The rain lashes down in sheets, cutting into your body and face as you hurry along the wind-swept street, exhorting your men to greater efforts. You point to an abandoned warehouse, starkly illuminated by a flash of lightning.
- "Don't forget to check in there too lads! You never know where these damned rebels may be hiding."
Pulling your cloak more tightly around yourself, you survey the street. Apart from your own men, who seemed to be taking an unholy relish in conducting the raids, there is no-one else in sight. All of the local villagers are cowering inside their homes, fervently praying that their house would be one of the few spared search by the soldiers. You smile to yourself: your troops are good lads, just a trifle over-zealous at times when they are looking for rebels. Sometimes one or two more heads might get bashed than appropriate, but still, it is good to keep the commoners reminded that disloyalty to the realm is never tolerated.
A shout to your left brings you hurrying over to the warehouse, where your soldiers drag out three men. The men attempt to resist, but it is no use, the soldiers' grips are firmly clamped. You quickly look the captured suspects over.
- "Excellent work boys! These are the ones we've been looking for. A spell in the castle dungeon will soon teach them not to plot against us, eh? Take them away, and make sure they're treated with all the courtesy that rebels deserve."
As the prisoners are dragged away, each crying out their own innocence, you turn round and head back to camp. You hadn't recognised them, but anyone hiding out on a night like this was surely up to no good. You smile to yourself again: all in all it had been a most productive evening.
Every region has some level of independence: whether active plotters, or a general feeling that life would be better under different governance. To some extent this can be quelled by a judge or local lord holding court, but sometimes it's necessary to put police on the streets.
Police work can be carried out in any region within the borders of your own realm. You first need to pay your men, and then you will have the option of turning them into a police unit in the unit settings section of your Paperwork centre. Although you can set your unit as police without it, you can't use them for police work until you have enough honour (between 13-15 minimum honour required). Bureaucrats' units are police by default. Heroes, on the other hand, consider police work beneath them, and cannot command police units. Police units will fight, but at a penalty to combat strength and morale -- they are simply not well-equipped for a pitched battle, and that's not what they're paid for.
You must have at least 15 honor to perform police work. There are multiple types of police work, mostly under the Police Work option on the Orders page:
Patrol the Streets
Your unit hits the streets, keeping an eye open for suspicious types. Since they're not really fighting crime, it won't help realm control much, but it makes it much easier to nab infiltrators and other enemy troop leaders who are skulking around your regions.
Normal Police Work
Your unit investigates crime and keeps the peace. It serves to both keep the people safe, and remind them of your realm's presence in their region. These both serve to curb thoughts of independence.
Your unit takes an active hand in anti-insurgent operations, raiding suspected hideouts and dragging people off for questioning. This works much better than regular police work, but can make the people of the region very unhappy.
Just like the option to hang rebels which non-police units get, but less brutal and marginally more fair to the accused. Appears as its own option under Orders, not with the other Police Work options.
In addition to the potential of making the people of a region unhappy, police work will affect your unit. Some units actually like the work; it's safe, helps the realm and gives them a bit of authority. Some units hate it; they'd rather be fighting. Only time and experience will tell a troop leader what his troops will think about orders like this.