Patrols are the police force of Dalton, protecting the city from threats from the inside and out. All Patrol officers must be Citadel Academy graduates and have completed a minimum of a year’s service without pay to be considered for full time positions. Cadets can become Officers within one year of fulfilling their year probation, and from there have the opportunity to advance to Sergeant and then Lieutenant. A typical career in the Patrols lasts twenty to twenty-five years, and retirees who have served this length or longer receive benefits based on their rank at retirement.
There are two main kinds of posting a Patrol can receive. There are the in-city postings that are the most commonly known kind, and then there are Perimeter Guard postings. Some of these involve being stationed at the Barrier wall and checking incoming and outgoing traffic. However, there are also units of mounted Patrols stationed at the former Air Force base, the former airport, and old Camp Rapid. These guards check the trains for riders, provide policing and protection to the farms outside the city, and were also intended to act as armed military in case of any encroachment from the thriving Oglala Nation Sioux community. However, this has never been utilized. The Perimeter Guards only ever saw much action during the riots when units were sent into the city. Normally they ride in circuits of the farms, staying overnight with various farm families. They are trained to fight both wild animals and human and Mixed raiders. Many Mixed Patrols are assigned to these divisions as their instincts allow them to predict weather dangers and also to track criminals or animals better than a human.
Some Patrols serve their early probation period working inside the Reconditioning Complex as guards, because of the cooperation between Law Enforcement and Reconditioning. Most transfer to street patrolling afterward, but some, mostly inside guards, remain at the Complex the rest of their careers.
Patrols carry a variety of equipment. Besides the standard black boots, black pants, white shirt and blue overcoat, all officers carry an equipment belt and a leg knife holster. Inside the city only station lieutenants carry guns, which are issued from reserves left over from Ellsworth Air Force Base. Perimeter guards almost all carry guns. Ammunition is in short supply, so anyone who wants to carry must be able to prove they are excellent shots who will not waste resources. The test is incredibly difficult, as each officer is given a gun loaded with two bullets, and must shoot a target in motion at variable range and be within two inches of the target point with each shot. Many Patrols prefer to avoid this and instead become skilled using throwing knives, slingshots, or other more sustainable weapons. Mixed Patrols often use any genetic assists they have. Guards carry handcuffs and lengths of twine for restraining prisoners, as well as multi-layer leather gloves and a muzzle for arresting violent Mixeds. The uniform hat is a felt cap like a newsboy cap designed to keep off rain and sun.
Every officer carries at all times a small booklet with their name, serial ID, posting, rank, and year of Academy graduation written in the front. This booklet is most often used to record contacts and major events. Daily reports are generally given by memory, a skill which is honed during Academy training.
Mixed Patrols are fairly common, as an Academy education is often the only way for them to escape the Blue’s slums. However, these officers are often seen as traitors by the other Mixed, and are more likely to be the victims of ambush attacks in the Blue than a human Patrol. For this reason, many are stationed as Perimeter Guards or in the poorer human Sectors. A few manage to gain postings in the White, but never in the Gold. Mixeds are also never allowed to act as guards inside the Reconditioning Complex.