The N.W.M.P., to present a civilian (not military) front, had the names of ranks changed. Instead of Colonel, Major, Captain, Lieutenant, and Sergeant, the ranks of Commissioner, Superintendent, Inspector, Sub-Inspector, and Constable were to be used. The force was not subject to the Queen's Regulations and Articles of War. Senior officers could hear, determine, and sentence theft and assault charges without a jury.
The force had formidable powers. The men, because they were Easterners, were virtually unprejudiced in regard to Indians. Once in the West they needed supplies, information and assistance. The famous half-breed guide, Jerry Potts, remained with the force until his death.