Lone Star Security Ratings
Security ratings are defined by the amount of coverage that Lone Star (or any other security agency) is paid to provide to an area. The ratings are universal, and have even come into common parlance: Renraku touted their Seattle arcology as “Triple-A security for 100,000 people,” although in the long run that rating did them very little good. Lone Star’s coverage ends where a corporation’s extraterritorial property begins, so a business in the Z-zone may be guarded by Renraku Red Samurai or Knight Errant elite forces, even though Lone Star wouldn’t go near the place for all the money in Dunkelzahn’s will.
The AAA rating is the highest available level of security, usually reserved for upper-class enclaves (usually Luxury or High lifestyle) and businesses willing to pay to have the area outside their property patrolled. AAA security also includes “proactive and deterrent measures.” This means both visible and hidden security measures, patrols on foot and in vehicles, astral security patrols using spirits and magicians, security drones and security riggers monitoring cameras. The police guarding AAA areas are always the finest, with the most duty hours logged. An assignment to an area of AAA security is considered to be the ultimate promotion, and no one wants to be demoted for lack of effort.
Response to even the most minor crime (including failure to set your commlink to Active mode and broadcast a SIN) is practically immediate. Security providers are reluctant to leave any investigation open, regardless of the cost to pursue it. Even if closing the investigation means bringing in chumps to take the fall and then releasing them later, that’s what they’ll do, because crime is not allowed to “succeed” in these areas.
The AA rating is usually reserved for High-lifestyle areas and businesses that want constant coverage but don’t want to pay for around-the-clock deterrent measures. Patrols cover the area 24 hours a day, but are less frequent. Astral patrols take place on an irregular schedule, and the network of drones and cameras is less all-pervasive. Drones and spirits may guard certain areas in place of metahumans.
Response is prompt, but will take a back seat if something is going down in a AAA area. The standard officers respond first and only call in a specialist if needed. Assignment to these areas is also viewed as a promotion, so officers investigate complaints thoroughly, if not as quickly as in a AAA area. Again, it is a crime not to set your commlink to Active mode and broadcast a SIN.
Most of the metroplex falls into rating A security. This level of security generally covers any area with a Middle lifestyle, which accounts for the largest percentage of residential sections of Seattle. These areas receive excellent security, and require an Active commlink and broadcast SIN, but the level of coverage decreases dramatically from the AA level, primarily because Lone Star lacks sufficient personnel. These areas usually have regular street and drone patrols, but only rare astral presence or directly-monitored camera feeds.
Rating B is usual for areas comprised primarily of commercial properties rather than residential, such as industrial parks, office complexes and suburban manufacturing – things that have existed side-by-side with middle-class residential areas since the 1960s. Since these areas are usually “high criminal target areas” (in other words, prime targets for shadowrunners), Lone Star’s standard response is to send a minimum of four patrol officers with an elite officer and security/combat mage on standby.
The constant cycle of urban renewal is currently washing over such areas in Seattle and rehabbers are turning older buildings into art galleries, loft apartments and other low middle-class businesses and dwellings. This trend is spreading Lone Star even thinner and giving these areas a precarious hold on their B rating.
Ratings C and D are the Low lifestyle versions of ratings A and B security; the coverage is similar for both ratings, but C is for residential and D for business zones. Infequent patrols and occasionally patchy Matrix access mean that crime here is reported less often and therefore enhanced less often. The security services in these areas make no real effort to prevent crimes before they happen. Lone Star and other security forces receive a hostile reception from the general populace, which accuses law enforcement of being less than thorough in investigations involving crimes at businesses in these areas. Most officers begin their training in these areas and try to get promoted out as quickly as possible, though the savvy officers, especially detectives, maintain their contacts from their beat days in these areas because this is where the information flows. Except for undercover officers and detectives, the usual response to any call here consists of six to eight fully armoured officers in an armoured Citymaster with two patrol vehicles and one combat mage. Drones are sometimes used to reduce the risk of injury to officers.
Rating E areas are considered slums (Squatter and Street lifestyles). Yeah, people live there, but they aren’t “real” people (they don’t have SINs, after all!), so why make the effort? Lone Star does not assign patrols to such areas or make any effort to prevent crimes from happening. They will respond if the victim has a SIN and calls in a complaint personally, or if the violence makes the headlines or threatens to spill over into more “important” areas. When the Star does respond, it’s at a very high level, usually including two Citymasters filled with twelve to fifteen officers in heavy armour, plus one rigger per vehicle to handle drones and the Citymaster’s weapons, and at least two combat mages. Such a force is always led by an elite officer. The slums are an excellent place for detectives and undercover operatives to maintain contacts.
In rating Z areas (also known as Z-zones), humanity has devolved to a state of tribes, anarchy and a complete lack of any type of “normal society.” It’s survival of the fittest, and the law doesn’t care who wins and who loses as long as everyone stays within the boundaries. The law considers it more important to keep the area contained than to prevent or solve crimes, so there is no attempt to enforce the laws in theses areas. In many cases, walls or other natural boundaries actually separate these areas from the rest of the sprawl.
Only if pursuing an investigation will the Star enter the Z-zone, and when they do they are prepared for war. The standard force is a minimum of three Citymasters (twenty-five officers in full armour) with air support from armoured helicopters; one rigger per vehicle handling the weapon mounts and one extra rigger maintaining drone coverage; at least five combat mages and one combat hacker maintaining communication with headquarters at all times; and three elite officers running the show – one co-ordinating the mages, one in the air and one dealing with the troops on the ground. Lone Star considers Z-zone duty to be hazard duty, and officers assigned to these details receive three times their normal wages and a week off after any operation in these areas.