Royal Canadian Mounted Police

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RCMP officer on Parliament Hill

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), (French: Gendarmerie royale du Canada (GRC)), is the national police force of Canada. The force is also called the Mounties.

Unique organization[change | change source]

RCMP is unique in the world because it is a national, federal, provincial and municipal policing organization:[1]

The RCMP/GRC wording is protected under the Canadian Trade-marks Act.[5]

History[change | change source]

Northwest Mounted Policman -- Canadian Illustrated News, 13 February, 1875.

The Northwest Mounted Police (NWMP), was founded 1873. The Mounties were created to establish authority and to make accommodations with the native population in the west before settlers began to arrive.[6] The smaller Dominion Police was founded in 1868 to protect federal government buildings.

The Mounties were given the right to use the term Royal by King Edward VII in 1904. Their name was changed to the Royal Northwest Mounted Police (RNWMP).

The modern RCMP was created when the RNWMP merged with the smaller Dominion Police in 1920.

The word mounted suggests that the police ride horses. Before 1920, horses were their main method of travel. However, today the RCMP do not ride horses except at special events.

Uniform[change | change source]

The RCMP are famous for their uniform. The "Review Order" (also "Red Serge") uniform is worn mostly at special events, such as parades. The uniform consists of a red tunic with a large brown belt, a light brown hat, dark blue breeches (trousers) with a yellow stripe and riding boots.

On an ordinary day at work, RCMP officers instead wear a grey shirt, dark blue trousers, ankle boots and a peaked cap (the type worn by most police officers elsewhere). In the winter they may wear a thicker coat, heavier boots and a fur cap.

Ranks[change | change source]

The ranks of the RCMP are, from highest to lowest:

  • Commissioner
  • Deputy Commissioner
  • Assistant Commissioner
  • Chief superintendent
  • Superintendent
  • Inspector
  • Corps sergeant major*
  • Sergeant major*
  • Staff sergeant major*
  • Staff sergeant
  • Sergeant
  • Corporal
  • Constable

Ranks marked with an asterisk (*) are only found in a few parts of the RCMP and are not part of the main rank system. For most staff sergeants, their boss is an inspector and not a staff sergeant major.

Notes[change | change source]

  1. RCMP
  2. First Nations
  3. Inuit
  4. Métis
  5. Canada Trade-marks Act
  6. Wolkomir, Richard. "Mounties forever, but these days rarely on horseback," Smithsonian. February 1989, pp. 81-82.

References[change | change source]

  • Wolkomir, Richard. "Mounties forever, but these days rarely on horseback," Smithsonian. February 1989, pp. 78-89.

Other websites[change | change source]