Royal Canadian Mounted Police

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Deputy Commissioner 7 Assistant Commissioner 26 Chief Superintendent 60 Superintendent 185 Inspector 446 Corps Sergeant Major 1 Sergeants Major 7 Staff Sergeants Major 17 Staff Sergeants 950 Sergeants 2,153 Corporals 3,653 Constables 11,834 Special Constables 74s || 19,414(Sept. 2010)[3]

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) (French: Gendarmerie royale du Canada (GRC), literally ‘Royal Gendarmerie of Canada’; colloquially known as Mounties, and internally as ‘The Force’) is the national police force of Canada, and one of the most recognized of its kind in the world. It is unique in the world as a national, federal, provincial and municipal policing body. The RCMP provides federal policing service to all of Canada and policing services under contract to the three territories, eight provinces (the RCMP does not serve as provincial or municipal police in Ontario and Quebec), more than 190 municipalities, 184 Aboriginal communities and three international airports.[4]

The RCMP was formed in 1920 by the merger of the Royal Northwest Mounted Police (RNWMP, founded 1873) with the Dominion Police (founded 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, including the distinctive Red Serge uniform, paramilitary heritage, and mythos as a frontier force. The RCMP/GRC wording is specifically protected under the Trade-marks Act.[5]

As the national police force of Canada, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police 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. This responsibility is sometimes further delegated to municipalities which can form their own municipal police departments. This is common in the largest cities.

The two most populous provinces, Ontario and Quebec, maintain their own provincial forces; the Ontario Provincial Police and Sûreté du Québec. The other eight provinces, however, have chosen to contract most or all of their provincial policing responsibilities to the RCMP. Under these contracts the RCMP provides front-line policing in those provinces under the direction of the provincial governments in regard to provincial and municipal law enforcement. When Newfoundland joined confederation in 1949 the RCMP entered the province and absorbed the then Newfoundland Rangers and took over responsibilities in that area. Today the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary has reclaimed some of that province to their jurisdiction. In the three territories, the RCMP serves as the sole territorial police force. Additionally, many municipalities throughout Canada contract the RCMP to serve as their police force. The RCMP consequently provides policing services at the federal, provincial and municipal level.

The RCMP is responsible for an unusually large breadth of duties. Under their federal mandate, the RCMP provides policing throughout Canada, including Ontario and Quebec. 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, BC (population 394,976). In these provinces the RCMP maintains units that provide investigational support to their own detachments, as well as smaller municipal police forces, including the investigation of major crimes such as homicides, forensic identification services, police dog services, emergency response teams, explosives disposal, undercover operations, and others. Under its National Police Services branch the RCMP provides support to all police forces in Canada through the operation of support services such as the Canadian Police Information Centre, the Criminal Intelligence Service Canada, Forensic Science and Identification Services, the Canadian Firearms Program and the Canadian Police College.

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