How about a philatelic salute to the police force?

Which one, you ask? Well, it's not England's famed Scotland Yard, and it's not New York City's "finest," and it's not even the Texas Rangers.The honors go to the Papua New Guinea police, celebrating its 100th anniversary this year.

Papua New Guinea is an independent country consisting of the eastern half of the island of New Guinea and the adjacent islands. It became independent in 1975. Formerly, the southern part was the Australian Territory of Papua and the northern part was the U.N. Trust Territory of New Guinea, administered by Australia.

The Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary is the civil police force responsible for the enforcement of law, the preservation of peace and the protection of the people of Papua New Guinea.

Four stamps have been issued. The 17-toea shows a pre-independence constable directing traffic and a modern policeman on his motorcycle. The 35-t shows a portrait of Sir William MacGregor, who founded the British New Guinea Police Force, the badge of the force, and an early police officer holding a rifle.

The 45-t features the badges of the first British colonial, the first German colonial and the current Papua New Guinea police forces. The 70-t shows a portrait of Dr. Albert Hahl, who started the police force in a sector that was under German colonial rule, plus a police badge of the early period.

Each stamp bears the dates 1888-1988 and the inscription, "Centenary of the PNG Constabulary."

-The 20.5-cent Fire Engine stamp, the newest member of the Transportation Series, is ready for release by U.S. postal officials. The 20.5-cent denomination meets the single-piece rate for first-class mailings presorted by the Zip+4 Code.

The new stamp features the Model AC Number 516 engine. It was produced in 1913 by one of the most successful manufacturers of firefighting equipment, Ahrens-Fox. The "C" in the model designation indicates the apparatus was equipped with a chemical tank.

At the top of the stamp is "Fire Engine 1900s" and "20.5 USA" in two lines of red type. The drawing of the fire engine is centered in the lower half of the stamp.

As with all new precanceled items, the Fire Engine stamp will only be produced with the precancellation inscription "Zip+4 Presort." Precanceled stamps are intended primarily for use on bulk mailings.

First-day cancellation is available as follows:

To have the USPS affix the stamp, enclose a money order or personal check for 26 cents per cover. The USPS will affix one Fire Engine stamp and one 5-cent Milk Wagon stamp to meet the first-class rate. Send to: Fire Engine Stamp, Postmaster, San Angelo, TX 76902-9992. Orders must be postmarked by Oct. 28.

Collectors can also purchase their own stamps and affix them to their own envelopes. Add at least 4.5 cents additional postage to meet the first-class rate for letters. Envelopes must be addressed at least 5-8ths of an inch from the bottom. Stamps should be affixed in the upper right corner approximately 1/4 inch from the top and right edges. Send to: Customer-Affixed Envelopes, Fire Engine Stamp, Postmaster, San Angelo, TX 76902-9991. The deadline for mailing is Oct. 28.

-Ethiopia has issued a pair of stamps in tribute to the 125th anniversary of the the International Red Cross and the Red Crescent organization.

The 85-cent stamp depicts the globe with a spiral featuring both the Red Cross and Red Crescent symbols. The 1-birr shows the same design but in a different color scheme.

-Singapore observes the 10th year of its "National Courtesy Campaign" with the issuance of three new stamps. Each stamp shows the animated figure of Singa the lion, the national courtesy campaign mascot.

The 10-cent stamp shows two neighbors greeting each other by waving. The 30-cent features people patiently waiting in line at a service counter. The $1-stamp shows a youngster helping an elderly woman across a busy traffic intersection.