Useful Notes / The Mounties

Canadian law enforcement is usually always stereotyped as the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, or the RCMP, for short. In actuality, there's more than the Mounties in Canada to enforce the second-largest country in the world. But those, unless the creators are local, or are showing their knowledge of Canadian policing, aren't very often seen in media. Let's run down the list, shall we?

Major police forces in Canada:

  • Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). Arguably one of the most, if not THE most famous police force in the world. Created as a successor to the Royal North Western Mounted Police on December the 1st, 1920, they are the federal police force, patrolling across Canada, except from Ontario or Quebec, whose own police forces take up the provincial and municipal policing role, even in the extreme North. The source of most of their fame is in the uniform (not for full-time policing, however), known as the 'Red Serge' - a Stetson up top, a scarlet tunic, midnight blue (no, not black) breeches with bulges above the knee, a yellow stripe down the sides, and riding boots, spurs completely optional. As a paramilitary force, they run under military-style ranks and have fought in wars as, befitting their mounted origins, a regiment of dragoons. They also have international jurisdiction and have conducted police operations in places like Pakistan, the People's Republic of China, and Afghanistan.
  • Ontario Provincial Police (OPP): Obviously, has national and municipal enforcement of law in Ontario province. Formed in 1909, a major policing reshuffle gave the OPP the authority of the entire province of Ontario, relieving the RCMP of their duties in Ontario. While they do share some of the attributes of the RCMP, including ranks and headgear (the latter of which was changed in 2008), they are very different, in some regards, leading to their lack of portrayal in fictional works. However, they still did get recognition, notably with Paul McCartney of The Beatles wearing an OPP patch on his uniform on the cover art of the Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album. Notably, the OPP and the Sûerté Du Québec (see below) were featured in the film Bon Cop, Bad Cop.
  • Sûerté Du Québec (SQ (there is no official English name)): The Canadian version of Les Cops Sportif. Formed in 1870, they have authority over the entire Francophone province of Quebec, with moderate to major differences with both the RCMP and OPP. Like the OPP, major policing reshuffles in 1929-1930 within the force changed the structure of the force as a whole, and gave the force, then known as the Police provinciale du Québec, a new name: Sûreté provinciale du Québec, later renamed to what it is today.