Cops, or Lawmen in Cyberpunk RED, can range from private detectives, to beat cops, to government agents. As figures of authority, they have the ability to intimidate or control others through their position as lawmen.
Who Are They
In the old days, they only used to shoot at cops. Now you're lucky if you only take a slug. The Street is mean these days, filled with new drugs, new gangs, and new weapons that make an M-16 look like a kid's toy. If you're on a City Force, you know how bad it is. You're carrying at least four high caliber weapons, most of them full-auto types, wearing a Kevlar vest that'll stop 850 ft/lbs per square inch - and you're still outgunned and outflanked. Half the gangs are cyber to begin with - super speed, super reflexes, can see in the dark, carry weapons in their arms... The other half are freelance Corporate mercs - gangs hired by the Corps to enforce their policies on the Street. And there you are - a beat cop or detective in an armored squadcar, patrolling this jungle with the heavy predators.
The Corporate Cops - now that's the life. Heavy weapons, full combat armor, Trauma Team to backup, AV-4 assault vehicles and gyrocopters with miniguns. But they only patrol the sectors of the City that the Government's licensed them for. The nice, clean sectors full of new office buildings and fancy restaurants - where no jacked up psychopunk is going to ever go on a killing spree with an AK-47. You get the bad sections. Burned out buildings and abandoned cars, where every night is a new firefight and another great opportunity for a messy death.
If you're really unlucky, you might draw PsychoSquad detail. PsychoSquad guys get the job of hunting down heavily armed and armored cyborgs who've flipped out. Sure the PS guys have access to railguns, gyros and AVs. But a cyberpsycho can walk through machine gun fire and not feel it. A lot of the PsychoSquad detectives are crazy themselves. They load up with boosted reflexes, get some monstrously huge guns, and go hunt the cyborgs solo. But you're not that crazy.
Cops use Authority to get people to do what they want. Some rely on fear or intimidation, while others just act like they are professionals doing their jobs.