Samiksha Jaiswal (Editor)

Royal Canadian Mounted Police

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28,461 (2015)



Parent organization
Public Safety Canada

February 1, 1920

Maintiens le droit

Current commander
Bob Paulson


Preceding agencies
Royal Northwest mounted police (RNWMP) (1904)North-West Mounted Police (NWMP) (May 23, 1873)Dominion Police (1868)

Approximately 1,600 Auxiliary constables

Legal personality
Governmental: Government agency


Royal canadian mounted police musical ride 2016

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP; French: Gendarmerie royale du Canada (GRC), "Royal Gendarmerie of Canada"; colloquially known as the Mounties, and internally as "the Force") is both a federal and a national police force of Canada. The RCMP provides Law enforcement at a federal level in Canada, and also on a contract basis to the three territories, eight of Canada's provinces (the RCMP does not provide provincial or municipal policing in either Ontario or Quebec), more than 150 municipalities, 600 aboriginal communities, and three international airports.


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Royal Canadian Mounted Police RCMP Royal Canadian Mounted Police Force The Mounties Closely

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) was formed in 1920 by the merger of the Royal Northwest Mounted Police (RNWMP, founded in 1873) with the Dominion Police (founded in 1868). The former was originally named the North-West Mounted Police (NWMP), and was given the Royal prefix by King Edward VII in 1904. Much of the present day organization's symbolism has been inherited from its days as the NWMP and RNWMP, including the distinctive Red Serge uniform, paramilitary heritage, and mythos as a frontier force. The RCMP-GRC wording is protected under the Trade-marks Act.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police Royal Canadian Mounted Police RCMP The Canadian Encyclopedia

As Canada's national police force, the RCMP is primarily responsible for enforcing federal laws throughout Canada while general law and order including the enforcement of the Criminal Code and applicable provincial legislation is constitutionally the responsibility of the provinces and territories. Larger cities may form their own municipal police departments.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police Uniform of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Canada Pinterest

The two most populous provinces, Ontario and Quebec, maintain provincial forces: the Ontario Provincial Police and Sûreté du Québec. The other eight provinces contract policing responsibilities to the RCMP. The RCMP provides front-line policing in those provinces under the direction of the provincial governments. When Newfoundland joined the confederation in 1949, the RCMP entered the province and absorbed the then Newfoundland Ranger Force, which patrolled most of Newfoundland's rural areas. The Royal Newfoundland Constabulary patrols urban areas of the province. In the territories, the RCMP is the sole territorial police force. Many municipalities throughout Canada contract to the RCMP. Thus, the RCMP polices at the federal, provincial, and municipal level. It is the only police force of any sort in several areas of Canada.

The RCMP is responsible for an unusually large breadth of duties. Under their federal mandate, the RCMP police throughout Canada, including Ontario and Quebec (albeit under smaller scales there). Federal operations include: enforcing federal laws including commercial crime, counterfeiting, drug trafficking, border integrity, organized crime, and other related matters; providing counter-terrorism and domestic security; providing protection services for the Monarch, governor general, prime minister, their families and residences, and other ministers of the Crown, visiting dignitaries, and diplomatic missions; and participating in various international policing efforts.

Under provincial and municipal contracts the RCMP provides front-line policing in all areas outside of Ontario and Quebec that do not have an established local police force. There are detachments located in small villages in the far north, remote First Nations reserves, and rural towns, but also larger cities such as Surrey, British Columbia (population 468,251+). There, support units investigate for their own detachments, and smaller municipal police forces. Investigations include major crimes, homicides, forensic identification, collision forensics, police dogs, emergency response teams, explosives disposal, and undercover operations. Under its National Police Services branch the RCMP supports all police forces in Canada via the Canadian Police Information Centre, Criminal Intelligence Service Canada, Forensic Science and Identification Services, Canadian Firearms Program, and the Canadian Police College.

The RCMP Security Service was a specialized political intelligence and counterintelligence branch with national security responsibilities, replaced by the Canadian Security Intelligence Service in 1984, following revelations of illegal covert operations relating to the Quebec separatist movement. CSIS is not part of the RCMP, but is its own entity.


Prime Minister Sir John A. Macdonald first began planning a permanent force to patrol the North-West Territories after the Dominion of Canada purchased the territory from the Hudson's Bay Company. Reports from Army officers surveying the territory led to the recommendation that a mounted force of between 100 to 150 mounted riflemen could maintain law and order. The Prime Minister first announced the force as the North West Mounted Rifles. However, officials in the United States raised concerns that an armed force along the border was a prelude to a military buildup. Macdonald then renamed the force the North-West Mounted Police (NWMP) when formed in 1873.

The force added "Royal" to its name in 1904. It merged with the Dominion Police, the main police force for all points east of Manitoba, in 1920 and was renamed as the "Royal Canadian Mounted Police". The new organization was charged with federal law enforcement in all the provinces and territories, and immediately established its modern role as protector of Canadian national security, as well as assuming responsibility for national counterintelligence.

As part of its national security and intelligence functions, the RCMP infiltrated ethnic or political groups considered to be dangerous to Canada. This included the Communist Party of Canada, but also a variety of minority cultural and nationalist groups. The force was also deeply involved in immigration matters, and especially deportations of suspected radicals. They were especially concerned with Ukrainian groups, both nationalist and socialist. The Chinese community was also targeted because of a perceived link to opium dens. Historians estimate fully two per cent of the Chinese community was deported between 1923 and 1932, largely under the provisions of the Opium and Narcotics Drugs Act (ONDA). Besides the RCMP's new responsibilities in intelligence, drugs enforcement, and immigration, the force also assisted numerous other federal agencies with tasks such as enforcing the residential school system for Aboriginal children.

In 1935, the RCMP, collaborating with the Regina Police Service, crushed the On-to-Ottawa Trek by sparking the Regina Riot, in which one city police officer and one protester were killed. The Trek, which had been organized to call attention to the abysmal conditions in relief camps, therefore failed to reach Ottawa, but nevertheless had profound political reverberations.

The RCMP employed special constables to assist with strikebreaking in the interwar period. For a brief period in the late 1930s, a volunteer militia group, the Legion of Frontiersmen were affiliated with the RCMP. Many members of the RCMP belonged to this organization, which was prepared to serve as an auxiliary force. In later years, special constables performed duties such as policing airports and, in some Canadian provinces, the court houses.

In 1932, men and vessels of the Preventive Service, National Revenue, were absorbed, creating the RCMP Marine Section. The acquisition of the RCMP schooner St. Roch facilitated the first effective patrol of Canada's Arctic territory. It was the first vessel to navigate the Northwest Passage from west to east (1940–42), the first to navigate the Passage in one season (from Halifax to Vancouver in 1944), the first to sail either way through the Passage in one season, and the first to circumnavigate North America (1950).

Counterintelligence work was moved from the RCMP's Criminal Investigation Department to a specialized intelligence branch, the RCMP Security Service, in 1939.


On April 1, 1949, Newfoundland joined in full confederation with Canada and the Newfoundland Ranger Force amalgamated with the RCMP.

Following the 1945 defection of Soviet cipher clerk, Igor Gouzenko, and his revelations of espionage, the RCMP Security Service implemented measures to screen out "subversive" elements from the public sector.

Queen Elizabeth II approved in Regina, Saskatchewan on July 4, 1973, a new Badge for the RCMP, in recognition of which the force presented the sovereign with a tapestry rendering of the new design.

In the late 1970s, revelations surfaced that the RCMP Security Service force had in the course of their intelligence duties engaged in crimes such as burning a barn and stealing documents from the separatist Parti Québécois, and other abuses. This led to the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Certain Activities of the RCMP, better known as the "McDonald Commission," named for the presiding judge, Mr Justice David Cargill McDonald. The Commission recommended that the force's intelligences duties be removed in favour of the creation of a separate intelligence agency, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS).

Modern era

In 1993, the Special Emergency Response Team (SERT), were transferred to the Canadian Forces (CF), creating a new unit called Joint Task Force 2 (JTF2). JTF2 inherited some equipment and SERT's former training base near Ottawa.

In 2006, the United States Coast Guard's Ninth District and the RCMP began a program called "Shiprider," in which 12 Mounties from the RCMP detachment at Windsor and 16 US Coast Guard boarding officers from stations in Michigan ride in each other's vessels. The intent is to allow for seamless enforcement of the international border.

On June 3, 2013, the RCMP renamed its 'A' Division to National Division and tasked it with handling corruption cases "at home and abroad".

On December 6, 2006, RCMP Commissioner Giuliano Zaccardelli resigned after admitting that his earlier testimony about the Maher Arar terrorist case was inaccurate. The RCMP's actions were scrutinized by the Commission of Inquiry into the Actions of Canadian Officials in Relation to Maher Arar.

Two officers were found guilty of perjury and sentenced to jail for their actions in the 2007 Robert Dziekański Taser incident in Vancouver.

In 2007, the RCMP was named Newsmaker of the Year by The Canadian Press.

Famous cases

  • The American stagecoach robber Bill Miner was captured by the RCMP in 1906.
  • Albert Johnson, known as the Mad Trapper of Rat River, was killed in a shoot-out with the RCMP in 1932.
  • RCMP officers in Saskatchewan arrested the perpetrator of the Shell Lake murders in 1967.
  • Anarchist militants known as the Squamish Five were arrested by the RCMP in 1983.
  • The suspected driver of the reconnaissance vehicle involved in the 1996 Khobar Towers bombing fled to Canada where he was arrested by the RCMP in the winter of 1997, and was extradited to the United States.
  • Four RCMP officers were fatally shot during an operation in Alberta in March 2005: the Mayerthorpe tragedy was the single worst multiple killing of RCMP officers since the North-West Rebellion.
  • In July 2007, two RCMP officers were shot dead in the Spiritwood Incident near Mildred, Saskatchewan.
  • Three RCMP officers were murdered during the 2014 Moncton shootings in New Brunswick.
  • The perpetrator of the 2014 shootings at Parliament Hill, Ottawa was shot and killed at the scene by the RCMP.
  • History of the RCMP uniform

    The RCMP are famous for their distinctive dress uniform, or "Review Order," popularly known as the "Red Serge." It has a high collared scarlet tunic, midnight blue breeches with yellow leg stripe, Sam Browne belt with white sidearm lanyard, oxblood riding boots (possibly with spurs), brown felt campaign hat (wide, flat brimmed) with the characteristic "Montana crease", and brown gloves (with brown leather gauntlets for riders). Members wear the Review Order during the Musical Ride, an equestrian drill in which mounted members show their riding skills and handling of the cavalry lance. On normal duties, the RCMP uses standard police methods, equipment, and uniforms. The RCMP uses horses for ceremonial operations such as escorting the Governor General's open landau to the Opening of Parliament.

    The Red Serge tunic that identified the NWMP and later the RNWMP and RCMP, is the standard British military pattern (based on the civilian Norfolk jacket). Originally kitted from militia stores, the NWMP later adopted a standard style that emphasized the force's British heritage and differentiated it from the blue American military uniforms. In 1904, dark blue shoulder straps and collars replaced the uniform's scarlet facings when King Edward VII granted the Force "Royal" status for its service in the Second Boer War. Today, RCMP personnel under the rank of inspector wear blue "gorget" patches on the collar, while officers from inspector to commissioner wear solid blue collars and blue pointed-sleeve cuffs.Members once wore a white haversack on top of this jacket and white gauntlets, which contrasted with the red tunic. The modern dress uniform replaces these easily-dirtied items with brown leather riding gloves and carrying pouches on the belt.
    Although the NWMP contingent at Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee wore the flat-brimmed Stetson, the RCMP did not adopt it until about 1904. The original primary summer headdress was the white British foreign service helmet, also known as a pith helmet. This was an impractical choice for the Canadian west, and RCMP members wore a Stetson type hat on patrol and around camp. Sam Steele is often credited with introducing the Stetson-type hat, and when he left the force to command Lord Strathcona's Horse in South Africa, his unit adopted the Stetson. During winter, members wore a Canadian military fur wedge cap or busby. In British Columbia, the hat features a black bearskin rim belt.
    The NWMP wore buff or steel grey breeches until they adopted dark blue breeches with yellow-gold strapping (stripes). Members often exchanged kit with U.S. cavalry units, and while some believe this was the source for the breeches, the NWMP considered adopting blue breeches with a white strap. Dark blue with yellow-gold strapping is a British cavalry tradition, and most cavalry (later armoured) regiments' dress uniforms feature yellow stripes.
    Black riding boots changed to the modern brown style called "Strathcona Boots" or informally as "high browns" (See link to Lord Strathcona's Horse) and the original crossbelts changed to the brown Sam Browne type. The brown colour of the boots and belt the RCMP wear with the Red Serge are from members who applied coats of polish, often during training at Depot Division.
    The RCMP's original spurs, known as "long shank spurs," were solid nickel. Their owners occasionally had their regimental number engraved on the inside, and some replaced the rowel with a US buffalo nickel to complement the Mounted Police capbadge and avoid using a Canadian coin that would deface the monarch. The RCMP last issued long shank spurs in 1968.

    Sidearms are standard now, but were often not worn in the early years.

    Everyday Uniform
    The everyday uniform is a grey shirt with dark blue tie, dark blue trousers with gold strapping, regular patrol boots called "ankle boots," regular duty equipment, and a regular policeman's style cap. Members on operational duty wear a blue Gore-Tex open-collar jacket (patrol jacket), while sergeants major and certain non-commissioned officers (NCOs) involved in recruit training or media relations wear a dark blue jacket (blue serge). Depending on their duties, officers wear white shirts and the patrol jacket or blue serge. During the summer, officers wear a tie with a short-sleeved shirt, and other members wear short-sleeved shirts. Winter dress is a long-sleeved shirt without tie for all members except officers, who wear a tie with the long-sleeved shirt. In colder weather, members may wear heavier boots, winter coats (storm coats) and a fur cap.

    In 1990, Baltej Singh Dhillon became the RCMP's first Sikh officer to be allowed to wear a turban instead of the traditional Stetson. On March 15, the federal government, despite protests, decided they would allow Sikhs to wear turbans while on duty as RCMP officers as had been the practice for Sikh members of Canadian Forces for decades.

    Despite ongoing pressure from groups such as the Association for the Protection of Fur-Bearing Animals, the RCMP uses muskrat fur in their winter dress uniform. The RCMP originally decided not to use fur, but the government overruled them.


    The RCMP awards its Royal Canadian Mounted Police Long Service Medal to members who have completed 20 years' service. A clasp is awarded for each successive 5 years to 40 years. Members also receive a Service Badge star for each five years' service, which is worn on the left sleeve. There are specialist insignia for positions such as first aid instructor and dog handler, and pilot's wings are worn by aviators. Sharpshooter badges for proficiency in pistol or rifle shooting are each awarded in two grades.

    Women in the RCMP

    On May 23, 1974, RCMP Commissioner Maurice Nadon announced that the RCMP would accept applications from women as regular members of the force. Troop 17 was the first group of 32 females at Depot in Regina on September 18 and 19, 1974 for regular training. This first all-female troop graduated from Depot on March 3, 1975.

    After initially wearing different unflattering uniforms, women officers were finally issued the standard RCMP uniforms. Now all officers are identically attired, with two exceptions. The ceremonial dress uniform, or "walking-out order", for female members has a long, blue skirt and higher-heeled slip-on pumps plus small black clutch purse (however, in 2012 the RCMP began to allow women to wear trousers and boots with all their formal uniforms.) The second exception is the official maternity uniform for pregnant female officers assigned to administrative duties.

    The following years saw the first women attain certain positions.

  • 1981: corporal, Musical Ride
  • 1987: foreign post
  • 1990: detachment commander
  • 1992: commissioned officer
  • 1998: Assistant Commissioner
  • From December 15, 2006, to July 2007, Beverley Busson served as interim Commissioner of the RCMP, making her the first woman to hold the top position in the force. She was replaced by William J. S. Elliott on July 6, 2007, (Elliott was sworn in on July 16—the first civilian to lead the RCMP.)

    Military status

    Although the RCMP is a civilian police force, in 1921, following the service of many of its members during the First World War, King George V awarded the force the status of a regiment of dragoons, entitling it to display the battle honours it had been awarded.

    Service in wartime

    During the Second Boer War, members of the North-West Mounted Police were given leaves of absence to join the 2nd Battalion, Canadian Mounted Rifles (CMR) and Strathcona's Horse. The force raised the Canadian Mounted Rifles, mostly from NWMP members, for service in South Africa. For the CMR's distinguished service there, King Edward VII honoured the NWMP by changing the name to the Royal Northwest Mounted Police (RNWMP) on June 24, 1904.

    During the First World War, the Royal Northwest Mounted Police (RNWMP) conducted border patrols, surveillance of enemy aliens, and enforcement of national security regulations within Canada. However, RNWMP officers also served overseas. On August 6, 1914, a squadron of volunteers from the RNWMP was formed to serve with the Canadian Light Horse in France. In 1918, two more squadrons were raised, A Squadron for service in France and Flanders and B Squadron for service in the Canadian Siberian Expeditionary Force

    In September 1939, at the outset of the Second World War, the Canadian Army had no military police. Five days after war was declared the Royal Canadian Mounted Police received permission to form a Provost Company of Force volunteers. It was designated No. 1 Provost Company (RCMP), and became theCanadian Provost Corps. Six months after war was declared its members were overseas in Europe and served throughout the Second World War as military police.


    The Royal Canadian Mounted Police were accorded the status of a regiment of Dragoons in 1921, with its first guidon presented in 1935. As a cavalry regiment, the RCMP was entitled to wear battle honours for its war service as well as carry a guidon. The RCMP mounted the King's Life Guard at Horse Guards Parade in 1937 leading up to the coronation of King George VI. The RCMP mounted the Queen's Life Guard in May 2012 during celebrations of Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee.

    Battle honours

  • North West Canada 1885
  • South Africa 1900–02
  • The Great War: France and Flanders 1918, Siberia 1918–19
  • The Second World War: Europe, 1939–45
  • Honorary distinction:

  • The badge of the Canadian Provost Corps (Military Police), presented September 21, 1957, at a Parliament Hill ceremony for contributions to the Corps during the Second World War
  • Legacy

    In 1975, the RCMP dedicated a memorial beside the Fred Light Museum in Battleford, Saskatchewan, consisting of a cemetery with gate, cairn and list of honour plaque to the members of the North-West Mounted Police (1873–1904) and the RCMP.


    The RCMP International Operations Branch assists the Liaison Officer (LO) Program to deter international crime relating to Canadian criminal laws. The IOB is a section of the International Policing, which is part of the RCMP Federal and International Operations Directorate. Thirty-seven Liaison Officers are placed in 23 other countries and are responsible for organizing Canadian investigations in other countries, developing and maintaining the exchange of criminal intelligence, especially national security with other countries, to provide assistance in investigations that directly affect Canada, to coordinate and assist RCMP officers on foreign business and to represent the RCMP at international meetings. Liaison Officers are located in:

    The RCMP was a member agency in the Afghan Threat Finance Cell, and RCMP officers were embedded with military units in Afghanistan.


    The RCMP is organized under the authority of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Act. In accordance with the Act, it is headed by the Commissioner, who, under the direction of the Minister of Public Safety, has the control and management of the Force and all matters connected therewith.

    The Commissioner is assisted by Deputy Commissioners in charge of:

  • Federal and International Policing
  • Police Support Services
  • Contract and Aboriginal Policing
  • Human Resources
  • East
  • Ontario ("O" Division)
  • National Division (Formerly "A" Division)
  • National Headquarters
  • Quebec ("C" Division)
  • New Brunswick ("J" Division)
  • Nova Scotia ("H" Division)
  • Prince Edward Island ("L" Division)
  • Newfoundland and Labrador ("B" Division)
  • West
  • British Columbia ("E" Division)
  • Alberta ("K" Division)
  • Saskatchewan ("F" Division)
  • Manitoba ("D" Division)
  • Yukon ("M" Division)
  • Northwest Territories ("G" Division)
  • Nunavut ("V" Division)
  • Divisions

    The RCMP divides the country into divisions for command purposes. In general, each division is coterminous with a province (for example, C Division is Quebec). The province of Ontario, however, is divided into two divisions: National Division (Ottawa) and O Division (rest of the province). There is one additional division – Depot Division, which is the RCMP Academy at Regina, Saskatchewan, and the Police Dog Service Training Centre at Innisfail, Alberta. The RCMP headquarters are located in Ottawa, Ontario.

  • National Division (formerly A Division): National Capital Region (Ottawa, Ontario, and Gatineau, Quebec)
  • B Division: Newfoundland and Labrador
  • C Division: Quebec
  • D Division: Manitoba
  • E Division: British Columbia
  • F Division: Saskatchewan
  • G Division: Northwest Territories
  • H Division: Nova Scotia
  • J Division: New Brunswick
  • K Division: Alberta
  • L Division: Prince Edward Island
  • M Division: Yukon
  • O Division: Ontario
  • V Division: Nunavut
  • Depot Division at Regina and the Police Dog Service Training Centre at Innisfail.
  • Detachments

    The RCMP formerly had many single-officer detachments in small, isolated rural communities, but in 2012 the RCMP announced that it would be closing these detachments as it moves to have all detachments with a minimum of three Mounties.

    The largest single RCMP detachment is in the City of Surrey in British Columbia, with over a thousand employees. Surrey has contracted with the RCMP for policing services since 1951. The second-largest RCMP detachment is in Burnaby, also in British Columbia.

    Personal Protection Group

    The Personal Protection Group or PPG is a 180-member group responsible for security details for VIPs, the prime minister, and the governor general. It was created after the 1995 incident at 24 Sussex Drive.

    Units under the PPG consists of:

  • Prime Minister Protective Detail provides bodyguards to protect the prime minister of Canada in Canada and abroad. This unit is based in Ottawa with operations at 24 Sussex Drive and Harrington Lake near Chelsea, Quebec.
  • Governor General’s Protection Detail provides bodyguards to protect the governor general of Canada in Canada and abroad. This unit is based in Ottawa with operations at Rideau Hall.
  • Very Important Persons Security Section (VIPSS) provides security details to VIP (including the chief justice of Canada, federal ministers, and diplomats) and others under the direction of the Minister of Public Safety.
  • Personnel

    As of September 1, 2015, the RCMP employed 28,461 men and women, including police officers, civilian members, and public service employees.

    Actual personnel strength by ranks:

  • Commissioner 1
  • Deputy commissioner 7
  • Assistant commissioner 26
  • Chief superintendent 58
  • Superintendent 179
  • Inspector 345
  • Corps sergeant major 1
  • Sergeants major 1
  • Staff sergeants major 13
  • Staff sergeants 812
  • Sergeants 1,923
  • Corporals 3,377
  • Constables 11,491
  • Special constables 55
  • Civilian members 3,838
  • Public servants 6,331
  • Total 28,461
  • Regular members

    The term regular member, or RM, originates from the RCMP Act and refers to the 18,988 regular RCMP officers who are trained and sworn as peace officers, and include all the ranks from constable to commissioner. They are the police officers of the RCMP and are responsible for investigating crime and have the authority to make arrests. RMs operate in over 750 detachments, including 200 municipalities and more than 600 Aboriginal communities. RMs are normally assigned to general policing duties at an RCMP detachment for a minimum of three years. These duties allow them to experience a broad range of assignments and experiences, such as responding to alarms, foot patrol, bicycle patrol, traffic enforcement, collecting evidence at crime scenes, testifying in court, apprehending criminals and plain clothes duties. Regular members also serve in over 150 different types of operational and administrative opportunities available within the RCMP, these include: major crime investigations, emergency response, forensic identification, forensic collision reconstruction, international peacekeeping, bike or marine patrol, explosives disposal and police dog services. Also included are administrative roles including human resources, corporate planning, policy analysis and public affairs.

    Auxiliary constables and other staff

    Besides the regular RCMP officers, several types of designations exist which give them assorted powers and responsibilities over policing issues.

    Currently, there are:

  • Community Constables: not reported
  • Reserve Constables : not reported
  • Auxiliary Constables: 2,400+
  • Community Safety Officers: 16
  • Aboriginal Community Constables: 7
  • Special Constables: 78
  • Civilian Members: 3,760
  • Public servants: 6,194
  • Community Constables (CC)
    A new designation introduced in 2014 as a replacement to the Community Safety Officers & Aboriginal Community Constables pilot programs. Community Constables are armed, paid members holding the rank of Special Constables, with peace officer power. They are to provide a bridge between the local citizens and the RCMP using their local and cultural knowledge They will mostly be focused on crime prevention, liaison with the community, and to provide resources in the event of a large-scale event.
    Reserve Constables (R/Cst.)
    A program reinstated in 2004 in British Columbia to allow for retired, regular RCMP members or other provincially trained officers to provide extra manpower when a shortage is identified. R/Cst. are appointed under Section 11 of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Act as paid part-time, armed officers with the same powers as regular members. However, they are not allowed to carry force-issued sidearms and use of force options unless they are called upon to duty. They generally carry out community policing roles but may also be called upon if an emergency occurs.
    Auxiliary constables (A/Cst.)
    Volunteers within their own community, appointed under provincial police acts. They are not police officers and can not identify themselves as such. However, they are given peace officer powers when on duty with a regular member (RM). Their duties consist mainly of assisting the RM in routine events, for example cordoning off crime scene areas, crowd control, participating in community policing, assistance during situations where regular members might be overwhelmed with their duties (e.g., keep watch of a backseat detainee while RM interviews a victim). They are identified by the wording of "RCMP Auxiliary" on Cars, jackets and shoulder flashes.
    Community Safety Officers (CSO)
    In 2008, a new pilot designation within the RCMP in British Columbia was created based on the UK Police Community Support Officer program. Community safety officers are paid, unarmed RCMP staff members with similar RCMP uniform but distinct shoulder badges with baton, pepper spray and handcuffs. CSOs work with regular members in five areas: community safety; crime prevention; traffic support; community policing and investigation support. They are peace officers but are not police officers. CSOs are appointed as special constable under the RCMP Act. The CSO program is scheduled to be dismantled in 2015.
    Aboriginal Community Constables (ACC)
    A pilot program that began in April 2011 where ACCs are armed, uniformed peace officers who are engaged in policing activities in their home First Nations and Inuit communities in Northwest Territories, Manitoba, Alberta, and Nunavut. Their function is to engage their communities in active crime prevention/reduction activities, and building positive relationships between their communities and the RCMP but can also provide tactical, enforcement and investigational support to core resources as a secondary function. The program is scheduled to be merged into the Community Constable program in 2015.
    Special constables (S/Cst.)
    Employees of the RCMP, they have varied duties depending on where they are deployed, but are often given this designation because of an expertise they possess which needs to be applied in a certain area. For example, an Aboriginal person might be appointed a special constable in order to assist regular members as they police an Aboriginal community where English is not well understood, and where the special constable speaks the language well.From the early years of policing in northern Canada, and well into the 1950s, local aboriginal people were hired by the RCMP as special constables and were employed as guides and to obtain and care for sled dog teams. Many of these former special constables still reside in the North to this day and are still involved in regimental functions of the RCMP.
    Civilian members of the RCMP
    While not delegated the powers of police officers, they are instead hired for their specialized scientific, technological, Communications and administrative skills. Since the RCMP is a multi-faceted law enforcement organization with responsibilities for federal, provincial and municipal policing duties, it offers employment opportunities for civilian members as professional partners within Canada's national police force.

    Civilian members represent approximately 14% of the total RCMP employee population, and are employed within RCMP establishments in most geographical areas of Canada. The following is a list of the most common categories of employment that may be available to interested and qualified individuals.

  • Operations
  • Telecommunications Operator (dispatcher)
  • Scientific
  • Toxicology
  • Chemistry
  • BiologyDNA
  • Law
  • Technical
  • Forensic Identification Services
  • Instrument Technology
  • Document examination
  • Counterfeit Analysis
  • Firearms Technology
  • Electronics Technology
  • Information technology
  • Communications
  • Computer Systems Development
  • Telecommunications
  • Information Services/Public Affairs
  • Administrative
  • Policy Development and Analysis
  • Staff Development and Training
  • Human resource management
  • Translation
  • Police Records Information Management Environment (PRIME-BC)
  • Public Service Employees
    Also referred to as Public Servants, PSes or PSEs, they provide much of the administrative support for the RCMP in the form of detachment clerks and other administrative support at the headquarters level. They are not police officers, do not wear a uniform, have no police authority and are not bound by the RCMP Act.
    Municipal Employees

    Abbreviated as "ME" they are found in RCMP detachments where a contract exists with a municipality to provide front-line policing. MEs are not actually employees of the RCMP, but are instead employed by the local municipality to work in the RCMP detachment. They conduct the same duties that a PSE would and are required to meet the same reliability and security clearance to do so. Many detachment buildings house a combination of municipal and provincially funded detachments, and therefore there are often PSEs and MEs found working together in them.


    The rank system of the RCMP illustrates their origin as a paramilitary force. The insignia were based upon the Canadian Army (and British Army) of the time, which is almost identical to that of the current Canadian Army. Higher ranks have been increased over the years since the formation of the force, whereas the rank of inspector, which was initially a subaltern, is now a field officer level, the lower officer ranks having been dropped. With the military introducing the warrant officer, the RCMP non-commissioned officers were maintained using the older military style.

    The numbers are current as of September 1, 2015:

    The ranks of inspector and higher are commissioned ranks and are appointed by the Governor-in-Council. Depending on the dress, badges are worn on the shoulder as slip-ons, on shoulder boards, or directly on the epaulettes. The lower ranks are non-commissioned officers and the insignia continues to be based on British Army patterns. Since 1990, the non-commissioned officers' rank insignia has been embroidered on the epaulette slip-ons. Non-commissioned rank badges are worn on the right sleeve of the scarlet/blue tunic and blue jacket. The constables wear no rank insignia. There are also Special Constables, Reserve Constables, Auxiliary Constables, and Students who wear identifying insignia.

    The Bath star represents the military Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath.

    Land fleet

    RCMP Land Transport Fleet Inventory includes:

  • Cars: 5,330
  • Unmarked vehicles: 2,811
  • Light trucks: 2,090
  • Heavy Trucks: 123
  • SUVs: 616
  • Motorcycles: 34
  • Small snowmobiles: 481
  • All-terrain vehicles: 181
  • Gas railway car: 1
  • Tractors: 27
  • Buses: 3
  • Total: 11,697
  • Marine craft

    The RCMP polices Canadian Internal Waters, including the territorial sea and contiguous zone as well as the Great Lakes and Saint Lawrence Seaway; such operations are provided by the RCMP's Federal Services Directorate and includes enforcing Canada's environment, fisheries, customs and immigration laws. In provinces and municipalities where the RCMP performs contract policing, the force polices freshwater lakes and rivers.

    To meet these challenges, the RCMP operates what is known as the Marine Division, with five Robert Allan Ltd.–designed high-speed catamaran patrol vessels; Inkster and the Commissioner-class Nadon, Higgitt, Lindsay and Simmonds, based on all three coasts and manned by officers specially trained in maritime enforcement. Inkster is based in Prince Rupert, BC, Simmonds is stationed on Newfoundland's south coast, and the rest are on the Pacific Coast. Simmonds sports the RCMP badge, but is otherwise painted with Canadian Coast Guard colours and the marking Coast Guard Police. The other four vessels are painted with blue and white RCMP colours.

    The RCMP operates 377 smaller boats, defined as vessels less than 9.2 m (30 ft) long, at locations across Canada. This category ranges from canoes and car toppers to rigid-hulled inflatables and stable, commercially built, inboard/outboard vessels. Individual detachments often have smaller high-speed rigid-hulled inflatable boats and other purpose-built vessels for inland waters, some of which can be hauled by road to the nearest launching point.

    Aircraft fleet

    As of May 2014 the RCMP had 40 aircraft (9 helicopters and 31 fixed-wing aircraft) registered with Transport Canada (TC). with 41 listed on the RCMP Air Services website, excepting the Quest Kodiak. All aircraft are operated and maintained by the Air Services Branch. Only the Twin Otter and the Avanti are twin-engine aircraft, all the others, including the helicopters, are single engine.

  • Other than the Cessna Caravans the RCMP just list 10 Cessna.
  • Weapons and intervention options

  • Smith & Wesson Model 5906
  • Smith & Wesson model 3953
  • Heckler & Koch MP5
  • Remington Model 700 .308 centrefire rifle
  • Winchester Model 70 .308 rifle. (This rifle is being phased out and replaced by the Remington 700)
  • Remington 870 12-gauge shotgun
  • SIG Sauer 220R - .45 ACP / SIG Sauer 226R - 9×19mm
  • Colt Canada C7 rifle
  • Colt Canada C8 carbine
  • Taser International M26, X26, & X26P
  • Oleoresin capsicum spray
  • ASP and Monadnock expandable defensive batons
  • Past weapons and intervention options

  • Fabrique Nationale (FN) C1A1 variant of the L1A1 and FN FAL produced under licence by Canadian Arsenals Limited (CAL) (Long Branch).
  • Lee–Enfield No. 4 Mk1
  • Winchester Model 1876 saddle carbine--issued in .45-75 Winchester, and used from 1878 until 1914.
  • Enfield Mark II revolver--issued in .476 Enfield, about 1080 Mark IIs obtained from Britain's Ministry of Defence, after it was learned the Beaumont–Adams had been discontinued.
  • Beaumont–Adams revolver--first issue weapon, in .450 Adams. 330 Mark Is purchased from Britain's Ministry of Defence; later, 330 Mark IIs added.
  • Webley & Scott Bull Dog revolver
  • Colt New Service revolver--700 ordered in .455 Webley, with .45 Long Colt versions being delivered from 1919; in all, over 3200 issued.
  • Smith & Wesson Model 10 revolver--issued with 5 in (130 mm) barrel, in .38 Special. It served more than forty years. Halfway through its service, the loading was changed to a .38 Special +P. (The loading was a 158 gr (0.36 oz; 10.2 g) hollowpoint, a violation of the Geneva Convention.)
  • Smith & Wesson Model 3 revolver
  • Snider–Enfield
  • Tranter revolver
  • 1822 and 1853 pattern light cavalry swords
  • Straightstick baton manufactured in wood and plastic
  • Sap gloves
  • Ceremonial weapons and symbols of office

  • 1912 pattern cavalry officer's sword carried by officers. Blade is acid etched both sides with the monarch's crown, Canadian coat of Arms, royal cypher and RCMP badge.
  • 1908 pattern cavalry sword carried by NCOs on the Musical Ride
  • Bamboo lance
  • Drill cane
  • Swagger stick
  • Commissioner's tipstaff
  • In 1973, Wilkinson Sword produced a number of commemorative swords to celebrate the RCMP centennial. None of these swords were ever used ceremonially, and were strictly collectibles. Wilkinson Sword also made a commemorative centennial tomahawk and miniature "letter opener" models of their centennial swords. In 1973, Winchester Repeating Arms Company produced an RCMP commemorative centennial version of their Model 94 rifle in .30-30 Winchester, with a 22 in (560 mm) round barrel. The receiver, buttplate, and forend cap (on the musket-style forend) were plated in gold. Commemorative medallions were embedded in the right-hand side of the stock, with an "MP" engraving. There was engraving on the barrel and receiver indicating the rifle was a centennial commemorative edition. Sights were open notch rear, with a flip-up rear ladder, graduated to 2,000 yd (1,800 m). Two versions were produced, 9500 with serial numbers beginning "RCMP" for commercial sale, 5000 with the prefix "MP" sold only to serving RCMP members. In addition, ten presentation models were produced, serialled RCMP1P to RCMP10P. (The production of this commemorative is ironic, since the Winchester 94 was never used by the force.))

    The Mounties have been immortalized as symbols of Canadian culture in numerous Hollywood Northwestern movies and television series, which often feature the image of the Mountie as square-jawed, stoic, and polite, yet with a steely determination and physical toughness that sometimes appears superhuman. Coupled with the adage that the Mountie "always gets his man," the image projects them as fearsome, incorruptible, dogged yet gentle champions of the law. The RCMP's motto is actually Maintiens le droit, French for "Defending the Law". The Hollywood motto derives from a comment by a Montana newspaper, the Fort Benton Record: "They fetch their man every time".

    Early depictions

    In 1912, Ralph Connor's Corporal Cameron of the North-West Mounted Police: A Tale of the MacLeod Trail appeared, becoming an international best-selling novel. Mounties fiction became a popular genre in both pulp magazines and book form. Among the best-selling authors who specialized in tales of the Mounted Police were James Oliver Curwood, Laurie York Erskine, James B Hendryx, T Lund, Harwood Steele (the son of Sam Steele), and William Byron Mowery.

    In other media, a famous example is the radio and television series, Sergeant Preston of the Yukon. Dudley Do-Right (of The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show) is a 1960s example of the comic aspect of the Mountie myth, as is Klondike Kat, from Total Television. The Broadway musical and Hollywood movie Rose-Marie is a 1930s example of its romantic side. A successful combination were a series of Renfrew of the Royal Mounted boy's adventure novels written by Laurie York Erskine beginning in 1922 running to 1941. In the 1930s Erskine narrated a Sgt Renfrew of the Mounties radio show and a series of films with actor-singer James Newill playing Renfrew were released between 1937 and 1940. In 1953 portions of the films were mixed with new sequences of Newill for a Renfrew of the Mounted television series.

    A former Mounted Police corporal (1919–1923), Bruce Carruthers, served as an unofficial technical advisor to Hollywood in many films with RCMP characters.

    Modern culture

    In 1959, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation aired R.C.M.P., a half-hour dramatic series about an R.C.M.P. detachment keeping the peace and fighting crime. Filmed in black and white, in and around Ottawa by Crawley Films, the series was co-produced with the BBC and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and ran for 39 episodes. It was noted for its pairing of Québécois and Anglo officers.

    Canadians also poke fun at the RCMP with Sergeant Renfrew and his faithful dog Cuddles in various sketches produced by the Royal Canadian Air Farce comedy troupe. On That '70s Show Mounties were played by SCTV alumni Joe Flaherty and Dave Thomas. The British have also exploited the myth: the BBC television series Monty Python's Flying Circus featured a group of Mounties singing the chorus in The Lumberjack Song in the lumberjack sketch.

    The 1972–90 CBC series The Beachcombers featured a character named Constable John Constable who attempted to enforce the law in the town of Gibsons, British Columbia.

    In comic books, the Marvel Comics characters of Alpha Flight were described on several occasions as "RCMP auxiliaries," and two of their members, Snowbird and the second Major Mapleleaf were depicted as serving members of the force. In the latter case, due to trademark issues, Major Mapleleaf was described as a "Royal Canadian Mountie" in the opening roll call pages of each issue of Alpha Flight he appeared in.

    Charles Bronson and Lee Marvin starred in the 1981 movie Death Hunt that fictionalized the RCMP pursuit of Albert Johnson.

    In the early 1990s, Canadian professional wrestler Jacques Rougeau utilized the gimmick of "The Mountie" while wrestling for the WWF. He typically wore the Red Serge to the ring, and carried a shock stick as an illegal weapon. As his character was portrayed as an evil Mountie, the RCMP ultimately won an injunction preventing Rougeau from wrestling as this character in Canada, though he was not prevented from doing so outside the country. He briefly held the Intercontinental Championship in 1992.

    The 1998 swan song of Nick Berry's time on UK drama Heartbeat featured his character, Sergeant Nick Rowan, transferring to Canada and taking the rank of constable in the Mounties. The special telemovie was titled Heartbeat: Changing Places.

    The 1994–98 TV series Due South paired a Mountie (and his deaf half-wolf) with a streetwise American detective cleaning up the streets of Chicago, mainly deriving its entertainment from the perceived differences in attitude between these two countries' police forces.

    A pair of Mounties staffed the RCMP detachment in the fictional town of Lynx River, Northwest Territories, in the CBC series North of 60. The series, which aired from 1992 to 1998, was about events in the mostly native community, but the Mounties featured prominently in each episode.

    Another TV series from the 1990s, Bordertown featured a NWMP corporal paired with a U.S. marshal securing law and order on a frontier U.S.-Canada border town. In the ABC TV mini-series Answered by Fire, at least three mounties are featured.

    The 1987 Brian De Palma film The Untouchables featured cooperation between the Treasury Department task force, led by Eliot Ness, and the Mounties against liquor smuggling across the Canada–United States border.

    The 1995 album C'est Cheese by Canadian musical comedy group The Arrogant Worms includes "The Mountie Song", which tells the story of a dissatisfied Mountie.

    In his 1999, album Soiree Newfoundland musician A. Frank Willis included "Savage Cop in Savage Cove" which was based on a true story & went on to become a big hit.

    From 2011, the CTV fantasy drama series "The Listener" began to regularly feature characters who worked for the Integrated Investigative Bureau, a fictional division of the R.C.M.P. that brought together various specialists, officers and civilian consultants to work on high profile or federal cases. Although characters in the employ of the IIB were rarely, if ever, depicted wearing uniform, they were often addressed by their ranks - two main characters were Sergeant Michelle McClusky and Corporal Dev Clark.

    Mountie merchandise

    There are products and merchandise that are made in the image of the RCMP, like Mounties statues or hats. Before 1995, the RCMP had little control over these products.

    The RCMP Heritage Centre is a multi-million dollar museum designed by Arthur Erickson that opened May 2007 in Regina, Saskatchewan at the RCMP Academy, Depot Division. It replaced the old RCMP museum and is designed to celebrate the role of the force in Canada's history.


    The Royal Canadian Mounted Police received an international license on April 1, 1995, requiring those who use the RCMP to pay a licensing fee. Proceeds from the fees is used for community awareness programmes. Those that do not pay the licensing fee are legally unable to use the name of the RCMP or their correct uniforms, though a film such as Canadian Bacon used the name "Royal Mounted Canadian Police" (RMCP) and the character in the Dudley Do-Right film did not wear accurate insignia.

    Through a Master Licensing Agreement (MLA) with the RCMP, the RCMP Foundation is responsible for managing the commercial use of the RCMP name, image, and protected marks. The Foundation issues selected companies a royalty-based agreement allowing them to produce and market high quality official RCMP merchandise. Walt Disney Co. (Canada) Ltd. was contracted to aid in the initial set up of the Licensing Program but contrary to popular belief, Disney never owned or controlled any of the RCMP's protected marks.

    Following the expiration of the Disney contract in 2000, all responsibilities and activities were taken over by the then Executive Director and his staff, reporting to the Foundation President and Board of Directors. In 2007, through a decree signed by Commissioner Beverley Busson, the operating name was changed to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Foundation.

    Controversies and criticism

    American historian Andrew Graybill has argued that the Mounted Police closely resemble the Texas Rangers in many ways. He argues that each protected the established order by confining and removing Indians, by tightly controlling the mixed blood peoples (the African Americans in Texas and the Métis in Canada), assisted the large-scale ranchers against the small-scale ranchers and farmers who fenced the land, and broke the power of labor unions that tried to organize the workers of industrial corporations.

    The RCMP have been involved in training and logistically supporting the Haitian National Police since 1994, a controversial matter in Canada considering allegations of widespread human rights violations on the part of the HNP. Some Canadian activist groups have called for an end to the RCMP training. The RCMP has also provided training overseas in Iraq and other peace-keeping missions.

    In October 2016, the RCMP issued an apology for harassment, discrimination, and sexual abuse of female officers and civilian members. Additionally they set aside a $100 million fund to compensate these victims. Over 20,000 current and past female employees that were employed after 1974 are eligible.


    Royal Canadian Mounted Police Wikipedia