Protect people in one particular neighborhood.
You know all those cool Cop movies about Police Officers going undercover to break up big crime and drug rings? The Cops blend in with the criminals until the last dramatic scene, where they pull out weapons and successfully arrest every criminal before walking off with their Aviator sunglasses on, saying something like, “All in a days work.”
Well, the job of a Vice Police Officer is a little bit like that, but imagine more waiting around and a lot of paperwork. Vice is the arm of the police department concerned with immoral activities, so Vice Police Officers work against things like prostitution, illegal gambling, pornography, and the illegal sale of guns, alcohol, or drugs. Many of the things you deal with as a Vice Police Officer aren’t illegal in their regulated form. For example, guns, alcohol, and porn can be sold to adults. But problems come up when they’re given to minors, or when they’re acquired through illegal means.
At times, you do get to go undercover, just like in the movies. This is when you have to find proof of wrongdoing. The difficult thing about proving wrongdoing is you need first-hand evidence of a crime. Say for example, you’re investigating the exploitation of underage girls in porn. You need to get close to those who make the movies or star in them, and find the proof you need. Going undercover can mean weeks or even months of boring investigation and legwork for a bust that lasts only a few hours. Afterwards, you have to fill out your report, which can take longer than the actual bust.
So as you can see, it may not be as exciting or as action-filled as the movies make it out to be. But when your job involves embarking on a daily crusade against crime and immorality, you get to be the real-life—not just the movie—hero.