The Royal Canadian Mounted Police was formed in 1920 by the merger of the Royal Northwest Mounted Police (RNWMP, founded 1873) with the Dominion Police (founded 1868). The former was originally named the North-West Mounted Police (NWMP), and was given the Royal prefix by King Edward VII in 1904. Much of the present-day organization’s symbolism has been inherited from its days as the NWMP, including the distinctive Red Serge uniform, paramilitary heritage, and mythos as a frontier force. The RCMP/GRC wording is specifically protected under the Trade-marks Act.
As the national police force of Canada, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police is primarily responsible for enforcing federal laws throughout Canada, while general law and order including the enforcement of the Criminal Code and applicable provincial legislation is constitutionally the responsibility of the provinces and territories. Largest cities commonly form their own municipal police departments.