Organizational Features of the RCMP
As a national police force, the RCMP has several distinctive organizational characteristics
Accountability: Municipal police departments are subject to local police boards and elected
municipal councils; in contrast, RCMP detachments are not legally accountable to the
municipalities they police under contract.
Nationwide recruiting and centralized training: Officers are recruited from across the country
and trained in Regina, Saskatchewan, at a central facility known as the Training Academy,
informally referred to as “depot.”
Policing diverse task environments: RCMP members carry out their duties in variety of
environments across the country, from small coastal villages in Newfoundland and British
Columbia, to Aboriginal communities in the North, to large suburban communities.
Transfer Policy: Quite unlike their municipal police counterparts, RCMP officers have traditionally
been rotated among detachments every two years or so.
Nonunion: Unlike their provincial and municipal counterparts across the country, RCMP officers
are prohibited by legislation from forming a union. Rather their interests are represented through
the Division Staff Relation Representative (DivRep) Program.
Division Staff Relations Representative (DivRep) program: Program that provides RCMP
officers with a way to express their concerns to management.
Broad Mandate: RCMP officers guard dignitaries, staff drug enforcement offices in foreign
countries, and cooperate with other countries in the fight against organized crime.
Provincial police forces are responsible for policing rural areas and the areas outside municipalities
The OPP is organized into 6 regions, its responsibilities include:
1. Providing policing services to communities that do not have municipal police services
2. With a few exceptions policing all domestic waterways, trails, and roadways
3. Maintain the province’s viCLAS (Violent Crime Linkages Analysis System) and the
provincial Sex Offender Registries
4. Providing policing services to a number of First Nations communities that have not
exercised the option to have First Nations police service
Regional Police Services
A number of regional police services, including the Peel Regional Police (the largest regional police
force in Canada) and the Halton Regional Police, are providing policing services to more than 50%
Proponents of regional policing contend that it is more effective at providing a full range of policing
services to communities and is less expensive than having a number of independent municipal
Critics of regional policing argue that a regional police service is too centralized and does not offer
the opportunity for effective community policing
Municipal police services have jurisdiction within a city’s boundaries
A municipality can provide services in one of three ways: by creating its own independent police
service; by joining with another municipality’s existing police force, which often means involving
itself with a regional police force; or by contracting with a provincial police force –the OPP in
Ontario, the RCMP in the rest of Canada (except Quebec).
Municipal police officers constitute the largest body of police personnel.
A notable trend in Ontario has been a decline in the number of independent municipal police
services in favor of contracting with the OPP.
First Nations Police It is in the area of policing that they have assumed the greatest control over the delivery of justice
services. This is perhaps appropriate, given the conflicts that have arisen between the police and
Aboriginal peoples both in the pat and in the present day.
First Nations police services confront a number of challenges, including the demands of policing in
communities often afflicted with poverty and high levels of violent crime
A lack of qualified on reserve police candidates; low recruitment standards and political interference
in the selection process; and a lack of pre-employment training and upgrading programs to prepare
potential First Nations recruits for a career in policing.
Private Security Services
There are two main types of private security: security firms that sell their services to businesses,
industries, private residences, and neighborhoods; and alternatively, companies that employ their
own in house security officers.
Private security officers outnumber police officers in Canada and are engaged in a wide range of
activities, including crowd control, protecting businesses and property (including shopping malls
and college and university campuses), and conducting investigations for individuals and
Private security personnel have no more legal authority than ordinary citizens to enforce the law or
protect property. Private security officers can arrest and detain people who commit crimes on
Several observers have raised questions about the transformation of private security officers into
“para-police” through the extension of their activities beyond loss prevention and the protection of
property to encompass order maintenance and enforcement.
No similar systems of governance are in place for private security officers.
The Recruitment of Training of Police Officers
People interested in a career in policing must have both basic qualifications and preferred
Basic Qualifications (For Police Candidates): The minimum requirements for candidates
applying for employment in policing
Preferred Qualifications (For Police Candidates): Requirements that increase the
competitiveness of applicants seeking employment in policing
Preferred qualifications –which are highly prized by police services –include knowledge of a second
language or culture, related volunteer experience, postsecondary education, and work/life
Although the numbers of women in policing have increased significantly over the