The issues surrounding the status and role of the Police/Gendarmerie in Syldavia following the “sceptre incident” has been perplexing me lately. In my particular alternative timeline for Syldavia, something has most certainly happened to them. Consider this, first the king is shown to be an energetic and somewhat autocratic leader. Second, the “sceptre incident” demonstrates that vast segments of Police are not loyal to the crown, but rather to Musslter. Logically the king must take some steps to bring the police under control, and I feel that this would be the case. However, it is curious to note that in the adventure “Destination Moon” the security forces (or ZEPO as they are known) guarding the rocketry facility appear in largely the same uniforms as seen in “King Ottokar’s Scepter”. In general one does not entrust the security of a secret faculty to an organisation that cannot be trusted. Finally another interesting point is the complete absence of the traditional police uniforms in the “Calculus Affair”. Perhaps then, following the “sceptre incident” the Police were reorganised in order to root out any Bordurian sympathisers, and by the 1950’s finally seen as an entirely trustworthy organisation, albeit with a new role as a secret police/internal security force.
So, let us then explore this alternative timeline shall we? The 1938 “sceptre incident” has demonstrated a grave problem within the Syldavian state, and in the months following the incident attempts are made to rid the police of subversive elements.
Initially this resulted in mass arrests across the country. Policemen had to fill in a questionnaire regarding their professional and political activities. About three hundred investigations were conducted, and the suspects divided into five categories - from "major offender" to "discharged". Cleared of any subversive activity or links to Borduria, the majority of the police returned to their jobs. Most were not removed from their office, but the whole of the force was disarmed (just as it remains today), and over the next few years the police uniform was redesigned to differentiate it with the pre-war organisation.
However, this was not the end for the police or their pre-war uniform. Ironically in 1949 the decision was reached that the state required an internal security force tasked with high security installations and countering Bordurian intelligence gathering activities. The ZEPO is rumoured to have been formed in autumn 1949, although details are sketchy at best. Although there are a few differences the official uniform is remarkably similar to the pre-war police uniform.