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RCMP boss apologizes, promises to pay for Mountie escort at his wedding

OTTAWA - The head of the RCMP, who was brought in to revitalize and restore morale at the iconic national police force, has apologized for having an honour guard of on-duty Mounties at his wedding.

Commissioner Bob Paulson has issued an apology to the eight constables who were involved and to Canadians. He also says he'll reimburse the government for the costs.

Paulson married Erin O'Gorman at an Ottawa church Aug. 16, with red-coated constables from the Musical Ride on hand for the ceremony.

An RCMP spokesman said Paulson had asked for some volunteers to participate and was not consulted about using on-duty Mounties. The spokesman said it's not unusual for such a guard to attend a member's wedding.

"I would like to apologize to the members and to Canadians," Paulson said in his statement.

"I will reimburse $912 to the receiver general as this amount represents the three hours of work of these eight constables."

Paulson became commissioner last November. Since he took office, the RCMP has been rocked by complaints of harassment from female members.

Paulson has complained the force's disciplinary powers must be changed to let him weed out bad officers quickly.

He says he wants to restore public confidence in the Mounties after years of troubling incidents, including harassment complaints, the troubling deaths of a number of officers and questionable incidents such as the Taser death of a bewildered Polish immigrant at the Vancouver airport in 2007.

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