NOTE: The RPIT for Chicago has effectively disbanded as of June 2007 and all of the members of it have transferred internally to other jobs. This means that ANY and ALL cops can respond to distress calls involving preternaturals.
Applicants for the Regional Preternatural Investigation Team must be 21-40 years of age and currently employed as a non-probationary certified Illinois Law Enforcement Officer. Applicants must provide documentation that they have fulfilled the requirements of the Illinois Police Training Act. Those candidates that are out of state law enforcement officers must provide documentation that they have met and fulfilled the requirements of their respective training boards and must be eligible to receive certification through the Illinois Training Board. Candidates will be required to take an entry level written exam and entry level physical agility exam, drug screening, application and experience verification, oral interview, background investigation, psychological exam, and medical exam.
Applicants must have at least 60 semester (90 quarter) hours of credit from an accredited college or university. Also acceptable are applicants with four years of continuous active duty in the armed forces of the United States.
Applicant MUST NOT have any of the disqualifying items listed below:
- Any felony charges or convictions
- Any discharge from the Armed Forces other than honorable
- Any charges or conviction of a crime involving Domestic Violence
Once hired, the applicant will be required to successfully complete a field training program and 18 month probationary period. After said training program and probationary period, the officer shall be issued a voucher to expedite the purchase of silver rounds, should the officer desire them.
As the name implies, the RPIT is very hit or miss from city to city, often little more than deputized citizens and disgruntled police. A few groups exist among countries to cover Preternatural Situations, but they are often few and far between. The United States has a branch of the FBI, Bureau 13, (also known as 'Special Research Section'), that is often called in when matters seem vastly out of the scope of the local RPIT. Although founded under President Lincoln, the existence of the Bureau has been kept fairly low-key until recent years. The United Kingdom has MI-20, formed around the time of World War One, and sometimes called the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense. The STN (Solomon Toukatsu Nin'idantai) was founded in Japan (STN-J), but also has offices in Venice (STN-I). The United Nations has a branch called U.N.I.T. (the U.N. Intelligence Taskforce - "Any threat. Any location. Protecting humanity no matter how far it takes us." UK Website http://www.unit.org.uk …the French office is N.U.I.T. and the Russian one is O.G.R.O.N.) for similar endeavors.
In contrast to these intelligence groups, the United States Military has a covert group of shifters used for specialty missions not unlike the Navy Seals, often using Rodere as their were-of-choice. Although these various groups exist, none of them are exactly attempting to gain any public press so even really knowing that they exist should be cleared through Staff first, unless told ICly about them. Even more rare is for a character to've been in one of these groups, or to presently be in one.
In Europe, many schools and colleges to research magic sprung up in the late 1700s, some of the more notable in London, Paris (L'Academie du Contre Nature, part of the Sorbonne), and Venice (Università di Ghiaccio). In America, the Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research (PEAR) laboratory in New Jersey tends to be outstanding in the field. The US Government maintained the Office of Preternatural Assessment (OPA) from 1972 to 1995; providing Congress with objective and authoritative analysis of matters beyond the mundane for twenty-three years until disbanded by President Reagan.
Given the constant preternatural threat facing the country, the RPIT is often called in for not just the blatantly preternatural crimes but also the traditional 'locked room murders' (since magic is the first theory as to "WhoDunIt?"). Five of the most common laws upheld by the RPIT are:
- It is illegal for a vampire to 'bring over' a minor
- Infecting someone with lycanthropy is a capital offense (be it intentional or accidental)
- Using magic to kill someone (be it intentional, accidental, or even self-defense) is a capital offense
- Using magic to assist in a felony is a capital offense
- Using magic to "bend the will of the unwilling for personal gain through magical chicanery or suggestion" (this is the 1937 "Unnatural Activities Act" and is often subject to case-by-case interpretation by courts in hearings concerning 'magical malfeasance') is a capital offense
- All are mandatory death sentences upon conviction.
Oftentimes, standard legal procedures are changed when the suspect is of a preternatural nature. For most crimes, it tends to work in a fairly typical routine — the preter is accused, the investigation begins and evidence is complied, an arrest warrant is issued for the preter if it seems a valid accusation, they're brought in for questioning. Rarely is the preter kept in holding for more than 24 hours, virtually never for a week. If it looks like a trial will take place, preternatural trials often are given precedence over mundane ones.
Much like the "Y2K Bug", many systems of official record-keeping were thrown awry with the legalization of vampires, given the fact that most data-entry requires a first and a last name, yet many vampires refuse to acknowledge their "birth name", instead going with the single-word nom de plume. As such, it is not uncommon to enter "Vampire" as a first name on police records, abbreviated to "V." (EG: Ruthven the vampire gives a statement to the police; it's credited to V.Ruthven)
Once a preter comes to trial, there are three results: They are found to be innocent, they are sentenced to pay a fine, or they are sentenced to death. Sometimes there may be community service, but that is typically reserved for 'social crimes' and not violent ones. Any crime that would normally have a mandatory time spent in prison or jail is upgraded to a death sentence for
preternaturals. If a preter jumps bail, is unable to pay a sentenced fine, or misses a court date, that also is upgraded to a death sentence. If there is outstanding evidence for magical malfeasance, it is often fairly easy for the RPIT officers to convince a judge to cut directly to an Execution Warrant.
Once an Execution Warrant has been issued for a preter, there are no appeals; the only way it can be rescinded is by way of evidence that proves their innocence. Non-citizen Fae are typically deported, citizen Fae stand trial.
Execution Warrants are to be carried out by the appropriately named group of individuals called "Executioners" and not by the standard police force. Often after a formal execution of a preternatural, the corpse's head and heart are removed and the remains are cremated (and sometimes rendered down further with acid). In the case of a death sentence, execution is done "in house" by a team of trained professionals.
In England, the 1541 Witchcraft Act was almost repealed in 1951, but was upheld by courts. Namely, "It shall be Felony to practise, or cause to be practised Conjuration, Witchcraft, Enchantment or Sorcery, for to get Money; or for to consume any Person in his Body, Members or Goods; or for to provoke any Person to unlawful Love; or for the Despight of Christ; or for Lucre of Money; or for to pull down any Cross; or for to declare where Goods stolen be; or for to invoke or conjure an evil Spirit." Conviction is punishable by death without Last Rites.
Memo from the Chicago Police Department, Bureau of Crime Strategies and Accountability.
For those of the CPD who are unsure of preternatural suspects and the apprehension thereof, this simplified reminder course should be of help.
- Lycanthropes: Although seemingly normal the majority of the time, most Lycanthropes are possessed of unnatural might and preternatural abilities. Being previously normal humans who are now under the influence of a preternatural agent, they possess the rights and responsibilities of your average John or Jane Q. Public unless they use preternatural abilities to assist in a felony. If a -specific- Execution Warrant has been issued against the Lycanthropic individual, said execution is to be carried out by an individual of the appropriately named 'Executioner' branch of the U.S.Marshals (some of whom can go out on calls, others are stationed at the State Penitentiary for executing convicted preternaturals already apprehended). Non-Executioner police officers are -not- to attempt to carry out an Execution Warrant against a Lycanthrope. Period. This stated, police officers -are- allowed to defend themselves against a potentially fatal threat (to themselves or to the public) from a Lycanthrope just as they would against a normal person who was armed with a semi-automatic shotgun full of radioactive explosive poisonous shells.
- Vampires: Many of the recommendations for dealing with Lycanthropes pertain to dealing with the Vampiric members of the population. One key difference rests upon if an undead individual has not registered as a citizen of the United States of America (either before or after their death). If not registered as a citizen, they are to be treated like any other tourist or non-citizen immigrant, with deportation being a clearly potential outcome. Unfortunately many vampires have no legal 'country of origin' given that most of the world's nations do not recognize vampires as potential citizens. In these cases, the vampires offenders are often given hefty fines, placed in a work-detail parole to work off heftier fines, or sentenced to execution (even though their crimes may not be on the scale of most executionable preternaturals). Although vampires are debilitated by objects of faith as well as sunlight, and such debilitation is through magical means, a police officer debilitating a vampire with either is -not- considered to be guilty of magical malfeasance. That stated, both are officially frowned upon as relied methods for patrol officers since either can leave little to no forensic evidence, have little recourse for mistaken identity, and can bring harm to innocent vampiric bystanders. Religious officers are allowed to carry small symbols of their faith for protection, but it is suggested they keep them concealed so as to not prompt undo distress.
St.Jude is the Patron Saint of the CPD.
St.Michael is the Patron Saint of Police Officers.
Blessed medallions for either can be managed through Our Lady of Lourdes (on Ashland Avenue).
- Fairies: Many of the recommendations for dealing with Vampires pertain to dealing with fairies. A key difference being that their race was invited to reside in the United States at the country's dawn, with the potential of registering as United States citizens. Those who are citizens are to be treated no better and no worse than any other magic wielding US citizen. Those who are -not- citizens are to be treated as effective 'tourists' from the Fae Courts. That is to say, for minor crimes they can be given the option of minor sentences or deportation, or to be sentenced to deportation (to their lands of origin, or to the nearest appropriate Fairy Reservation). For major crimes, they are to be sentenced to deportation, although particularly violent offenders may be 'neutralized' in the interest of public safety if it is impossible to apprehend them and if there is no time to have the matter attended to by the proper Fae Court authorities (Much like a French tourist who is atop a water tower with a high-powered rifle? Odds are they will have to be neutralized before the French Embassy can send forces over).
- Gang Activity: Although many preternatural individuals claim a "need" to belong to a pack of Lycanthropes or to be "oathed" to the self-titled vampire "Master of the City" (AKA: MotC), most leading preterologists attribute this to the same "need" a junkie has for heroin, the "need" a sexual deviant has for unnatural domination/subjugation, and the "need" a gang-member has to belong to a criminal organization. As such, any officer dealing with preternatural matters must keep a watchful guard against this "need" influencing suspects and testimony. It is also suggested one keep a watchful guard against this "need" influencing any officers of a preternatural nature; an officer suspected of being in a "pack", of being "oathed", or being under any other preternatural pressure (be the officer Lycanthropic, Vampiric, Fae, Psychic, Magical, or normal) is as subject to an inquiry from the Bureau of Crime Strategies and Accountability as would any other officer suspected of being under the influence of conflicting "gang" interests.
- Preternatural Evidence: Although information and evidence obtained through magical or psychic means is often able to assist an investigation, most if not all courts will consider such evidence inadmissible unless it can be backed with mundane facts that were divulged through mundane means. Some judges may issue Search Warrants based on magical or psychic evidence, but they are few and far between and there is no assurance that the judge who handles the case will be quite so "liberal" in their views.