ontario to drop post secondary requirement for policing
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Ontario to drop post-secondary requirement for policing

It will likely become easier to be a police officer in Ontario, if the Ford government is successful in changing the rules.

The province announced on Tuesday morning that it wants to eliminate the post-secondary education requirement to become a police officer and will introduce legislation Tuesday afternoon to change the Community Safety and Policing Act (CSPA). If the change is passed, recruits will only need a high school diploma or equivalent to become a police officer.

“These changes are good news for police services across the province, as well as for Ontarians considering a career as a police officer,” said Solicitor General Michael Kerzner. “We listened to the concerns about recruitment shortfalls and training limitations and have taken steps to remove barriers and expand the possibilities for those considering a career as a police officer.”

The province also announced on Tuesday that it is eliminating the $15,450 tuition fee for basic Constable training at the Ontario Police College. Premier Doug Ford said the number of recruits that can be trained each year is also expanding by a total 210 this year to 550 in each of the three classes (480 previously) and added another recruit class of 550 will be added starting next year.

“Ontario is grateful to the thousands of brave women and men who serve as police officers across the province, keeping our communities safe,” said Premier Ford. “To push back the growing tide of crime in our communities, we’re urgently getting more boots on the ground. That’s why our government is making the path to becoming a police officer as open as possible, expanding enrollment at the Ontario Police College and covering 100 per cent of the tuition cost for Basic Constable Training.”

The elimination of the tuition fee for the basic Constable training at the police college will be retroactive to January 1, 2023 and recruits who paid for their twelve-week course earlier this year will be reimbursed, according to the province.

Earlier this year, the training program was expanded from 60 to 66 days to address immediate rapid deployment and active attacker and mental health response training for individuals in crisis. The college’s mental health response training for individuals in crisis provides police officers with the skills they need to work with on-the-ground supports such as mobile crisis response teams.

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