North-West Mounted Police - A Tradition in Scarlet   Francais Home Sitemap Links Feedback Credits
Pour voir davantage du Mus´┐Że virtuel du Canada / See more of the Virtual Museum of Canada
A National Police Force
Prev page
Next page

As the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, we became responsible for federal law enforcement in all ten provinces and all territories. Our headquarters, based in Regina up until now, moved to Ottawa.

Some provinces hired their own provincial police forces. Others, like Alberta, Saskatchewan and BC, eventually asked us to take care of all their policing. Today, only Ontario and Quebec have provincial police forces. Most large cities also have their own police force. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

Our role changed. We traded in our horses for motorcycles, automobiles, airplanes and boats. We now had telephones and radios to keep in touch with each other. We went from chasing whisky traders to arresting drug lords, from checking for stolen cattle to breaking international theft rings. To help us and other police forces solve crimes, we became experts at fingerprinting and all aspects of forensics. Our forensic laboratory can identify the gun a specific bullet was shot from, match soil samples from a shoe to a crime scene, identify a criminal or a victim from hair samples and DNA, and more.

We sent more men into the high Arctic to protect Canadian sovereignty. Our ship, the St. Roch, supplied far northern posts and made her historic voyage through the North West Passage in 1940 to 1942.

During the Second World War, we were responsible for national security at home and some of our men worked as military police in the No. 1 Provost Company overseas. Other members, in our Marine and Air Section fought with the Royal Canadian Air Force. After the war, we continued to be more and more involved in national security issues. This led eventually to the creation of a separate agency in 1984, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS). Some people say that CSIS is the Canadian CIA.

In the 1970s and 1980s, we added airport policing, guarding of politicians and other VIPs, and white collar crime investigation to our list of duties. Our first women police officers were sworn in September 1974.

Canada has always sent soldiers to help keep the peace in countries recovering from war. In the 1990s we joined them. We helped to re-establish law and order in countries like Namibia, Yugoslavia, Haiti, Kosovo, Bosnia/Herzegovina, Croatia, East Timor, Guatemala and in the Western Sahara. In some ways, you could say that we went back to our roots for these postings.

Who would have thought, back in 1873 when our first men were recruited to march west, that we would be doing these things today!
Prev page
Top of page
Next page





7. Establishment of a National Police Force

The Musical Ride