Making it easier to recruit and train police officers will help Ontario increase the number of officers on the ground
Logan D Suza
By eliminating tuition fees for the Basic Constable Training program at the Ontario Police College (OPC) and immediately increasing the number of recruits that can be trained annually, the government of Ontario is making it simpler for police services across the province to recruit and train more police officers.
Premier Doug Ford said, “Ontario is grateful to the thousands of brave women and men who serve as police officers across the province and keep our communities safe.” We urgently need more personnel on the ground in order to stem the rising tide of criminal activity in our communities. Our government is making it as easy as possible to become a police officer by expanding enrollment at the Ontario Police College and covering the entire cost of Basic Constable Training tuition.
The Ontario Police College’s Basic Constable Training program will immediately be expanded to accommodate an additional 70 recruits per cohort, increasing from 480 to 550, in order to increase the number of officers on the ground. The Basic Constable Training program will also be expanded to accommodate four cohorts instead of three starting in 2024. Additionally, the province is introducing legislation that, if passed, will eliminate the post-secondary education requirement for becoming a police officer, as outlined in the Community Safety and Policing Act (CSPA), in order to support recruitment efforts at a time when local police officers have indicated difficulties in doing so. Whenever passed, the demonstration would revise the CSPA to give that an optional school certificate or identical is adequate training for the reasons for being designated as a cop.
Solicitor General Michael Kerzner stated, “These changes are good news for police services across the province, as well as for Ontarians considering a career as a police officer.” We have taken steps to remove obstacles and broaden the options for those considering a career as a police officer after listening to concerns about recruitment gaps and training limitations.
Other recent enhancements to Basic Constable Training at the OPC are complemented by Ontario’s new measures. To accommodate immediate rapid deployment and active attacker and mental health response training for individuals in crisis, the duration of the training program was increased earlier this year from 60 to 66 days. The college’s training in crisis mental health response equips police officers with the skills they need to work with mobile crisis response teams and other on-the-ground supports.
The Ontario Police College’s Basic Constable Training program will no longer require a tuition fee starting on January 1, 2023. Initiates who paid for their twelve-week Essential Constable Preparation recently will be repaid.