So you decided to sign up for Security, eh?
YOU HAVE THE SOUL OF AN EMPEROR.
Security Officers are the reasonably-lengthed arm of the law. Unlike the Head of Security or Warden, the humble Officer doesn't have cutting edge equipment or the walls of the Brig to hide behind. The job of a Security Officer is to meet crime and danger where it lives, in the grimy hallways and departments of the station.
Please note that just because you are THE LAW doesn't mean you can beat clowns/mimes/passengers/captains to death on a whim. Be sure to follow your own rules. You exist to protect the crew first and foremost, even if it is usually from themselves.
Patrol is one critical part of the average Security Officer's duty. Just your presence alone can discourage criminal activity, while actively moving about the station will key you in to current events or crimes in progress. Very rarely is there a reason for the average officer to be standing in the brig for extended periods of time.
Say you're patrolling and see a crime in progress. The most important thing to do is evaluate the situation first and quickly determine what kind of approach is warranted. Examine the situation, how serious is the crime? Is the offender armed and/or dangerous? Is someone's life in danger? A clown breaking a window to get into tool storage requires a different response to someone being beaten to death with an axe.
In the case that there's no clear threat to yourself, the crew, or any (valuable) station property, you'll be pleasantly surprised with how often well-chosen words can defuse a situation. Tell the clown to quit breaking the window, ask what he needs or is trying to do, and if it's something reasonable, ask on the radio if anyone can help him with it. Meeting low-intensity situations with weapons immediately escalates things which can dangerously backfire on you and turn the crew against you. Crew not looking for trouble will sometimes agree to allow themselves to be searched, saving you the trouble and energy of detaining them.
In general, where the situation permits, using your words and presence is generally a good first step into a conflict. Even some fistfights can be broken up by yelling "HEY" at both offenders and telling them to break it up.
Negotiations Have Broken Down
If it's clear that a civil discussion isn't on the table, you may have to detain the offender. Before you reach for your weapon of choice, think about the situation and what best fits:
- Flash - A small bulb which can be trigged in your hand or used on another person to temporarily blind and disorient them. This slows them down greatly, makes them much easier to follow up on with a stun baton, and disorients them enough to make fighting back difficult for a few seconds. This is very low-risk to use against offenders and should be one of your first options, since if they manage to get it away from you, your sunglasses will protect you from it. This goes in reverse though; anyone with sufficient eye protection will be immune to your flash.
- Stun Baton - Electrically charged baton. Using it in your hand turns it on and off. Turning the baton on and hitting things with it in combat mode consumes its charge but stuns them. When off or out of charge, it becomes a bludgeoning weapon, so try not to accidentally beat people into a pulp. While harder for offenders to defend against than the flash, if you get disarmed or slipped your baton can easily be used against you or stolen. Using a flash first or dealing a first strike with it before your opponent can react can make it significantly safer to use.
- Disabler - Ten-shot, stamina-based, less-lethal takedown weapon with decent range and accuracy. You must be in combat mode to fire. The disabler slings blue bolts of energy which sap the stamina of the stuck target, eventually causing them to collapse if you hit them enough times quickly. Once the suspect is stunned, you should have enough time to quickly wrestle cuffs on them. Keep in mind the disabler does deal a small amount of burn damage with each shot, so be careful about using it overzealously as it is "less-lethal" and not "non-lethal". Similarly to the baton, this can become your worst enemy if you drop it and someone else gets control of it or steals it. Furthermore, be mindful of bystanders and your fellow officers! Don't fire all of your shots off in a wild spray hoping to hit the suspect, as your co-workers and the public dislike being struck by random bolts of energy due to your poor aim.
- Flashbang Grenade - Timed-fuse flashbang grenade that can be thrown. Its effects are very similar to the flash, but stronger and in a wider area. These can be used in a pinch where a flash can't reach effectively or in large crowds to try and allow you some breathing room (if someone is trying to interfere with you dragging a prisoner, these can slow them both for a moment and allow you some time to move). Like the flash, you should follow up with another weapon after deploying this, and you are immune to its effects if you've got your sunglasses on.
And finally, once the suspect is immobilized:
- Handcuffs - Metal pair of friendship bracelets. Cuffs are faster to apply on someone who is incapacitated or stunned. If you are feeling particularly charismatic, you may be able to convince the offender to cuff themselves by tossing them the cuffs and instructing them to do so, which could save you a headache or stop you from inserting yourself into a possibly dangerous situation in close quarters. In either case, once the offender is cuffed they are unable to use their hands and can be stopped from moving by dragging them with Ctrl+Click. So as long as a detainee is being escorted by someone by being dragged, they will not be able to move away. This will enable you to search them much more easily and move them to the brig. Handcuffs can be reclaimed and used again simply by taking them off the suspect using the strip menu. It is generally considered poor form to leave the handcuffs on a detainee while they are brigged, so take them off and put them away while they serve out their sentence.
- Zipties - Plastic pair of friendship bracelets. Zipties are somewhat faster than cuffs, but can be broken out of in a shorter time if the suspect is left unattended and they cannot be re-used once they are taken (or broken) off the suspect. They can be a good option to quickly detain someone, or if the person you detain has shown a tendency to immediately attack upon being uncuffed.
To the Brig
So now, you've got a (probably agitated) offender in cuffs and secured. Next, you need to consider the situation around you. Hallway Clowns and all of the manner of citizen spectators, greys, and other undesirables love nothing more then to interfere with an arrest since they know you can only handle one person at a time. Bring your detainee directly to the Brig where practical. If you are in a secluded or otherwise low-traffic area, you may be able to do a quick search or ask a few pertinent questions, but for the most part that should be done in the Brig behind closed and secured doors, free from interference and hopefully nearby other Security personnel who can jump in and help you should your detainee attempt to escape or otherwise become problematic.
Now you need to do the other critically important part of your job which is quickly, effectively, and fairly handling someone you've detained. This is just as important as actually stopping most crimes in progress: the crew will quickly forget a quick and painless trip in and out of the brig, but they will absolutely remember if you fail to give them gear back, beat them up while they are cuffed, give them an excessive sentence, or in general demean them while they are in your custody.
Security is already a juicy target for most of the crew on the station for various reasons, so don't give anyone another reason to cave your skull in the next time you slip on a banana peel, or to bomb security. Remember, someone you've arrested is your responsibility. If you have medical supplies in Security, it is an act of good faith to make sure they get any major wounds tended to before you toss them into the brig. If possible, it is a good idea to summon a Medical Doctor to the brig to treat a severely wounded detainee.
Search and Seizure
First things first, you need to conduct a search of your detainee. Regardless of the crime, letting someone detained have access to everything in their bag, up to and potentially including firearms or other incredibly dangerous traitor items, is absolutely the fastest way to get killed in the brig. Remove their bag and search its contents for anything you have a good reason to believe may be stolen or contraband. Tasers, handcuffs, ID's and PDAs not belonging to them, weapons, all of those things need to be removed from the prisoner and put away in a secured storage. Contraband and other dangerous items will not be returned to the prisoner when they are released. Be sure to also give a cursory check inside containers within the bag, as the crew is crafty and will hide small stolen objects like ID cards in them.
Check the detainee's PDA to make sure their own ID is in it, make sure you look at their pockets, and remove any tools they may have before you brig them as those make it extremely easy for them to break out. Remove any sunglasses in case you need to flash them later. Bundle all of the removed gear up in their bag (as much as will fit) and place it to the side outside the cell or secure it temporarily in an evidence locker.
Chat with your detainee, who will almost undoubtedly want to talk to you about all the manner of things. Try to determine if there's any other factors at play to their crime, try to mitigate their outrage that you would have the audacity to arrest them, assure them that their equipment (minus contraband) will be returned to them after you are done. There's nothing worse to a detainee then the arresting officer they are dealing with not saying a single word the entire time they are in your custody.
Time for Crime
You will have to brig your offender for a few minutes, depending on the crime. Be reasonable and take totality of the circumstances into account. Look to the Warden or Head of Security for guidance on brig times for particular crimes and go from there. For very minor crimes like minor theft or vandalism, you may consider just releasing them after you search them as you have already had them in your custody for about two minutes.
Once you put the offender in the brig, don't just buckle them to the bed in cuffs and leave them there. Remove the cuffs and leave them buckled in the cell, then make sure they serve the sentence. Once that's done, let them out of the brig, make sure all of their possessions (minus contraband or dangerous equipment) are returned to them, and get them out of the brig so you can repeat your cycle anew.
- Any members of Security and some of the Heads of Staff cannot be selected as traitor. Trust in and work together with your fellow officers.
- Keep sensitive items like weapons and security gear under lock and key! Do not just leave contraband, weapons, equipment, tools, or other gear lying around out in the open in plain view, especially unattended as this invites thieves to try and make off with them and makes any detainees that get loose many times more dangerous. Stow your unused gear in a security locker and lock those lockers with Alt+Click when you are done.
- Lawyers are civilians that are not members of security, but they do have brig access. If you have a strange man in a suit and tie walk into the brig asking to see your prisoners, oblige him but do not let him interfere with your searches, arrests, or brig timing unless he has a very good reason.
- Don't be afraid to pair up with another Officer! It is much more difficult for the crew to interfere with you if there are two of you and you can both back one another up when something goes wrong.
- You only start out with general security and maintenance access, so you can't get your way into departments to help the crew without another crew member from that department, or, if the Head of Personnel can be made agreeable, extra access assigned to your card. Chat with your boss and the Head of Personnel to see if you can get basic additional access to areas like Medbay, Engineering, the Bar, or other similar areas so you can more effectively respond to calls for help there. Just remember this makes your ID more valuable if stolen by an offender!
- Listen to your radio! The crew will often voice various complaints over the radio which can clue you in to crimes in progress or particular crew members to look out for.
- Security is a careful battle of keeping yourself in the general public's good graces. Security hurts the hardest when all of the crew is working against what you are trying to do, and you only make it worse if you make the crew distrust you. Treat prisoners fairly without putting anyone in undue danger.
- The Warden should be watching over the Brig and Armory for you. Generally he can make sure prisoners serve out their sentence and get their belongings back afterwards, which frees you up from sitting in the brig for a few minutes. The Warden will also hand out other security gear as needed, such as lethal weapons.
- Serious crimes and traitorous activity often happen outside of the main hallways and crowded public areas where everyone is watching. Remember that you have access to maintenance tunnels if you need to move around other parts of the station and remember to give them a patrol every now and again. Be sure to bring a SecLite and be careful within the narrow halls, but keep in mind the light and noise of your movement gives away your position.
- If the Head of Security or Warden hands out lethal weapons such as the Cog Laser Carbine or Kammerer shotgun, it will generally be for a serious station threat. Occasionally in the case of crewmembers or the syndicate using overwhelming firepower, lethal weapons and force may be authorized to be used against them. Just keep in mind that for situations involving a single offender, your basic equipment is usually more effective. Remember to visit the Server Rules and brush up on escalation rules and what's expected from Security and Command when lethal force is involved.
- Tell your fellow co-workers where you are going and make sure they acknowledge you if you decide to investigate something suspicious in a low-traffic area! There is no faster way to get ambushed and killed then to investigate a bump in the night from the nearby Maintenance tunnel only to walk in on an entire team of Nuclear Operatives who just breached their way into the station. The only thing that's worse about almost assuredly dying in this scenario is if you didn't tell anyone where you were, what you were doing, or didn't scream over the radio in time, it is highly likely nobody will even realize you are missing!