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Royal Canadian Mounted Police

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The Royal Canadian Mounted Police was organized in 1873 as a force of 300 men to bring order to the prairie region of the Northwest Territory. The effectiveness of this organization was proved by the quiet and orderly fashion in which Canada's west became a part of the nation.

Today the RCMP is a national, federal, provincial and municpal policing body. It provides a total federal policing service to all Canadians, as well as policing services under contract to the three territories, eight provinces (except Ontario and Quebec), more than 200 municipalities, 165 Aboriginal communities, and three international airports and numerous smaller airports. No other nation in the world has a policing body like the RCMP.

Major Events in RCMP History

May 23 and August 30, 1873 Parliament authorized the establishment of a policing force to bring law, order and Canadian authority to the North-West Territories (present-day Alberta and Saskatchewan).

September 25, 1873 Appointment of officers and recruitment for the North-West Mounted Police (NWMP) commenced.

October, 1874 Approximately 275 officers and men, with horses and equipment, arrived in present-day southern Alberta.

1895 Mounted Police jurisdiction was extended to the Yukon.

1899-1902 South African War (Boer War): 250 NWMP members served in the Canadian contingents and in the South African Constabulary.

1903 Mounted Police jurisdiction was extended to the Arctic coast.

June, 1904 The prefix "Royal" was conferred on the NWMP by King Edward VII.

1905 The Royal Northwest Mounted Police (RNWMP) was contracted to police the new provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan.

1912 RNWMP responsibilities were extended to northern Manitoba.

1914-1918 First World War: Cavalry squadrons were provided for overseas service.

1920 The RNWMP absorbed the Dominion Police and became the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). Responsibility for federal law enforcement was subsequently extended to all provinces and territories.

1928 Provincial policing under contract to Saskatchewan began.

1932 Provincial policing responsibilities were assumed in Manitoba, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.

1950 Provincial policing contracts were extended to include British Columbia and Newfoundland.

September, 1974 The first women recruited as uniformed regular members.

For a more complete history, as well as information concerning RCMP organization and duties, see the official website at

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This page was last updated on October 16, 2018.