The Mounties Are Canada's Swiss-Army Knife Of Elite Law Enforcement

In honour of

Canada Day, we decided to take a look at one of the most storied law enforcement units in the world — the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, better known as “The Mounties.”Though widely known for the image of the flat brimmed trooper in the red coat on horseback, the Mounties are actually a nation-wide elite law enforcement unit, comparable to the American F.B.I.

They tackle a broad array of operations from anti-gangs to counter-terrorism.

The Mounties were officially formed in 1920, but their history stretches back much farther.

The Mounties were formed by merger of the Northwest Mounted Police and the Dominion Police.

Their everyday uniforms look nothing like the red coat ceremonial garments.

They can take to the sea in the interests of Canadian defence.

And can deploy a bomb squad capable of disposing of explosive ordnance.

Don't forget counter-narcotic operations. Here, some Mounties eradicate a poppy field that was illicitly producing opium.

A large part of their mission is protecting VIPs, like on this trip to England.

They also help secure Canadian airports. Way cooler than the TSA.

They are equipped to do emergency response/ SWAT-type missions.

Here, the Mounties operate a blockade in northern Alberta, following a shooting.

In what is likely the most Canadian mission ever, a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police guards Prime Minister Stephen Harper against polar bears during a visit to the wilderness.

Of course, they still have an important ceremonial role.

And take part in parades.

But those horses aren't for decoration, and they can do crowd or riot control missions when needed.

This Mountie traded his horse for a riot-control shotgun.

NOW WATCH: Briefing videos

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.