Main Force Patrol

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The Main Force Patrol (MFP) is a fictional Australian Federal Police special task force depicted in the 1979 film Mad Max. The purpose of the MFP was to support the regular police in combating organized crime, especially savage, motorized criminal biker gangs and marauding punks, and act as a highway patrol on the Transcontinental Highways.

Background[edit]

A replica Mad Max Main Force Patrol Pursuit Special vehicle on display outside the Silverton Hotel, the main location for filming of MADMAX 2

MFP[edit]

After uprisings due to energy shortages which destabilized the country, biker gangs and punks began to terrorize the townspeople in the Australian Outback and looting fuel trucks and scavenging the villages. The crumbling remnants of the government created a small, underfunded group of special highway patrol officers to try to restore order to the outback highways,, called the Main Force Patrol. The MFP's "top pursuit man" is young Max Rockatansky, a highly skilled driver, and drives one of two Pursuit Special vehicles owned by the MFP. At the start of Mad Max we see him driving a yellow (1975 XB Ford Falcon) Interceptor, more powerful and in better condition than the other Interceptors.

However, it is quite evident throughout Mad Max, that the MFP is poorly funded and run down. Captain "Fifi" McAfee is worried that Rockatansky wants to retire from the force, and so tempts him to stay with the MFP (by desperately begging for funds from Police Commissioner Labatouche) by having a special supercharged, 600 horsepower black "Pursuit Special" (A much modified Ford Falcon XB Coupe GT351) built for him, in order to "seduce him with candy", words by Labatouche.

The typical uniform of the MFP is all black leather. Civilian slang for MFP officers is "Bronze", due to the bronze badges they wear, and gangs often use that term to refer to a cop. A memorandum overheard in the Halls of Justice actively discourages this nickname, suggesting "Bronze" is considered a pejorative term. The Pursuit Specials are all black and with sirens on the dashboard with the MFP logo on the side, while the Pursuit Interceptors are all painted yellow with dark blue and red stripes with double sirens on the top, and all of them are equipped with high tech radio on the cabin roof.

The MFP operate out of a dilapidated complex of buildings known as the Halls of Justice, and their practices and methods appear to be mostly unorthodox, although this may simply be a symptom of the decay of society, law, and morality as a whole, since they are no laws to prosecute them and so are allowed to operate on a much more unorthodox and unmorale level. At one point McAfee tells his officers that: "So long as the paperwork's clean, you boys can do what you like out there.", noting that they have the power to personally terminate the criminals and the biker gangs as long as the MFP personnel will not face consequences if it is discovered. This possibly explains why the MFP do not pursue Max after he goes on his vengeful rampage, to let him have the gang destroy for their own good; although a radio channel informs that a rogue officer has taken the Pursuit Special without authorization.

Halls of Justice[edit]

The Halls of Justice are a group of dilipated buildings from which the MFP personnel operate. The buildings are rusty, in state of decay, the letters on the entrance are all faded, due to the underfunding of the MFP. It is implied that, since the MFP became disbanded, the Halls of Justice have been disbanded, and the equipment (guns and ammunition) have been possibly looted and the Interceptors were stolen or looted for fuel by the nomad gangs (since some of the police cars can be seen in the second installment).

The buildings are seen only in the first film. Several buildings exist for the MFP personnel and have variety of uses for the MFP officers. The complex is vast and includes:

  • A underground garage, which also serves as a mechanic shop. It is used to store and repair MFP Pursuit Interceptors and Pursuit Specials. It is counted that MFP has only 20 Pursuit Interceptors and 2 Pursuit Specials (one was stolen by Max, another one destroyed in a police chase). It has connected speakers in it for a radio dispatcher. Barry the mechanic works in here.
  • A courtyard, also a parking lot. It is used for vehicles to access the underground garage.
  • Several offices on floors. It is used for dispatchers and also has a recreational room for police officers who are not currently on active duty or currently stationed as road patrols.
  • Prison cells. They also include high-tensile steel shackles for dangerous prisoners.
  • Courtroom. Since there are no special courtrooms (probably disbanded), the Halls of Justice has their own courtroom to prosecute criminals as soon as they arrive.
  • Fifi's personal office. It is implied that he also lives in his office. He has a radio dispatcher so he could hear the current locations and events of the police units and also in the complex, and also has a microphone so he could inform the officers. He also has a gramophone in it with army records.
  • Barracks. It was never shown in the film, but it is possible that this is used as a permanent home for many of the MFP personnel who are on full duty or working on night shifts. Since Max has his own remote farm and usually works day shifts, it is implied that he doesn't use it. Goose also doesn't use it since he works a day shift and lives in his apartment.

Future of MFP[edit]

In Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior, we learn a backstory the original film did not explain. In the prologue, a narrator tells us that the world has "crumbled and...the cities have exploded" in a "whirlwind of looting and a firestorm of fear, in which men began to feed on men". Some of Lord Humungus' gang raiders appear to be wearing worn-out MFP uniforms, suggesting that, after the fall of law and order, those formally sworn to uphold the law have themselves become lawless. Though it is never mentioned and only loosely implied by the breakdown in society, the lack of any technology, it brings to mind that a limited "nuclear" exchange between the "two mighty warrior tribes" as described by the narrator at the beginning of the movie may have occurred. This is later confirmed in Mad Max 3 when the "children" refer to the "poxyclipse". It is also questioning does MFP even exists in 5 years from now, since the war, but it is mostly implied that the MFP has been disbanded.

In Mad Max 3: Beyond Thunderdome, which takes place 20 years since Max was in the MFP (given Max's even more weathered and torn uniform), the MFP are not even mentioned, or even known to exist by the residents of Bartertown. This suggests that the MFP do not exist for a long and that law & order has completely disappeared from the Outback by this time. When asked who he was before the nuclear war, Max merely replies he "was a cop", to surprise from others, suggesting that there are not many, if any, former lawmen around, confirming that the law & order does not exist anymore, not even MFP.

In Mad Max 4: Fury Road, which takes place soon after the original and before the second installment, it is questioning will MFP still exist, since it's unknown if it takes place right after Max leaves the force, or right before the start of the second installment. It is possible that it has disbanded soon after Max left with the loss of funds and officers.

Known MFP personnel[edit]

  • Sgt. Max Rockatansky. He is the top pursuit officer in the force and has a long record of bringing down criminals and nomad biker gangs, but he was thinking of retiring so he could be with his wife and his newborn son on his farm along the coastline. He drove a special custom and rather new Pursuit Interceptor, and a powerful Pursuit Special was built in the sole purpose of having him drive it and for him to remain in the force. He later took the Pursuit Special and took off, unofficially resigning from the force.
  • Ct. Fifi MacAffee. He is the chief of the station in which Max is placed, and he holds the role of an Captain. He is very proud of Max and his work, and wishes to keep him in the force. He believes that the Main Force Patrol is the future of fighting against organized crime and the motorcycle gangs and wishes to keep it funded and empower it, and such enlists the help of Labatouche to bribe Max with a new Pursuit Special to keep him in the force. He was described as a man who "wants to give [world] back their heroes", on behalf by Commissioner Labatouche. He has a flamboyant life, has a pet bird and enjoys watering plants and listening to old army records on his gramophone. It is implied that he is homosexual.
  • Commissioner Labatouche. He is a civil servant charged in supervising the operating of MFP, but he is unsatisfied with the work of it. This is due with the MFP being unorganized and underfunded, since Labatouche cannot get enough funds to strength the power of MFP. He also spends a great deal of money for a Pursuit Special to keep Max in the force as a favor to MacAffee. He is also a very neurotic and cynical person, and enjoys fencing, wearing a fencing helmet and a sword for his hobbies constantly.
  • Jim Goose. He is Max's close friend since childhood, and he is the top motorcycle rider, but he had his own bike for driving. He is a rather sarcastic person and an optimist, and joined Max together in the MFP. He also has a vivid and a wild sense of humour, and enjoys nightlife. At the start of the film, he injured his leg after being knocked off from his motorcycle into a ute after he had to brake to avoid collision, and he was placed temporary on road patrol with Max. Since he came in a conflict with a nomad biker gang, his bike was sabotaged and was forced to borrow a pick-up truck to haul it since it was destroyed. The bikers ambushed him, knocked the pick-up truck, and set it on fire, giving him massive disfigure burns, from which he eventually died.
  • Roop. He is a pursuit officer in the force. He is a very aggressive and a big officer, loves a thrill of a chase, and will do whatever it takes to have the criminals away from the streets, devoted to a life to combat crime, and he commandeers The Big Bopper, the name for his squad car, with Charlie. This is shown when he totaled his squad car, but kept on going even with the car badly damaged and against all odds until he finally crushed it after driving it into a camper-trailer. He also uses a lot of profanity and is a difficult person, and it is possible that he has been a victim of bullying in his childhood, which is why he joined MFP.
  • Charlie. He is a pursuit officer in the force and he is Roop's partner, and they commandeer The Big Bopper, the name for their unit. He was assigned as the driver, even though Roop doesn't let him drive, forcing him out of the seat when he spun the vehicle out of control from the road. He is impiled to be a devoted religious person, wearing a cross over his neck, criticizing Roop's profanity and blasphemy and noting that he "doesn't have to work with a blasphemer". After a fiery crash, his throat was cut, forcing him to use a electrolarynx from the point further.
  • Sarse. He is a pursuit officer and Scuttle's partner, and they commander The March Hare, the name for their unit. He calls for backup help of Roop and Charlie while Scuttle drives. He is shown to have a lot of experience and also has a band aid on his head, possible injury during serving in the force.
  • Scuttle. He is a pursuit officer and Sarse's partner, and the designated driver, and they commander The March Hare, the name for their unit. He has only one line in the film and little is known about him.
  • Barry. He is a mechanic working for the MFP and he is placed in the Halls of Justice. He is in charge of repairing MFP vehicles and keeping them operated. He also upgraded the Pursuit Special that he was given with pieces he bought from various junkyards and mechanics to build it. He stutters and is implied to have a low degree of intelligence.
  • Unidentified police cadet. It was mentioned in the beginning in the film that a cadet was murdered in the station when a criminal broke out of prison and stole the Pursuit Special.
  • Unidentified female radio dispatcher. She was never seen on-screen, but she can be frequently heard during the film on radio dispatchers, giving orders, issuing memorandums and informing MFP of Max's going rogue when he took the Pursuit Special.

See also[edit]