The Night Vale Department of Public Safety is the municipal public safety department in Night Vale. Although it is presumably an umbrella organization like most such departments, Night Vale's DPS is only known to have been involved with improving the quality and clarity of the signage and road markings in Night Vale. When the DPS is performing road work, Night Vale's motorists customarily tip the DPS shift leaders 20% of their current mileage; stingy tippers may come to find themselves or their homes swallowed up into the bowels of the earth by conveniently placed sinkholes.
Road safety[edit | edit source]
In September of 2012, the DPS repainted Route 800's lane markers, replacing its drab white dashes and double yellow lane dividers with colorful ceramic mosaics depicting disgruntled South American workers rising en masse against an abusive capitalist hegemony. At the same time, they removed the protective steel barriers positioned along curves in the road with provocative butcher-paper silhouettes of slavery-era self-mutilation, reflective of several centuries of slow genocide and dehumanization by Western imperialists. The "really lovely" sculptures were designed by contemporary artist Kara Walker.
In October of 2012, the DPS announced their intention to replace every street sign in Night Vale with a traffic cop wielding semaphore flags, requiring local motorists to learn the maritime alphabet. This measure was fiercely opposed by some Night Vale residents, who feared that removing the street signs would "deflate the earth". The DPS ultimately triumphed over opponents of the measure, and within two months, semaphore flag-waving traffic cops had become a common sight alongside Night Vale's quiet desert roads.
Behind the scenes[edit | edit source]
Kara Walker, the contemporary artist named as the designer of Route 800's butcher-paper silhouettes, is a real-life artist who does, indeed, produce controversial, nightmarish depictions of slavery-era sex and violence in the medium of cut-paper silhouettes.