- "The Jedi can't get involved. This is a job for the local police."
- ―Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker
A law enforcement agency, also referred to as a police force or security force, was an organization charged with enforcing laws, maintaining order, and protecting life and property. They were staffed by police officers or some cases soldiers and were generally structured as a paramilitary force or militia though they were rarely armed for full scale war. Sometimes police droids were utilized to supplement sentient peacekeepers in larger agencies or for smaller outposts and space stations.
- "This is a dangerous situation, Your Highness. Our security volunteers will be no match against a battle-hardened Federation army."
- ―Panaka, to Queen Amidala
A law enforcement agency, also called a police force or security force, was an organization charged with maintaining order, enforcing laws, and protecting life and property. Some law enforcement agencies also served as a military for their local governments, however they simply kept the peace and were not armed for full scale war.
Law enforcement was generally conducted on a local or planetary level but their size, functions, and training could vary greatly. They could be a local security force, they could be responsible to protect a whole, densely urbanized planet such as the Coruscant Security Force. Some served primarily as bodyguards and elite security forces, such as the Senate Guard, others were volunteer security and policing corps such as the Royal Security Forces on the planet Naboo.
The Jedi Order had policing authority under the Galactic Republic and could conduct criminal investigations and make arrests. Some even became experienced in local criminal and policing matters. However, the Jedi served the Republic as a whole as keepers of the peace and guardians of justice.
Under the Galactic Empire, the Imperial Security Bureau was formed as a secret police to enforce the New Order across the galaxy. Agents like Kallus were sent to assist the Imperial Military in putting down rebellions like the Lothal insurgency.[source?]
Police officers were employed by law enforcement agencies. Most wore uniforms of some kind and held ranks that were military in nature. Lower ranking officers would perform tasks such as patrolling their areas, responding to incidents, and conducting preliminary investigations. Higher ranking officers would supervise a group of officers, provide field reports, conduct investigations, and answered to government leaders. Serious crimes would be investigated by specialized officers such as detectives. Generally, they were experienced police officers in dealing with in depth investigations.
While flesh and blood officers were common, police droids were used extensively either on dense urban planets such as Coruscant or in spaceports that found it more financially feasible to use droids. Generally, droids were programed not to cause harm unless it was in protection of others, in which case they were authorized to use force, even deadly force. Droids were also useful in that they enforced the law without prejudice and/or corruption.