A Brief History — The Police Strike of 2053
Back in ’53, the city of Detroit was in another downturn. True, Ares and its subsidiaries were doing fine, but the city was running out of money. Secretly, they took out a loan from Ares but the city defaulted and, by the details of the contract, forfeited city-owned resources to satisfy the debt. This resulted in severe cutbacks to civil services. Police and Fire departments were hit the hardest. Pensions were lost, salaries drastically cut and several positions were eliminated. The police union, at the time, decided it would strike. The remaining officers walked off the job and joined with former officers on the picket lines. Crime rates rose overnight as looters took to the streets across the city.
The strike went on for several days. Entire neighborhoods, such as Cadillac Heights, Hamtramck and Regent Park burned. Since the Fire Department was so cut back, most of these areas did not have any coverage. The fires burned unchecked, destroying a great many homes. A division of the UCAS Army was dispatched to assist with bringing order back to the streets, but before they could get there, Damien Knight took matters into his own hands. He dispatched Knight Errant and Hard Corps teams out into the city. Block by block, they started to quell the violence. In areas that had value, or potential value, he dispatched units from Ares high threat response to stop the chaos. Within a matter of days, the city was brought back under control, however, the damage was done. Nearly 3 billion nuyen in property damage and tens of thousands dead or injured from the violence.
A few days after that, Knight and Mayor Marcus Dobney held a joint press conference. Effective immediately, the Detroit Police Department was dissolved. Law enforcement was contracted out to Ares and will be handled by Knight Errant Securities. This news, naturally, made some people upset. However, the impressive presence of Knight Errant stopped any thoughts of rebellion.
In the coming months after the announcement, Knight Errant officers took over a few of the precincts that were close in to the downtown bubble, but abandoned the rest that were in outlying areas. A few of those were taken up by Hard Corps units, but most of them were just abandoned and taken over by squatters or gang warlords.