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Supers and Emergency Services

04 Mar 2020 17:10 #67035 by Thefirstone
Supers and Emergency Services was created by Thefirstone
Put simply, how can superpowered crime fighters be a thing without putting emergency services out of business?

And on a somewhat related note, the outcry against police brutality in recent years could provide a certain amount of justification for a refusal to kill.
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04 Mar 2020 18:08 #67037 by Woodclaw
Replied by Woodclaw on topic Supers and Emergency Services
In my old RPG setting (which was loosely related to my stories Closure Hour and Guns of the Highlands) I took this idea in the opposite way: superheroes with a badge.
The baseline logic was that in the United States superheroes operates mostly under the premises of citizen arrest. In Europe this isn't always possible, so most superheroes are recruited in special police units under Interpol or other agencies.

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04 Mar 2020 18:35 #67039 by Markiehoe
Replied by Markiehoe on topic Supers and Emergency Services
In some of my FemForce stories I have had the gals work alongside law enforcement and emergency services lending a hand when needed.

They do not kill because they are good characters and it is the right thing to do.
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04 Mar 2020 19:52 - 04 Mar 2020 19:54 #67042 by The Highlander
Replied by The Highlander on topic Supers and Emergency Services
I can think of a couple of reasons of the top of my head.

1. Coverage. It depends on the setting but superheroes tend to be very rare. Even in say the marvel or DC universes you are still talking about at most thousands of superheroes, compared to  tens or hundreds of thousands of normal police(and other emergency services). No matter how powerful the heroes involved there wouldn't be enough to cover everywhere.

2.Long term cases. Most superheroes are good at stopping crimes in progress but few are useful for more methodical investigations. Even  someone like Batman can't realistically do all the work collecting and analysing evidence, interviewing witnesses and slowly piecing together evidence to find the driver in a hit and run for example.

3. Routine work. A lot of things police are mundane everyday tasks that don't require superpowers at all. Traffic direction (and most traffic offences), crowd control, patrolling, enforcing regulations such as age restrictions, preventive work, etc. All of which are best dealt with by  ordinary humans.

This also applies to other services, you don't need a superhero to take someone with a broken leg to hospital or put out a small
fire.
Last edit: 04 Mar 2020 19:54 by The Highlander.

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04 Mar 2020 20:35 #67044 by shadar
Replied by shadar on topic Supers and Emergency Services

The Highlander wrote: I can think of a couple of reasons of the top of my head.

1. Coverage. It depends on the setting but superheroes tend to be very rare. Even in say the marvel or DC universes you are still talking about at most thousands of superheroes, compared to  tens or hundreds of thousands of normal police(and other emergency services). No matter how powerful the heroes involved there wouldn't be enough to cover everywhere.

2.Long term cases. Most superheroes are good at stopping crimes in progress but few are useful for more methodical investigations. Even  someone like Batman can't realistically do all the work collecting and analysing evidence, interviewing witnesses and slowly piecing together evidence to find the driver in a hit and run for example.

3. Routine work. A lot of things police are mundane everyday tasks that don't require superpowers at all. Traffic direction (and most traffic offences), crowd control, patrolling, enforcing regulations such as age restrictions, preventive work, etc. All of which are best dealt with by  ordinary humans.

This also applies to other services, you don't need a superhero to take someone with a broken leg to hospital or put out a small
fire.


This has always been the elephant in the room when it comes to law enforcement. No judge/jury in the United States would ever take the word of a superhero to convict anyone. Good old fashioned evidence is needed, and that's not what they normally do. 

Plus there are all kinds of rules about how evidence is obtained, etc. that would rule out superpowers. That would also apply to Europe, but not so much in Asia. 

I remember a case near my town where a cop claimed he could smell marijuana coming from a grow op that was a few hundred yards from a roadway. The grower was later judged innocent in court because the defense made the claim that nobody could smell flowers growing inside a closed building from that far away, which meant the cop had to intrude on the property to sniff around. And entering private property without a search warrant is illegal. A dumb cop wasted a lot of people's time.

So imagine a superhero with enhanced vision, x-ray vision, enhanced hearing or sense of smell, etc. They'd all be disallowed for gathering evidence of a crime unless the laws were specifically changed. Which would be unlikely in a country that puts personal freedom ahead of everything else, including common sense sometimes. 

Which takes it back to catching the bad guys in the act. Even then, they need witnesses who would testify. 

Another is a case where a bad guy shoots at a bulletproof superhero. Is that a crime, given it's impossible to hurt them? Might as well be spit wads. Same could apply to a superhero blocking a bullet aimed at someone else, where the defense could claim that they fully expected the super to do exactly that, therefore the bullet was not intended to cause harm.

Lots of complications. 

But no worries. Fantasy was never supposed to pass a Constitutional legal test. I'm going to continue to write stories where bad guys get beat up and arrested. 

On the other hand, this might be enough for some superheroes to turn vigilante, and decide to be cop, judge/jury and executioner. 
Shadar
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04 Mar 2020 21:39 #67048 by Markiehoe
Replied by Markiehoe on topic Supers and Emergency Services
In the AC Comics/ FemForce universe most of the Heroes belong to groups that are regulated by the United States Government.
They are Federal Agents so to speak and their word alone carries a lot of weight.

In my story The Big Break Through,  Yankee Girl, a member of the Sentinels of Justice, apprehends a Canadian supervillain up north.
Most of the evidence is destroyed and in the Canadian courts her word alone is not enough to satisfy an Appeals Court judge.

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04 Mar 2020 22:01 #67049 by HikerAngel
Replied by HikerAngel on topic Supers and Emergency Services
Funny. I put some real thought into how the police would react and whether they would arrest a superwoman for certain actions in a certain upcoming story... ;)

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04 Mar 2020 22:43 #67053 by jumperprime
Replied by jumperprime on topic Supers and Emergency Services
I suggest checking out the anime "My Hero Academia" which depicts a "superhuman society" in which superpowers have been appearing for centuries, and at the start of the series 80% of the population has some kind of unusual ability, referred to as a Quirk. In MHA, "Hero" is an actual job with stringent education and licensing requirements(the Provisional Hero License Exam was totally insane. you gotta see that arc to believe it) Heroes file reports of their activities with the government to get paid for their contributions to resolving incidents, both crimes and rescue situations, with the facts of those reports independently verified to insure heroes aren't making things up to inflate their pay.

Becoming a hero is a difficult road with tight entry requirements. U.A. High School, known to be THE best Hero school in Japan has 11 classes total per year designated A-K. Only classes A and B are hero training courses, with the rest being general studies, support, and management courses, with 20 students per class, for a total of 40 hero students maximum in a single year(Aizawa, the homeroom teacher of class 1-A, has a reputation for expelling students at the drop of a hat, and is said to have expelled his entire class on the first day the year before  the main character started at U.A. though he hasn't expelled anyone on-screen since the show started)

With such difficult entry requirements to becoming a hero, most inclined to public service wind up going into traditional first responder roles like police, firefighter, and paramedic. Even having a healing Quirk still requires a great deal of study to make good use of it, as evidenced by the fact that Recovery Girl is an accomplished surgeon. When Deku completely wrecked his arm due to using One For All at 100% twice in that arm at the Sports Festival, Recovery Girl needed to perform surgery on his arm to remove bone fragments and make sure the arm was set properly before using her Quirk to accelerate his natural healing.

In the Overhaul arc we saw heroes and police working in tandem. The Pro Hero known as Sir Nighteye had been investigating a Yakuza group for some time and pulling together investigative threads found by other heroes such as the Quirk-suppressing bullets that Sun Eater and Red Riot encountered. When the time came to raid the Yakuza group's headquarters, a number of police officers went in along with a bunch of pro heroes to serve the search warrant... well, they would have served the search warrant if a bunch of Yakuza hadn't tried to blitz them before could set foot on the property. The police detective had to settle for shouting they had a search warrant as the heroes plowed a path through the Yakuza thugs so police officers and most of the heroes could charge into the building.

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05 Mar 2020 07:00 #67064 by TwiceOnThursdays
Replied by TwiceOnThursdays on topic Supers and Emergency Services

shadar wrote: I remember a case near my town where a cop claimed he could smell marijuana coming from a grow op that was a few hundred yards from a roadway. The grower was later judged innocent in court because the defense made the claim that nobody could smell flowers growing inside a closed building from that far away, which meant the cop had to intrude on the property to sniff around. And entering private property without a search warrant is illegal. A dumb cop wasted a lot of people's time.

So imagine a superhero with enhanced vision, x-ray vision, enhanced hearing or sense of smell, etc. They'd all be disallowed for gathering evidence of a crime unless the laws were specifically changed. Which would be unlikely in a country that puts personal freedom ahead of everything else, including common sense sometimes. 


I would think that would depend on if the sense was active or passive.

If a super had enhanced smell -and could prove it- then they weren't entering private property and it'd be ok.  OTH, if the power is active -- it was ruled that driving around with an IR scanner looking for houses that were "Too hot" (i.e. were running grow lamps for marijuana) was illegal as they were actively driving around looking, and thus they'd have needed a search warrant.  That might imply back to a sense of enhanced smell being cast out as it's not a normal thing.  If the super were walking around sniffing looking, i'm sure it would be. If they went to scene for something else and smelled it ... I think that would be a very interesting case.

It might be already judged ... I mean a drug smelling dog out for a walk could do the same thing....

Though if I were a super-hero in this world, I'd make sure to find a nice case to run it up the flag pole to see what was allowed.  Cops routinely try to push the boundaries  on what is allowed, like attaching a GPS tracker to car w/o a warrant (this was shot down).  Later a police department tried to arrest someone because they took the unmarked tracker off their car and threw it away as "theft and destruction of government property".  (This was tossed out, and I think the evidence they took in the raid where they arrested him was also tossed out as it was tainted by the faulty reasoning to get the warrant to go in....as even a moron should know a citizen can remove an unmarked device from their own car.)

So "I used my mind powers to track him".  Uh, yeah.  And your warrant to do that?  OTH, I think "I used a spell to track down the rest of this garment, which led us to the crime scene." is probably ok -- as long as you can prove that you can do that sort of thing and are able to testify on the chain of evidence.

X-ray vision and hearing that has to be focused .. those are right out. Though there was a case in recent daredevil (written by Charles Soule who was an actual practicing attorney at one point) where Daredevil testified about evidence he gained using his enhanced hearing.  First he had to do something to prove he was Daredevil and there were already laws in the Marvel Universe that he could follow to testify as Daredevil w/o revealing his identity (some legal loophole) 

I always wondered how the criminals that Spidey webbed to a lamppost were ever convicted.  I guess sometimes the victim is there to testify...

But you are right, most fantasy stories don't want to get that mired in reality.  OTH, sometimes that's really really fun too.  The example of My Hero Academia, the education of the young heroes is the point so it's all very fun.   OTH, the background on getting a "Hero License" (the ONLY way to be allowed to use your powers at all, well you could be at the intern level and totally under the control of a license hero), in the Darias Brasher Omega Hero series is just over the top ridiculous.   (I still enjoyed the books, but ... not without a bit of gritting my teeth here and there.)

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05 Mar 2020 21:58 #67076 by Random321
Replied by Random321 on topic Supers and Emergency Services
I can't imagine a heroine eliminating the need for Emergency Services.  What I perhaps can imagine is members of emergency services getting bitter after a while when the heroine responds to all the "fun/heroic" events.

Police departments are left to respond to more complex domestic violence calls and loitering calls and there are no bank robberies or high speed chases.
Fire Departments miss out on kitty cat in tree and building rescues and only get dumpster fires and maybe a car fire is everyone is already out.
Ambulance services remain the same but there is no chance to get to ride in the rescue helicopter.
The Coast Guard?  I guess they get to keep cleaning the navigation buoys.

...unless that is the heroine is trapped in court cases all day as others have hinted at.  I hinted at that in a Super Michaela video recently where she opines about endless court cases.

Even beyond that - can you imagine the broken glass from the sonic booms as she tries to get from Los Angeles where she just stopped a minor car crash to Amsterdam where she's trying to keep a tram from hitting a tourist on a bicycle happening even five minutes apart?

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06 Mar 2020 05:43 #67088 by slim36
Replied by slim36 on topic Supers and Emergency Services
Superheroes would probably operate like speciql operators to quickly neutralize dangerous situations so that normal forces could take over and clean up and do all the paperwork.

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06 Mar 2020 13:48 #67099 by shadar
Replied by shadar on topic Supers and Emergency Services
I've always envisioned that the Super shows up only as long as it takes to end a lethal threat. The bus is dragged back from the edge of the cliff, the plane lands safely despite a major malfunction, and violent criminals are subdued by crushing their weapons and tying them to a light post with a piece of bent iron railing or whatever. Stabilize and deescalate. 

Then the Super is headed for the next crisis (or back to living their secret identity), leaving the bystanders to call the cops, who take over custody of the bad guy, and gather evidence and eyewitness accounts from the bystanders. Or deal with the broken aircraft or crashed bus or whatever. 

The Super's role is strictly to save lives and then leave the rest up to the police or normal rescue/medical folks. 

Shadar
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06 Mar 2020 20:06 #67104 by cbaby
Replied by cbaby on topic Supers and Emergency Services
I can imagine supers being required to have quite of lot of insurance to cover damages/imjuries.   I guess it wouldn't be cheap!

In court it's likely that a super's testimony would be more readily accepted by the jury due to the halo effect.

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