RCMP Facts

Motto: "Defend the law"


The RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) is Canada's federal police force. They were founded in 1873 by Sir John A. Macdonald, the first Prime Minister of Canada. By 1920, the RCMP saw a need for centralized group of mounted police who were to be used as the nation’s mobile police force in the West, areas where disorganized crime was common. At that time, they already had detachments located in British Columbia and Alberta but by 1930 every province had its own detachment of the famous Mounties. The RCMP is headquartered in Ottawa, Ontario with regional or district offices in every province and territory across Canada.
  • 1. The first RCMP officer in the Yukon was Constable James Steele, from Stony Mountain, Manitoba.
  • 2. The "Mounties" were the first law enforcement agency to use fingerprinting.
  • 3. The force employs over 20,000 men and women across the country. Every day they battle crime involving smuggling, drugs and organized crime.
  • 4. The name "Royal Canadian Mounted Police" was inspired by a trip to Australia to see their mounted police force in 1885-86 by Sir John A Macdonald and other prominent Canadians who wanted this unit to rival the best in the world at that time. They decided that members of this new police force would be called simply "Mounties".
  • 5. The RCMP motto "Maintiens le droit" is French for "Maintain the right".
  • 6. The RCMP anthem, known as "The Mounted Police Cadence", was written in 1915 by Inspector D.J. Silliker of the Royal Northwest Mounted Police (NWMP) and recorded on his phonograph that same year by Enrico Caruso and released in 1916 on Victor Records.
  • 7. Members of the RCMP Special Tactical Operations Team are former members of Canadian Armed Forces special operations forces units, including Joint Task Force 2, the Canadian Airborne Regiment and elsewhere in their military careers.
  • 8. The RCMP motto, "Maintiens le droit" (maintain the right), is drawn from the duties of a Captain of the General Watch on board a Royal Navy vessel.
  • 9. Recruit training for a new member of the RCMP lasts 20 weeks, which includes 10 weeks at Depot Division in Regina, Saskatchewan.
  • 10. RCMP members are recruited nationally through open examinations and specific recruiting campaigns for different occupations (e.g., "A" Division is looking for Health Care Workers).
  • 11. A member can retire when they reach 55 years of service and still be eligible for a pension; however, they cannot re-enlist once retired (with some exceptions).
  • 12. The RCMP has more than 1,900 members stationed in Canada’s north.
  • 13. The RCMP has been active in recruiting women for many years; however only recently have they begun to see the number of female members approach one per cent of their total workforce.
  • 14. The RCMP works with First Nations people to help them maintain their own law and order programs. In British Columbia, the Native Police Cadets program helps young people interested in a career with the police service by providing them with experience and training to become police officers that reflects the values of the Aboriginal culture and language.