Created By: magic9mushroom on August 22, 2011
Nuked

Good Secret Police

The Secret Police are good guys.

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Trope
May need a better title.

Do We Have This One??

When the Secret Police actually do their job, don't abuse their power, and generally actually make the society they're part of a better place.

  • The Specials in Uglies.
  • Section 31 in Star Trek.
Community Feedback Replies: 24
  • August 22, 2011
    Ryusui
  • August 23, 2011
    dalek955
  • August 23, 2011
    kjnoren

    The Men In Black have their own trope: MIB.
  • August 23, 2011
    Auxdarastrix
    I think the last line of the Secret Police description already addresses this:

    "If the culture isn't so bad, or the police—while secret, or at least very quiet, aren't altogether evil or brutal, they may just be MIB."
  • August 23, 2011
    FuzzyBoots
    The government organization suppressing research into the Chronoscope in Asimov's The Dead Past is shown to be ultimately benevolent, trying to prevent the complete loss of privacy in the world due to consequences of the Chronoscope.
  • August 23, 2011
    Bisected8
    • In the Discworld series, Vimes revives the Cable Street Particulars (who were the not-so-good variety) as this on the grounds that the city needs "secret watchmen for secret crimes".
  • August 23, 2011
    Damr1990
    @kjnoren thye MIB Trope is more about the style (Badass in a Nice Suit, and according to the description on the trope seems to be on a neutral term, the hitman on the darker side, and we have now this trope on the brigther side

    also
    • The Section 13 on the Jackie Chan Adventures, altough often Cannon Fodder when figthing magic villians, they have pulled it out more than once and proven to be a descent Calvary
  • August 23, 2011
    NoirGrimoir
    Might want to mention that while Secret Police is more common in Dystopian and Cyberpunk works. Secret Police who are more or less benevolent, or at least not evil, are more common to Post Cyberpunk.
  • August 23, 2011
    Sol9000
    Clone Troopers in Star Wars: Episode 2 and The Clone Wars Series. Subverted in Episode 3, when Order 66 is executed
  • August 24, 2011
    AFP
    Wasn't Section 31 considered to be a villainous group on Deep Space Nine?
  • August 24, 2011
    AFP
    • Happens (very) occasionally in the Honor Harrington books, although any noble, or even just Lawful Evil, members of Haven's State Sec seem to be in the vast minority compared to the corrupt thugs.
  • August 24, 2011
    Auxdarastrix
    AFP, I don't think Haven's State Sec qualifies at all. This trope seems to be when the organization as a whole is on the side of Goodness and Light, not when a handful of members of Afallaby Evil.
  • August 24, 2011
    magic9mushroom
    Well, I would have called it Big Brother Is Your Friend, but that's already taken by something completely different.

    The Clone Troopers aren't secret police, so clearly they can't be good secret police.

    Section 31 are certainly antagonists, but it's left up to the viewer whether they're good guys or not. They certainly do care about nailing the right guy, given they put Bashir through that whole test rather than simply off the guy when they suspected him - and then let him go once they were sure he wasn't a traitor.

    Section 9 is another good one.

    And yes, this is when the whole organisation actually works, as opposed to the occasional nice guy.
  • August 24, 2011
    acrobox
    the ANBU Black Ops from Naruto
  • August 25, 2011
    Bisected8
  • August 25, 2011
    Xzenu
    Yes, section 31 are immoral villains. Not an example.
  • August 25, 2011
    magic9mushroom
    Section 31 are not ever implied to be immoral, and they are at worst Anti Villains.
  • August 26, 2011
    DaibhidC
    Section 31 are Well Intentioned Extremists at best. They're in favour of Changeling genocide, and infect the Changeling who's on the Federation's side to make it happen.

    The Cable Street Particulars in Discworld (as reformed by Vimes, definitely not the version seen in Night Watch), which is kept honest by reporting directly to the regular Watch.
    Granny Weatherwax: I ain't happy with the idea of secret policemen. Why do you need secret policemen?
    Andre: Because sometimes you have secret criminals.
  • August 27, 2011
    magic9mushroom
    My point on Section 31 is that as nasty as they may be, they do their job properly, are not corrupt, don't cause unnecessary suffering, etc. Hence, they qualify IMO, unlike, for example, the Obsidian Order, who are all over the place with personal vendettas and retributive attacks against people who don't like them.
  • August 27, 2011
    DaibhidC
    I think Bashir (subjected to hours of psychological torture because he's guilty until proven innocent) might question whether Section 31 causes unnecessary suffering. Odo certainly would. Sure they're not corrupt and do their job properly ... it's just their (self-appointed) job is rather horrible.

    I suspect this may be a Subjective Trope; how "good" does the Good Secret Police need to be? Working to support a good government? Not corrupt? Or not doing bad things, even if they think they have good reasons?
  • August 27, 2011
    KingZeal
    Comics
    • SHIELD in most of its depictions. Though the organization is usually rife with corruption (at one point, HYDRA was revealed to have helped found SHIELD just to manipulate them from the inside), in general, they do a good job policing the world and typically make the Marvel Universe a better place to live. As Director, Nick Fury is a good guy, even if not necessarily a nice guy.

    Film
    • Once again, SHIELD takes this role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. They genuinely have the best interests of the world and the movies' protagonists at heart.
  • September 6, 2011
    TBeholder
    • "Minor Secret Investigative Force" in Labyrinths of Echo by Max Frei is not very "secret" as to its membership - though magical disguises are used as needed - but most of the information about their deeds ends up a state secret. An amendment to the local Constitution explicitly stated any actions of its chief are assumed to be justified and in the Kingdom' interests (and only the ruling monarch can remove him). They are feared and rather popular at the same time, as they deal with things like monsters and insane mages. This was lampshaded to the point where the protagonist joked in Inner Monologue about an obvious Alternate Universe counterpart of Josef Stalin who once was invited to join the team.
  • September 7, 2011
    Tifforo
    Your Mileage May Vary on whether the secret group in Knights Of The Old Republic that sends you to assassinate slave traders and imprisoned mass-murderers who are supposedly going to spread propoganda if they make it to trial qualifies. The game doesn't seem to think they qualify, since you get dark side points every time you do a mission for them.
  • September 7, 2011
    Xzenu
    Sympathetic Secret Police might be a better title, since works with this trope rarely have Black And White Morality anyway. Section 31 still doesn't qualify, however: They are genocidal self-righteous bastards who narratively exist for the sake of the protagonists and the audience having a faction on the federation side to hate.

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http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=zenoorqcdhp6ijm8xk6gb2vx&trope=DiscardedYKTTW