I'm assuming you mean city police? Or they are the same thing? Anyway.
The RCMP do get better pay, as they are a federal/national police force, they are run by the government, which means you get a government salary, which in turn means big bucks.
RCMP make 50 grand the very first year of employment, then after 3 years, they make 80 grand. After that, it keeps going up. Many, many, MANY officers make 100 grand and greater. Basically, the longer you're in the force, the more you make. If you stay in it up to retirement, you will find yourself at a desk job working in upper brass, this is when you're really netting in the big bucks, you're basically working for the government of Canada, not the RCMP.
RCMP do indeed prove much more advancement and opportunities. For your first 3 years you'll be working as a regular member, the ones who drive the cars, pull people over, make the arrests, etc. (front line policing, the stuff you see and hear about in the TV and newspapers). After that, you can move to so many different experiences. You can work in a K9 unit, a sex offenders unit, a drug trafficking unit, an undercover unit, a helicopter unit, ERT unit, marine unit, coast guard, policing in different countries, the Prime Minister's Security Detail, etc. In a city police force/regional, you only have maybe 1 or 2 of those options, if you are lucky. Also, with the RCMP, you can literally work anywhere. You could work in little ol' PEI for a while, transfer to the tundras of Nunavut, go to the plains of Manitoba, and then to the sunny beaches of British Columbia, there is a limitless opportunity. You could work in an extremely rural and isolated area, or a bustling city with thousands and thousands and THOUSANDS of people. You can also go to a different country and do international peace keeping! It's ENDLESS!
The training is definitely similar, however the RCMP is much harder to get into, you go through a variety of tests and examinations to test you and your abilities. They are similar, but the RCMP is more in depth and lengthier.
Another thing, RCMP do not patrol Ontario or Quebec, as they have their own provincial police force. HOWEVER! RCMP have offices in those provinces, so you could very well be working in those provinces. Also, being in the Prime Minister's detail means that you would spend 90?f your time in Ontario, you could be in an ERT team in Ontario or Quebec, etc.
They don't handle the same things whatsoever. Like I said before, RCMP does everything from front line policing to protecting the Prime Minister and other world leaders. City/regional police ONLY work in 2 or 3 specialized groups at the VERY MOST. You'll find, though, that they mostly only do front line policing, so if you want to move to a different sector, you're kind of screwed.
I have done an immense amount of research, and I know many RCMP and city police officers, so I know how everything works. I, myself, have chosen to pursue a career in the RCMP over the city police, for a few key reasons: You can work anywhere in the world/country, you get paid an amazing salary (double, triple, and sometimes QUADRUPLE the city police's salary), you can work in different sectors/units, etc.
There are also a few myths I'd like to get out of the way for you:
New members are not posted up north in isolated communities all the time! It seems like people like to say this over and over again, but it is not true. A lot of them go to areas where senior officers are working! But, yes, a good chunk of them DO go up north, for the fact that the more experienced officers who can choose where they want to go obviously don't want to go up there! You tell them the 2/3 most preferred provinces and detachments you'd like to work in, and they try their best to put you there, but nothing is guaranteed. And, it's not impossible to get in! So many people (and this site included) act like it's such a hard organization to get into, it really isn't. You just need to work hard at it and make sure you're ready before you apply, because if you fail something, you need to wait 1-2 years before you can try again.
Alright! That's probably the most I have ever typed for a question! It's just very dear to my heart so I tend to ramble on about this haha. If you need any more answers, feel free to ask in the additional details, e-mail me, whatever!
Answered By: Justin - 3/22/2011