After uprisings due to energy shortages which destabilized the country, biker gangs and punks began to terrorize the townspeople in the Outback. The crumbling remnants of the government created a tiny, underfunded group of special highway patrol officers to try and restore order to the outback highways. 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".
However, it is quite evident throughout Mad Max, that the MFP is poorly funded and run down. Captain Fifi Macaffee is worried that Rockatansky wants out, and so tempts him to stay with the MFP (by desperately begging for funds from Police Commissioner Labatouche) by having a special supercharged, 600 horse power black "Pursuit Special" (A much modified XB GT Coupe) built for him, in order to "seduce him with candy".The typical uniform of the MFP is all black leather. Civilian slang for MFP officers is "Bronze", due to the bronze badges they wear. A memorandum overheard in the Halls of Justice actively discourages this nickname, suggesting "Bronze" is considered a "pejorative" term.
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 if not unethical – prisoners (for example) are generally shackled, while police officers use sawn-off shotguns – although this may simply be a symptom of the decay of society, law, and morality as a whole. At one point Macaffee tells his officers that: "So long as the paperwork's clean, you boys can do what you like out there." This possibly explains why the MFP don't pursue Max after he goes on his vengeful rampage; although radio messages do mention a rogue officer taking the super-charged Pursuit Special.
In The Road Warrior, there is a much more pronounced breakdown of civilization. In the prologue, a narrator tells us about the events prior to the first Mad Max and 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's biker gang raiders appear to be wearing worn-out MFP uniforms. Other gang members are wearing military clothes. This leads to one of two conclusions, the first being that the attire is stolen from the corpses for former MFP members, and the second suggesting that, after the fall of law & order, those formerly sworn to uphold the law have themselves become lawless. Lord Humungus himself has been described by Miller as a former military member whom had sustained major damage to his face from some kind of a explosion, forcing him to wear a mask. The military connections in Humungus' gang are visible in different kinds of military insignia and clothing. It has also been mention by the director that the The Road Warrior is post apocalyptic but pre-nuclear. The war depicted in the opening montage was in fact carried out in the Persian Gulf between Saudi Arabia and Iran (as described in the official Preamble). It was a deliberate decision by the filmmakers to avoid nuclear apocalypse before the events of The Road Warrior because it would impose questions about radiation, mutants and general lack of any life in the Outback .
In Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome, which takes place aproximately 15 years after the events of the previous film (given Max's even more weathered and torn uniform), the MFP are not even mentioned. This suggests that the MFP no longer exist 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.
In Mad Max: Fury Road prequel comics it is shown that after the apocalypse and before Mad Max 2 that all MFP officers were dead or went rogue to survive in the Wasteland disbanding the Main Force Patrol.