This may be a slightly older but I recently read an article about the New South Wales police department and a Grand Theft Auto V mod. In this mod, known as Los Santos Police Department: First Response (LSPD:FR), you can turn GTA on its head. Instead of playing as a bad guy, you can play as the cop.
I recently downloaded this mod in order to test it out. It is amazingly detailed. You can perform traffic stops, respond to calls, and back up your fellow officers. The mod was developed by people who are interested in making GTA about more than shooting up cops, they wanted to make something good about it.
As you may have noticed from the featured image, the game is very detailed. The featured image is a mod for the mod that allows you to add King County Sheriff (WA) slick top cars to your game. Users have developed a number of agency's vehicles into the game in order to play as their favorite cops. Here is a picture of a CHiPs car:
In 2017 the New South Wales (NSW) Police saw a poorly put together video about the mod on the news. Immediately they thought the purpose of LSPD:FR was to be able to shoot up real-life police departments. Because the news article completely butchered the purpose of the mod the NSW Police wanted to remove both their vehicles and uniforms from the game.
The majority of people who download LSPD:FR do so because it is the most detailed police simulator out there currently. They want to feel what it is like to patrol the crazy streets of Los Santos.
One of the reasons that I brought something from 2017 back to life is the fact that LSPD:FR is being updated to allow you to name your departments to any agency that you want. Another reason is that 2018 is bringing with it several more police simulators. Police 1013, Police Simulator 2018, and Flashing Lights are the major police simulators probably coming out this year.
Before looking too harshly at any of these games, it is important that you keep in mind that civilians have a hard time understanding what you do as law enforcement officers. A lot of people glorify the job you do. Even in the current state where there is also a lot of people who look down on cops.
People want to walk in your boots and see some of the "cooler" parts of law enforcement.
These games are not designed to villainize law enforcement. Don't bash them. If you want your agency's skin removed from the game, try to contact the maker instead of going to threatening legal action. But before you do that, remember that the gaming population will view that negatively. Stopping people from positively viewing your department is never a good thing.
A negative side to the LSPDFR and similar games does exist. People can abuse the purpose of the game. But at the same time, this is true with everything. There are good apples and bad apples in every bunch.
Releasing "police simulators" might be the road to helping repair the positive outlook on law enforcement among the younger generation (and those that play video games). If you want to try out LSPD:FR for yourself, the basic mod is easy to install but when getting into more complex things such as installing custom cars, it can be more complex. Those wanting to try it out can always feel free to contact me.
Give a game a chance to do something good, and if your department has any concerns, try it out. Learn from experience rather than judging a game from one news article. Make an educated decision, this stands for everything that you do at work.
Stay safe out there.
About The Author:
Ian is a staff writer at APTI and hospital security officer at a major medical center who has a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice with a Specialization in Administration of Justice. He has held multiple positions in the security industry from patrol supervisor to auxiliary public safety officer. At APTI he brings his writing skills to help further the careers of others and provide quality content. Feel free to visit his freelancing site or his creative writing site.
Did you just get a job as a law enforcement officer or are you trying to get one?
Law enforcement is a very rewarding career, one that can enhance your life and benefit you greatly. Preparing for a job in law enforcement shares some similarities to other careers. At the same time it has unique challenges to overcome.
Let’s take a moment to examine how you can prepare for a job as a law enforcement officer.