In the early history of the Fleet, a rash of food riots, thefts, murders, rapes, assaults and insurrections scattered throughout the Fleet forced Commander Adama to deploy what few SAW (Space Assault Warriors) units and other combat forces that he had, as impromptu police. This is not the kind of work these Warriors were trained for, though the Colonial Planetary Forces had units trained to work with civilians in combat zones, none of these were on the Galactica or the other military ships that arrived in the early days of the Fleet. (Later, when the Space Assault Ship Horus joined the Galactica, a platoon of Military Police became available. These were later incorporated into the Security Service.)
The need for a trained Civilian Police Force was obvious so the Security Service was authorised by Council Edict. The current Security Service, for the most part, began life as the surviving detachment of Council Security Forces after the destruction of the Colonies. Additionally, a number of civil Police Officers had been caught up in the Exodus, and some private security guards were also found in the population, these, along with the Military Police were bundled into the Security Service.
The task of guarding the Council of Twelve and individual Councilors, remains an important part of Security’s function, but its primary emphasis is Law Enforcement, keeping the peace and operating and guarding the Prison Barge and its population.
The Security Service is NOT under military control. Its commander, a Colonel, answers to the Council of Twelve and the Chief Magistrate. Though Security may arrest a Warrior or military personnel in the course of their duty. They are obligated to turn the prisoner over to military authorities for handling, prosecution and punishment. There has been a long standing rivalry and dislike between Security and the military. This dates back to the period when the only responsibility of Security was protecting the Council of Twelve. Power struggles between the Council and Commander Adama, especially during the period of Martial Law, only inflamed the issues.
The uniform of the Council Security Forces became the standard for the new Service. The Council security insignia was adopted as the ‘Seal’ of the Security Service. Initially, equipment for the officers was drawn from military supplies, later special gear would be manufactured to order.
Note the Battlestar Galactica patch that appears on the uniform. During the first yahren or so of the Fugitive Fleet’s existence, Council Security was spread between Galactica, the prison ship and Celestra with a few assigned to some of the passenger ships that housed important people. The patches were placed on their uniforms to delineate assigned ships and duties. The patches were later removed after the full Security Service was established.
The Security Service is subdivided into the following branches.
Council Security Guard: These uniformed officers are responsible for protecting the Council of Twelve, while in session, as individuals, their meeting chambers and offices. Some of the Council Guard work plainclothes so as to be inconspicuous. They are under the operational command of a Major.
Prison Control: These uniformed officers maintain the Prison Barge. Serve as guards and security for Magistrates and trials. They are under the operational command of a Major.
Fleet Security: These uniformed officers are the regular Security Officer that works with the civilian population and investigates most crimes, quells disturbances, maintains the peace etc. These are the face of Security that most people are familiar with. They are under the operational command of a Major.
Special Investigations Division: These officers usually work ‘plainclothes’ frequently doing undercover work. They investigate serious crimes and conduct ongoing investigations. They are under the operational command of a Major.