In the criminal justice system, the people are represented by two separate but equally important groups. But in the future? We're going to need more groups than that. There are going to be a lot of new opportunities for crime, and that will mean a whole bunch of new policing jobs.

Here are 10 jobs in law-enforcement that you'll be able to sign up for in the future.


10. Genetic Engineering Monitoring Agency

I think we can all agree that some forms of genetic engineering, and almost all forms of human cloning, are not ethical. They're also not prohibitively expensive. Any nutball with a lot of money and no scruples can try to genetically engineer, splice, or otherwise create, for example, a centaur. GEMA would be an agency that monitors genetic engineering and modification, the same way some agencies monitor nuclear testing โ€” trying to anticipate, track down, and disassemble any groups or individuals who might do this. I picture them as a sexy, leather- and-sunglass-wearing squadron with at least one hot geek hacker saying things like, "The grid's lighting up around this dirtbag. He isn't even trying to keep it under wraps." And then the team leader falls in love with the centaur.

9. De-singularitors

At some point, people will transcend their current level of being and become something entirely new โ€” something that we can't entirely understand with our current level of intelligence and experience. Not everyone will be able to handle that kind of transcendence. They'll need someone to come in and bring them back down to the level of normal humans again. Someone who's not part of either group, who doesn't fit in with anyone โ€” someone who plays by their own rules and has their own code. A maverick. A loose cannon. Wow.


8. UN Moon Patrol

Perhaps there will even be something as drastic as a whole UN moon military unit. There are actually laws drawn up when it comes to who can and can't do what on the Moon. It's supposed to be an entirely international territory, where no one can claim property or resource rights, and all operations have to have some international scientific purpose. Eventually, though, "the Moon is for everyone" is going to stop being the default state, and is going to have to be enforced by someone. In this case it'll probably be a ragtag group with little to no common ground between them. They don't like each other. Maybe they don't even trust each other. But they all believe in the same goal.


7. Simulated Crimes Unit

Okay, this one is a little dystopian, but not entirely. People are already getting in trouble for manga that features characters who look underage โ€” even though of course no underage people were involved. There are certain things that can, already, get people in trouble on the conceptual level. As people get more online, and simulations get more real, we might need cops to police virtual crimes. These cases don't all even have to be major. If public institutions create a public space where they can interact SIMS-style, and one person's character murders the paid-for, worked-on, and carefully maintained character of another, does that count as theft? Destruction of property? What about people who leave zombie profiles on a publicly funded site, to the point where they decrease efficiency? Is that littering? Only the Simulated Crime Unit can make those calls. And they do, funnily, in a half hour. Until things turn serious and they all have a haunting moment โ€” M*A*S*H-style.

6. Uplifted Animal Court Officer

We have a system now that deals with out-of-control animals. We have a system that deals with their owners. But what happens when the GEMA unit screws up โ€” or we just have a certain level of technology, and we get a bunch of animals that can kind of, sort of, think like people? We'll need an entirely new branch of the justice system to deal with dogs that have the intelligence of adolescents, genius kangaroos, and hyperintelligent mechawhales. Can they think just like us, or do they retain their own animal instincts, even while they're guided by their new capacity for abstract thought? A group of troubled, yet attractive, court officers will delve into these complicated moral questions and try to do right by their charges, all while finding out more about life, love, and even themselves than they ever thought possible.


5. Electronic Narcotics Division

Right now, we have illegal drugs and pharmaceuticals. There are also games that people can become addicted to โ€” certain kinds of games that are notorious for taking up all the time in the lives of their players. In the future, when people will be implanting chips in themselves and delivering signals directly to their brain, drugs aren't going to be chemical โ€” they're going to be electronic.

There are going to be electronic systems, probably online, that deliver a continuous high, as long as the subscription is paid. There are going to be spam emails that, when opened, get people hooked on a particular electronic "drug." And there's going to be an agency that has to find these pushers and bring them to justice. They're going to be gritty folks, who don't share their personal lives. They just trace through the steps necessary to get the job done. Possibly while giving at least one, brief job to every actor in New York.


4. Teleportation Security Agency

Oh you thought that you could get away from this in the future, did you? Does anyone think that, if teleportation is invented, people won't be able to use it to harm others? No chance. It'll have to be regulated like everything else โ€” and it'll probably be monitored by TSA agents. If there's so much as a chance of getting some stomach bacteria through customs, they'll be watching. And poking. And prodding. Especially if you're a minority or an attractive woman. This is the career for, say, a dark person with no redeeming characteristics. Nihilistic, alcoholic, estranged from a quirky family, they'll be the kind of person that no one should like, but can anyone help but see their inner humanity? This'll be the job for difficult, complex human beings. Also there'll be just enough boobs involved to keep things interesting, in a late-night cable kind of way.


3. Cryogenic Sentencing and Parole

This sound the same as a current parole board, but it isn't. A regular prison is supposed to take up some time in a criminal's life that would otherwise be spent free. Whether this is meant to be punishment or rehabilitation depends on your point of view, but cryogenic freezing is different. Freezing keeps the person exactly the same while the rest of the world moves on. Instead of deciding how much of a prisoner's own life they'll miss, the board will decide how much of the world will pass them by. If someone commits a heinous crime, do they deserve to be frozen until, in all probability, everyone they know and love will be dead? How about unfreezing someone for his/her kids' graduation, and then freezing them again? Every day bring a dramatic new story, probably mulled over by a bunch of people with secret dark pasts that can bubbling up to the surface when they consider cases that are too close to home. One of them will probably have a hidden link to an oft-discussed criminal. And one of them will probably have to be a hot nun.

2. Re-youthed Offenders Court Judge

We have questions on how to properly treat criminal offenders who are just barely adults. We have questions on how to treat children who commit crimes that we generally don't think that any child should be capable of. What do you do, however, with a person who is now sixteen, but was once sixty-eight before they were re-youthed genetically? Does their experience count, or were they taken over by their newly restored brain chemistry? What about the person who just kept being sixteen continuously for fifty years and is now dating an actual fourteen-year-old? We talk about "undoing the damage" caused by aging, but what do we do when people voluntarily choose to be children again? Do their biological or empirical ages count? Pondering this will be . . . probably a single mother, raising a child of her own. She'll have a loving but difficult family, including an eight-year-old grandmother who keeps trying to give her advice while being unable to reach the freezer door.


1. Rocket Boot Patrol (The Booties)

Every kind of transportation has a police force who specialize in using it. There are cops in cars, on motorcycles, on bikes, on horses, on boats, on planes, and on foot. There are even cops on Segways. In the end, though, I know which police force I'd want to join. The Booties would zoom around on rocket boots, being the most feared, loved, and envied forces on the planet. They could swoop down on you anywhere! Fear! They wouldn't need guns, because they'd just zoom around dodging bullets like Neo in The Matrix, but with less leather. Love! And, of course, they'd have rocket boots. Envy. These forces would be good for anything. They could get above rioters, so they'd be good crowd control. They can chase down cars, so they'd be great highway patrol. They could easily fly over rough terrain, so they'd be the perfect search and rescue force. They'd be the best, of the best, of the best, and there's nothing they couldn't do. Except the splits. That would be painful.