The RCMP is looking for 30 officers to join a new unit that is set to take control of security on Parliament Hill, CBC News has learned.

CBC News obtained an internal RCMP memo sent to all of its members, in which the force puts out a call for regular members to become a part of the newly created Parliamentary Protective Service.

CBC News has also learned that new division will assume control of the parliamentary precinct in June.

The memo said all non-commissioned ranks will be considered for the new unit and anyone interested must commit to a minimum of three to five years in the position.

Responsibilities include:

  • Ensuring the safety of members of Parliament, Senators and the general public.
  • Patrolling the parliamentary grounds.
  • Assisting with visits by foreign heads of state.
  • Providing assistance to the House of Commons and Senate security staff when needed.

The memo goes on to say the Parliamentary Protective Service "will report to [RCMP] National Division within its protective operations mandate, with accountability to the Speakers of the House of Commons and the Senate."

Director still to be named

There is still no decision on who will head the team. The director of the new service will be a member of the RCMP and will lead the integrated security operations, but will take policy direction from the Speakers of the Senate and House of Commons.

The new service was created in the wake of the Oct. 22 shooting on Parliament Hill, when gunman Michael Zehaf-Bibeau ran onto the grounds of parliament hill, hijacked a ministerial car and stormed centre block with a hunting rifle and knife.

Before Zehaf-Bibeau was killed, he shot one guard in the foot and came dangerously close to the room where Prime Minister Stephen Harper was meeting with his Conservative caucus and another room where NDP MPs were holding their weekly meeting.

Following the attack, there was criticism about confusion and lack of security coordination on that day. The RCMP was responsible for the security on the grounds of Parliament Hill, while the House of Commons and Senate had separate protective services inside the building.

One month later, a Joint Advisory Working Group on Security recommended the integration of security services under a single senior executive who would report to both the House and Senate speakers. A motion to make that happen passed in February.

The April federal budget committed $36 million over two years to improve security on Parliament Hill.