the state and county level

The upper management of any sheriff's office or city police department. Sheriffs and police chiefs are typically elected, while their second-in-command is appointed once they are in office. They share the highest authority at the county or city level, alongside a mayor or council, and ensure that the law is enforced in their broad jurisdiction. Most sheriffs and police chiefs do not engage in much direct action themselves, preferring to leave that sort of daily work to their second.

Town Marshal

  • Oversee law enforcement and peacekeeping efforts in an incorporated township
  • Employ, organize and direct rank and file deputies/policemen in their town

Town Marshals—not to be confused with federal Marshals—are the primary authority in an incorporated township that is not the county seat. They serve at the pleasure of the county sheriff, and are responsible for a sheriff's duties in and around the town that they are the Marshal of.

Sheriff's Deputies / Policemen

  • Enforce the law and keep the peace only in the jurisdiction in which they are deputized

Deputies and policemen make up the rank and file law enforcement officers of any given state. They are deputized in a singular county or city, and their authority does not extend beyond the borders of that area. They cannot enforce the law elsewhere, outside of exigent circumstances, such as pursuing a bountied individual or lawbreaker into another jurisdiction.

Edited by Sidewinder
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