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Security/Command Policy Changes


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The CCIA recently had a series of internal discussions regarding a few incredibly vaguely written directives/regulations, as well as some of our issues with the current alert level system. With those discussions concluded, we've decided on a number of changes which will focus primarily on the relationship between Security, Command and the Captain.

1. Captain level decisions made by the Command Staff and the process of promoting an Acting Captain.

Our current entries in the station directives regarding Command's ability to make a Captain level decision or promote one of their own to Acting Captain are currently vague and open to interpretation. This was one of the first things we addressed, and our goal was to clarify the voting requirements for both.

Under the new writing, in order for Command to make a Captain level decision, they'll need a unanimous vote of support from all active Command. However, anyone in Command is free to abstain from voting without affecting the outcome. Greater specifics can be found in the spoiler, where you can read the full changes to our Station Directive entry for Captain level decisions:

[...the Command Staff as a whole carries the authority of the Captain, and can, together, conduct actions that would otherwise require the Captain's approval.] In order for the Command Staff to make a Captain level decision, a unanimous vote in support will be required with at least two (2) able command staff. A single vote in the negative is all that is needed to veto a Captain level decision posed to the Command Staff, however, any Head of Staff may abstain from a vote if they so desire without affecting the outcome. Any votes taken against another Head of Staff will see the implicated party automatically abstained from voting. Additionally, Command Personnel who have been formally detained under orders of the Loyalty Implanted Head of Security will be unable to vote on any Command level decisions until they have have been released and allowed reassume their previous position.


In contrast, Command hoping to elect an Acting Captain will not require a unanimous vote in support of their candidate, they'll simply need to obtain a majority. Once again, the full re-write can be found in the spoiler:

[...There exists no preference towards anyone Department Head of Staff to attain the role before the others.] Unlike a typical Command decision, the vote to appoint an Acting Captain does not have to be unanimous. Only a majority of votes is required to appoint a Head of Staff to Acting Captain.


2. The addition of Code Yellow

There's been a longstanding tradition of elevating to code blue whenever there's a biohazard threat. Be it carp, spiders, bears, drones, or a blob, there will most often be an elevation to code blue in order to allow security to display weapons. This, however, both represented a disconnect from the actual intent of the alert level and allowed the security team privileges that weren't needed. The confirmation of any of the above would qualify for a code red elevation, however, elevating to code red requires significantly more effort and brings with it the baggage of security detainment without a warrant, random searches, and other crew restrictions.

As an alternative, we've opted to coordinate with the coders to have a Code Yellow implemented which will allow Command and any relevant departments the required flexibility to deal with any biohazard threats, without sacrificing privacy rights or giving the Security Department the means to arrest/search crew without a warrant. This code will not be restricted to security-based issues, rather it should be used for any biohazard outbreak, be it those listed above, a viral outbreak, weeds, or any other obstacles which may be added in the future. Code Yellow in its current iteration is written as follows:

The station is now under an elevated alert status due to a confirmed biological hazard. All crew are to follow command instruction in order to ensure a safe return to standard operations.


3. Security authority under code blue.

Due to conflicting interpretations of the current system, we've decided to clarify the Security/Command relationship under code blue. Firstly, Command Staff will have the authority to shut down any locational search of an area under their authority. In short, any Head of Staff may decline an officer entry to their own department, the bridge, vault or any other shared command-restricted location, even under code blue.

It will be the responsibility of the Security Department to provide a probable cause for the intended search, and it will be the responsibility of the Command Staff to exercise restraint when using this authority. Heads of Staff should only be denying an officer entry to a location if the search is without cause. Command Staff who are reported and found guilty of abusing this authority will be severely punished.

In addition, a Security Officer may not withhold the reason for a search from the Head of the Department being searched or the individual receiving a body search.

4. Neglect of Duty by Command

Lastly, there has been some confusion regarding the ability for a member of Command to commit Neglect of Duty. Based on the current definition of Neglect of Duty, many heads believed themselves incapable of committing the infraction. In response, we've chosen to expand upon the regulation to explicitly define the circumstances under which a Head of Staff may fall under Neglect of Duty.

In order for a Head of Staff to be charged with Neglect of Duty, a Captain level decision must be made in support. This will require the ruling of a Captain, Acting Captain, or lacking either, a unanimous vote in support by the remaining Command Staff.

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The wikis respective to these changes have been altered. If you notice any mistakes or inconsistencies then please do not hesitate to contact me and make me aware of this. Note that Code Yellow isn't included on the wikis yet; I'll be adding it when it is merged and is actually apart of the server.


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I forsee the following potential abuse of the system as follows in this example:

-RD, HoS, HoP, CMO and CE aboard

-HoP calls a vote to remove the HoS from their command

-HoP, CMO & RD vote in favor, CE votes against (HoS does not participate in the vote)

-Vote fails

-HoP now calls a vote to appoint himself acting Captain

-HoP, RD and CMO vote in favor, HoS and CE vote against

-Vote carries, HoP now Acting Captain

-Acting Captain now orders the removal of the HoS from command. His orders now must be carried out.

Why should a single Captain-level decision require a unanimous vote but the ability to imbue in a single officer the ability to make unlimited Captain-level decisions require only a majority?

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When it comes to internal Command-related decisions such as firing heads of staff, an Acting Captain's status as an interim should be acknowledged and they should not get the full sway over the vote that a legitimately approved and loyalty implanted captain would. This would help avoid such a loophole. Fully vested, NT-approved Captains go through a (presumably) rigorous and thorough approval and training process, in addition to the loyalty implant which guarantees they will not use their ability to bypass voting procedures as a way to subvert Command. An interim who has been given Captain authority only on a provisional basis lacks this, so while their leadership for the station/crew as a whole is still recognized (which is why they are promoted to begin with), on decisions which affect primarily the Command structure they should only have as much authority as they did before their elevation; that is to say, they still must cast a vote.

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Not surprised this got brought up again, I've actually spoken about this with a couple players already. The loophole has been left there intentionally.

I'll just copy over the same thing I told them:

The unanimous vote between heads of staff is meant to reinforce the head's position as they should be, all respected heads of their own departments, all equal, none expected or allowed to make decisions in the stead of another head. The majority vote can easily undermine the authority of any head in dissidence and if command is looking to make decisions that could affect the whole, the whole should be in unison. The captain is the only one with the executive authority to push decisions which might be in conflict with one of their subordinates, and as acting captain is given the same authority for the duration of their promotion, they can do the same.


It's also important to remember that an Acting Captain shouldn't be promoted during standard operation just for the hell of it. Ideally, Command should remain as equals unless a situation comes up in which they require the executive authority to act responsively. With that said, Command abusing this loophole for anything other than antag shenanigans would be setting themselves up for a shitstorm. Antagged Command, however, have an opportunity to abuse the system to take power and guide the round if they can gather the support.

We'll consider possible restrictions on Acting Captain authority, but currently, it's still the same as it always was.

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TFW it's easier to appoint an acting captain on your side to get your way than to use a unanimous command vote to get your way
It's also important to remember that an Acting Captain shouldn't be promoted during standard operation just for the hell of it.


"To get your way" falls under "just for the hell of it" in this case. It's 'easier' because it implies that you're operating in a non-standard or emergency situation that requires fast executive-level decisions, which normal conditions don't present.

People who use the loophole blatantly to win disputes, or to beat the station over the head with authority when that authority isn't needed, are going to be noticed for it.

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Yellow gives command the authority to coordinate the departments as is needed to deal with a biohazard. They may authorize security to arm up if it's required, or deny it if not. In the case of bluespace bears, security would need weapons and potentially riot gear. In the case of a virus, it's much less likely they'll be given weapons.

Code blue does not nullify the need for an arrest warrant. https://wiki.aurorastation.org/index.php?title=Security_Officer#Alert_Levels

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