Each world of the Verge Republic has its own local government. Most worlds are former United States colonies, and also follow the American traditional model of government. The worlds of the Chinese branch (Tīan Nán and Zhǎngshān) are more diverse, with Zhǎngshān using a parliamentary democracy and Tīan Nán has two additional branches - an audit branch and a civil examination branch.
A world is a large place. Each member world is sub-divided into administrative provinces, which in turn are divided into counties. Cities and incorporated towns, while subject to world law, will have their own local government with local taxes, regulations, and institutions.
Law Enforcement: Each Republic member world has its own organization for its law enforcement forces. The details vary from world to world, but there are common patterns across most worlds descended from American colonies.
The marshal service of a world is responsible for enforcement of a world's law with world-wide jurisdiction. Marshals are involved in large-scale investigations that cross county or provincial lines; local affairs are usually left for the sheriff or constabulary to deal with.
Counties will be served by a sheriff's department, headed by a popularly elected sheriff. The sheriff and his deputies are responsible for the safety and law enforcement of unincorporated areas of the county and for towns too small to have a police force.
In the event that the sheriff temporarily needs more manpower than his deputies can provide, he can assemble a posse from the able-bodied residents of the county for the duration of the emergency.
Each municipality has its own police force, ranging from one person with a badge who knows everyone else in town to a large organization with many separate stations and precincts in the larger cities. The police chief or commissioner is usually appointed by the mayor.
Worlds with large seas or oceans will have a coast guard. The Coast Guard acts as a search and rescue force, enforces maritime law, regulates maritime industry, and maintains safety and navigational markings and installations (such as light houses).
No world in the Verge Republic (with the exception of Jefferson, which is a special case) is fully settled. Vast tracts of wilderness remain unincorporated, without access to usual emergency services and which can serve as havens for outlaw groups. A force variously known as colonial rangers of frontier marshals, depending on the world, is responsible for search and rescue, keeping the peace in remote areas, and for tracking outlaws who flee into the bush.
On the frontier, justice can be remote and citizens often are required to protect themselves. The right of self defense and the right to keep and bear arms is recognized across the Verge.
In remote areas, people commonly go armed and even thieves and minor criminals are often shot dead during the commission of their crimes without repercussions.
Where the law is unavailable, the people will take the law into their own hands, forming vigilante committees to track down and punish perceived wrongdoers.
As you get into more settled areas, this frontier mentality is seen as increasingly unacceptable and people are expected to rely on established police organizations for protection and justice.
As usual, the Chinese-settled worlds come from a different cultural tradition of police organization. Tīan Nán is overseen by a Ministry of Public Security, with regional and local branches, that replaces the patch-work of marshals, rangers, sheriffs, and local constables of the American-settled worlds. This leads to a more tightly integrated world-wide police force, with clear chains of command and divisions of responsibility.
On paper, Zhǎngshān has a similar Ministry of Public Security. In practice, the Zhǎngshānese police are only able to enforce laws in the Republic-controlled areas. The local constabulary of Zhǎngshān are typically corrupt, and the Ministry of State Security forms a separate secret police force with little public accountability. Outside of republican areas, the local warlords and Free Zhǎngshān Army maintain bands of thugs that enforce the interests of the leaders but often take little interest in righting wrongs committed against commoners (and, in fact, are often responsible for such crimes themselves). True justice in Zhǎngshān is often unofficial, metted out by secret societies or individuals.
Each world in the Verge Republic is responsible for maintaining a planetary militia, or home guard. The home guard assists in the event of natural disasters or widespread civic unrest, but the main motivation is to provide a first line of defense against a Squirm attack. The home guard is expected to hold off the invaders until the Republican Army can arrive.
In times of war, the home guard can be mobilized and sent to provide additional manpower for the fighting.
The training and effectiveness of the home guard forces can vary widely, from the combat-seasoned and professional home guard of Homestead to the corrupt and disorganized thugs of Zhǎngshān.
Within the Republic, some worlds are more tightly governed than others. Distant rural areas can be far from higher authority, particularly on the more lightly settled worlds. Under these conditions, the local mayors, sheriffs, and magistrates can operate nearly unfettered from higher power. Under ideal situations, these officials act in the interests of their constituents and uphold the rule of law. Unfortunately, corruption in the backwaters is not uncommon, with "big men" protecting their cronies and personal business interests. Cults following charismatic leaders can disappear into the bush to avoid oversight (what they would call persecution). Overzealous leaders can bring about local reigns of terror as they try to "combat crime" or "eliminate vice". When even this level of government is not present, the citizens may resort to vigilante justice and mob rule.
As you get closer to the more heavily populated areas, conditions do not necessarily improve. Many cities operate transparently and are responsive to their citizens, but others are riddled with graft, politicians and police on the take, and council-members who pass laws designed to aid their own business interests.
On Zhǎngshān, an active insurrection makes much of the rural areas off-limits to Republic authority. The Republican Army maintains a strong presence in Zhǎngshān's cities and patrols major transportation routes, sending the occasional show of force through disputed areas and conducting strikes on resistance fighters when it can find them. The Free Zhǎngshān Army maintains power in the areas it controls through fear and intimidation, financing its activities through monopolizing resource extraction and heavy taxation of agriculture. Free Zhǎngshān Army terrorists often commit acts of violence in the cities to undermine people's faith in the ability of the Republic to protect them.
The world of Jefferson has only a small Republic presence. It is divided into hundreds of primitive petty kingdoms and small empires. This concerns the Republic, because a Squirm infestation could quickly spread among the primitives, allowing the Squirm to establish a stronghold from which to threaten the Republic. Needless to say, the various kingdoms and principalities are not about to surrender sovereignty to the Republic. Some have been taken as Republic territories at gunpoint. Others have defense agreements with the Republic. This activity on the part of the Republic, however, naturally leads many of the remaining unaligned kingdoms to distrust the Republic. Republican forces simply do not have the personnel to occupy the whole planet, making Jefferson a significant quandary for Republic security.
The outpost at Kartanum, between Gateway in the Republic and the Zox world of Rhuzzit, has turned into a military fortification. Currently in Republic hands, it has changed ownership several times as the Zox attempt to stage an invasion and the Republic counter-attacks to recapture it.