Sihsse's Tips and Tricks of Being a Professional Internal Affairs Agent
First and foremost All Internal Affairs Agents must remember that your greatest asset in performing your duty is that the crew sees you as someone who is professional and can be trusted to handle their issues. If you act biased, unprofessional, or you lack sufficient knowledge in Space Law or Standard Operating Procedure, the crew are less likely to seek you out to resolve their issues or even ignore you outright. At worst you can be deemed a hindrance to productivity and may lose your position.
Make the crew aware that Internal Affairs is open and operating. This can easily be accomplished by stopping by the Head of Personnel's Office and asking them to broadcast a station wide message on your behalf. Failing that putting up a few papers on the airlock can also let crew know that Internal Affairs is there to help, not as effective as an announcement however something is better than nothing.
Get in contact with the Magistrate and NanoTrasen Representative.The former is your boss and can often refer cases to your office or asking you to keep an eye on things, your boss is also a very good source of information and will provide their own opinions on Space Law and Standard Operating Procedure when you're unsure of how to proceed. The NanoTrasen Representative is very interested in Standard Operating Procedure and making sure the Station functions properly, if you have complaints about a member of Command its always important to forward those to the Representative to handle if there is one on board before attempting to handle it yourself. They can also be an excellent source of cases should something between crew is brought to their attention or a department needs checked in on.
Standard Operating Procedure: Guidelines for a better Station. Standard Operating Procedure is definitely important, however you have to remember first and foremost that they're A Set of Guidelines and Not a Checklist for Firing Someone. While someone can be fired for violation of Standard Operating Procedure you have to look at the context in which it is broken. If Genetics are handing out genetic powers to civilians without authorization, is it because they're giving them to friends for fun or is it to help bolster the crew against the Terror Spiders that are currently rampaging. Context is king in assessing a situation and the two questions you should ask yourself are always "Is the effect for the benefit of the station?" and "Is this action hurting the station and causing issues?"
Politeness, the Strongest Weapon in your Arsenal. Being polite and cordial when approaching someone will have a multitude of effects. Not only will you often receive a much more open reception when asking questions and investigating, if an individual is being unreasonable and hostile towards you it strengthens your position when you need it. Nobody enjoys someone who screams and tries to flout authority, make sure you don't slip in to this category.
Knowledge is Power. One of your greatest assets is the extensive library of Standard Operating Procedure and Space Law within your Office. You're expected to have a firm grasp of Space Law and Standard Operating Procedure for various departments however no single agent can remember every single procedure for every single department. If you need a refresher or you haven't memorized the SoP for a particular department it never hurts to carry a few books with you, especially Space Law and Legal Operating Procedure when you're hanging around the Brig.
Legal Therapist with Paperwork. Sometimes an issue that crew brings to you isn't sufficient to warrant an investigation or even intervention from you and they're just looking to complain to you about it. Be open and receptive to their complaints, let them know they you're there for them and that you'll try to do something to curb the problem that they're having or even offer advice to them on how to avoid or resolve their conflict with a co-worker who is an asshole. Not only will they appreciate being able to complain but they'll thank you for your time and you'll build a stronger more positive relationship with the crew.
Reputation is Important. If you're fresh and new to the Internal Affairs game, you won't get a lot of cases to handle. Keep your nose to the grindstone and build your reputation shift by shift and eventually you'll be known as that Agent who not only crew will listen to but even Security will come and ask for your opinion regarding things they're unsure of. With a good reputation for impartiality, friendliness, and strong knowledge in your field, you can even have Command seeking you out for issues that require your solid judgement.
Demotions and Where You Fit In. A good Agent never threatens someone with demotion or demands the demotion of crew. If you believe an individual is a detriment to the department and is violating Standard Operating Procedure in a way that harms it, the best course of action is to seek out their Department Head and speak to them about your concerns. If you're unable to or they're busy, writing a simple report and faxing it to the appropriate Command member for their review will let you accomplish the same thing.
Staving off Boredom. One of the biggest issues Internal Affairs have is what to do between cases. Brush up on Standard Operating Procedure and Space Law while sitting in processing. It gives you a chance to see how Security is performing and offers opportunities to give advice if you see something that perhaps a new Security Officer is doing that could be done better. Visit departments and watch them work, get a feel of when a department is operating good and when a department is operating poorly. You can even send a status report to Central Command if there isn't a NanoTrasen Representative to do so or just shoot off a pleasant message to inform them that you're there.
A Final Word. Internal Affairs Agents are there as problem solvers on behalf of Central Command and NanoTrasen, you're there to make sure the station functions properly and that the crew are at least doing their jobs to a reasonable extent. A good Internal Affairs Agent can handle a myriad of issues on station without Central Command even knowing there was a problem to begin with and knows when to shoot off a fax to the big bosses when the problem is beyond their capabilities. Always exhaust every option available to you in contacting the appropriate Command Members before grabbing the attention of the big guys at Central Command. Having the Magistrate and/or NanoTrasen Representative add their signature and stamps to your report can also lend it considerable weight and show its something that needs their attention.