The RCMP's mandate, as outlined in Section 18 of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Act, is multi-faceted and includes preventing and investigating crime; maintaining peace and order; enforcing laws; contributing to national security; ensuring the safety of state officials, visiting dignitaries and foreign missions; and providing vital operational support services to other police and law enforcement agencies within Canada and abroad. The RCMP is unique in the world since it is a national, federal, provincial, and municipal policing body.

The RCMP police force is headed by the Commissioner, who, under the direction of the Minister of Public Safety Canada, has the control and management of the RCMP police force and all related matters.

The RCMP police force is divided into 15 divisions, plus headquarters in Ottawa. Each division is managed by a Commanding Officer and is alphabetically designated. Divisions roughly approximate provincial boundaries with their headquarters located in respective provincial or territorial capitals.

Alberta is designated as “K” Division, with divisional headquarters located in Edmonton. There are four RCMP districts in Alberta (east, west, central, south), and each one is led by a district commander who reports to the Commanding Officer of “K” Division. Each RCMP district is further divided into detachments led by a detachment commander.