Among other side effects of being ill this weekend, spending all Saturday sitting meant I watched five back-to-back episodes of NCIS New Orleans. I wasn’t really in the mood, so here I am picking holes in it.
Two of them had NCIS brought in on mysteries involving family members of Navy staff, which seem a stretch of their jurisdiction.
A wider remit than a single city’s office of the Navy’s detectives would probably make this handwaving less regularly necessary.
Jurisdiction is one of those tricky real-world things that can impact investigative series and games, so often gets skipped over or dodged around. PCs who aren’t out for themselves are often members of covert or not-strictly-existing agencies, or ones that can roll over jurisdictions like superhero ACRONYM Agents.
It gets more vague the further away from the present, so I would say the era I’ve seen most interest in playing regular law enforcement is the Wild West, and the most PCs I have seen carry badges have been with Starfleet.
For modern police types, I’d work out how much the game and group in question worries about this kind of thing. A specific remit including jurisdiction can probably be summarised in a shorter post than this if necessary.
Coming up with local and neighbouring representatives of various services and agencies can add to the campaign, as well. Friends, rivals, friendly rivals, outright enemies... I admit that I tend to throw a lot of NPCs into a game.
(Another of these five episodes had the team as the target of a bombing attack, which really seems like a case they should not work on themselves. Most law agencies have rules about that kind of thing, which in this case wasn’t even mentioned by a superior officer yelling “you’re off the case!” and being ignored, as is traditional in such situations. So I’d say this show is not really worried about this kind of thing.)