Interpol Special Agent

In reality, the International Criminal Police Organization — the ICPO or Interpol — acts as liaison among the national police forces of member countries, maintains a database on international criminals, and writes (along with the FBI) those "pirating this movie is illegal" messages/PSAs that get removed in the pirated versions of films anyway. In other words, they don't do any direct investigation or prosecution themselves; they simply facilitate communication between agencies in different countries.

In fiction, Interpol acts more like U.N.C.L.E. and sends agents (normally solo), who somehow have full power over local police, out to track down and capture international criminals. One reason for this trope is that everyone knows Interpol is "international police" and it avoids the need to create a group wholesale, even if that means fudging what they actually do.

Compare United Nations Is a Superpower for details on the One World Government that presumably gives the World Police their orders. Not to be confused with the band.


Examples:

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     Anime and Manga  

  • Inspector Zenigata of Lupin III is an Interpol agent; one version of the gang's origins explicitly has another character suggest that he join to pursue Lupin across the globe more easily. The local cops vary in their response to his commands: sometimes he's an unwanted distraction from their duties, other times he has their full collaboration, and in one particular occasion he goes around the world with a small army of Japanese policemen directly under his command.
  • In Daitarn 3, Reika Sanjo is an ex-Interpol agent.
  • In Azumanga Daioh, Tomo is a big fan of Lupin III, and her dream is to be an Interpol agent. Given that Tomo is a moron, it's more like she believes this trope than that show itself does.
  • Giant Robo: The Animation had the superpowered "Experts of Justice" as ICPO agents. Yes, Interpol basically had the Justice League on its payroll here.
  • Portrayed more accurately in Death Note: Interpol are seen near the beginning as a group of police representatives from various different nations discussing the recent spate of deaths of renowned criminals and forming a consensus of whether or not they should contact L, and once L demonstrates that the perpetrator is based out of Japan the case is entirely within the jurisdiction of the N.P.A. (albeit with L calling on resources from the F.B.I. at one point).
  • Possibly justified in Gunslinger Girl. Hillshire Hartman met Triela during his job as an investigator for Europol, the localized version of Interpol. He was acting outside his jurisdiction though and got fired, ending up as Triela's handler in the SWA.

     Comic Books  

  • Bernard Prince, a Franco-Belgian Comic whose title character is a retired Interpol Special Agent; some stories feature flashbacks to his time as one.
  • Darkholders from Marvel Comics stars one of these, agent Sam Buchannan. Partly justified in that in the comics, Interpol has degenerated to little more then a devil cult.
  • Manhunter, the DC 1970s trip, stars Christine St. Clair.
  • X-Men's Banshee was once an Interpol agent. Then he was a criminal. And then a superhero.

     Film  

  • In Lord of War, Interpol agent Jack Valentine pursues the illegal Arms Dealer main character. They're so powerful that his team is shown bossing ex-Soviet soldiers around, which in reality would just get them all shot. Oddly, late in the film the Villain Protagonist refers to US President as being the Valentine's boss, and uses contacts in the US military to get himself released when Valentine has arrested him, so one wonders if Agent Valentine switched jobs at some point.
  • The Cassandra Crossing: O.J. Simpson plays an Interpol officer. Talk about a "Funny Aneurysm" Moment...
  • The Movie of Tomica Hero Rescue Force had two Interpol agents.
  • Lorna Campbell from Johnny English is an Interpol officer.
  • Both Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla and Terror of Mechagodzilla have Interpol agents as main characters. However, worth noting is they act somewhat realistically as their mission was to investigate the alien invasion presently going on and intervene if needed instead of taking full control. Still doesn't stop them from directly fighting said alien invasion though.
  • Die 1000 Augen des Dr. Mabuse has an undercover Interpol agent investigating international crime at a German hotel.
  • The International features a somewhat realistic version of the agency but the protagonist still largely fulfills the trope anyway.
  • Jean-Pierre Napoleon in Muppets Most Wanted, who chases the villains all over Europe.
  • In Hitman, Hero Antagonist Mike Whittier and his partner are Interpol agents. Particularly notable in that a recurring plot point is their Jurisdiction Friction with agents of the FSB, despite the fact that they are investigating the attempted assassination of the Russian President - in Russia!
  • Assassins portrays Interpol as having armed field agents conducting sting operations.
  • Now You See Me has Alma Dray as a more realistic portrayal, having previously worked exclusively at a desk and only tagging along with the FBI in order to catch the Four Horsemen because of their Teleporting Bank Robbery trick.

     Literature  

  • There's a friendly Interpol officer whom Tom Swift Jr. summons from time to time to arrest international bad guys; apparently they're out of the local cops' jurisdiction somehow.

     Live Action TV  

  • In Leverage, Interpol has enough prestige that a fairly senior insurance executive can become an agent and consider it a step up in his career. Word of God says, "Interpol in the Leverage-verse is not this world's Interpol. It is, basically, S.H.I.E.L.D.. Or maybe U.N.C.L.E.. It's the law-enforcement all-star team."
  • 1970s ITC Entertainment series Department S featured three Interpol agents (and their jet-setting diplomat boss) who solved "impossible" crimes.
  • One episode of Remington Steele guest-starred Tom Baker (of Doctor Who fame) as an Interpol agent whose investigations intersected Remington Steele's Case of the Week.
  • Special Agent Emily Prentiss of Criminal Minds is a former Interpol undercover operative.
  • The show Crossing Lines goes one further by having an elite force of cops from the International Criminal Court investigating cross-border crime in Europe. The International Criminal Court deals with crimes against international law (in other words serious war crimes and genocides committed by governments and quasi-governments), has no police force of its own, and even if it had, would not get involved with ordinary crime, no matter how serious or high-profile.
  • White Collar
    • The sixth episode had Meilin, an undercover Interpol Agent that was working undercover as the right-hand of Chinatown mobster Lao Shen.
    • In the sixth season episode "Uncontrolled Variables", Keller's handler Luc Renault is also an Interpol special agent.

     Tabletop Games  

     Video Games  

  • Ace Attorney:
    • In Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney, an Interpol agent is the victim of the third case.
    • Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth puts this trope to work, as a series of domestic incidents Edgeworth is investigating turn out to be connected to an international smuggling ring, justifying Interpol's involvement. Agent Shi-Long Lang, his assistant Shih-na, and his hand-picked team of one hundred Men in Black feature heavily in the resolution of the story, and established character Franziska von Karma is also involved as an Interpol consultant.
  • Carmelita Fox of Sly Cooper is an Interpol agent.
  • Pokémon: a minor NPC on the SS Anne in Pokémon Red and Blue; Looker, a recurring NPC debuting in Pokémon Platinum, and a couple of other NPCs from Pokémon Sun and Moon, work for the not-Interpol "International Police" and both are going after the game's evil team. As the only other cops in this series do nothing but attack kids up past 6 p.m., though, it's a huge step up. The International Police remains a pretty impressive police force no matter how you look at it, given the only other police who actually fight crime happen to be the Ranger Corps. Still makes you wonder why there's no word of their involvement in another region, however...
  • Street Fighter: Chun-Li is an Interpol agent who fights crime by personally kicking the crap out of crime lords.

     Web Original  

  • In the Global Guardians PBEM Universe, Interpol's purview has been expanded to include international supercrime, and they have been given an investigation and enforcement arm.

     Western Animation  

  • Gadget Boy & Heather work for Interpol.
  • In the first episode of Jackie Chan Adventures, Captain Black says that he laid the groundwork for Section 13, his group of secret agents that fights organized crime, during his stint with Interpol.

     Real Life  

  • After the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, a U.S. Senator called for Interpol to take over the investigation.


http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/InterpolSpecialAgent