The Empire Bay Police Department or the EBPD is responsible for law enforcement and investigation within the city of Empire Bay. Included in the EBPD is also the Empire Bay SWAT Team, which deals with situations that call for a higher need of weaponry expertise, negotiation, or other special force skills.
The game uses a system of 1 to 4 stars to indicate the gravity of the crime committed or the amount of police force pursuing the player. Losing the police during a 1 star pursuit will grant the player freedom from police until another crime is committed. After a 2 star or higher level pursuit the player may have to change cars, license plates, or clothes or else the police might recognize him and restart the pursuit. The Police will respond to robberies and killings. If a person is killed in a business, the building will be cordoned with police tape.
The police will ticket other drivers for violations. They will also try to arrest enemy henchmen if their guns are out. This way police can be used to help fight your battles for you provided you have your weapon holstered, however henchmen always resist arrest and police are usually short-lived.
When killing a policeman with a weapon you will become wanted regardless if you were seen doing so or not.
The wanted status has three elements: The wanted level which consists of one through four stars, the wanted person and the wanted vehicle.
- When you receive a wanted person status, you must either use a telephone to call in a bribe or change your clothes to remove it.
- When you receive a wanted vehicle status, you must either use a phone to call in a bribe, change your license plates at any Charlie's Service & Repair location or switch vehicles.
At one star the police will write a ticket and you will pay a fine on the spot. You also have the option of refusing to pay, which will result in an automatic two star status. If you don't have the money to pay, they will let you off with a warning.
At two stars the police will draw their weapons. If they get close enough, you will automatically be stopped and given the option of paying a bribe or resisting arrest. If you resist, you will receive a three star status and they will open fire on you or your vehicle.
At three stars the police begin shooting and there are no options for paying a ticket or bribe. Your only option is to flee or fire back. At three stars they will make any attempt to stop you, including ramming or shooting at your vehicle. If the police ram into you, causing your vehicle to lose control and hit and kill a pedestrian, your wanted level may go to four stars.
At four stars, the police will carry Thompson M1A1's and shotguns. They may also set up roadblocks and spike strips on either side of the Grand Upper Bridge, in Kingston shortly before the entrance to the tunnel that goes to Uptown and in Chinatown on the road to the East Side that passes under the railway bridge. Police density further increases, especially on police cruisers patrol.
Their headquarters are located in Uptown, south of the Office of Price Administration, and east of the Uptown Parking and Grand Upper Bridge. It is the base of operations for the Empire Bay Police Department. You can't enter the building, but in the back there is a small parking lot in which they place seized vehicles.
- Several missions involve this location, such as Witness - Frozen Memories or Wheels of Evidence in Joe's Adventures and Smith Custom Police Theft in The Betrayal of Jimmy.
- Culver Empire Police Special in the 1940s.
- Smith Custom 200 Police Special in the 1950s.
- Culver Empire Detective Special only in a cutscene.
- Police Bus
The Special Weapons And Tactics unit or SWAT is a special elite force of the EBPD. In Joe's Adventures, Joe and Tony Balls encountered them once during the Supermarket mission. They wear bullet resistant vests and are difficult to kill even from close range, unless you make a good headshot. Unlike the police who use the Thompson M1A1, they use the Thompson 1928.
- SWAT was founded in 1968 making their appearance in the DLC an anachronism.