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Time to Drop the Mounted: Reimagining a Royal Canadian Gendarmerie
  • Chris Madsen
Chris Madsen
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Abstract

As Canada’s federal police force celebrates its 150th anniversary, the past and future of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police/Gendarmerie royale du Canada (RCMP/GRC) is coming under intense scrutiny. Dogged by historical legacies and endemic external and internal controversies, the gendarmerie is a national police force with military characteristics that serves the Canadian state loyally and professionally. The anachronistic connection with horses in the English name has long outlived its usefulness and it is time that Canada’s federal police force embraced more French, greater inclusivity in the ranks, better accountability, and a functional approach to provision of national security policing at higher levels. A new refresh requires rebranding into a true gendarmerie adequately manned, trained, and equipped for the task, already anticipated in the French name. Refocusing on federal roles at the national level without the distraction of contract policing would give the RCMP/GRC greater purpose and coherence. The aligned symmetry of a Royal Canadian Gendarmerie/Gendarmerie royale du Canada (RCG/GRC) provides a basis for necessary change to happen and reconciliation to begin.
21 Dec 2023Published in International Journal of Police Science & Management. 10.1177/14613557231218642