Ontario Premier Doug Ford is making becoming a police officer in Ontario a whole lot cheaper, and you may not even need a degree.
In a press conference on April 25, Ford announced that the Ontario government will be covering 100% of tuition fees for the Basic Constable Training program at the Ontario Police College and increasing class sizes to get more cops on the street as crime rates rise.
The Ontario government announced its ready to offer free tuition and eliminate post-secondary education requirements in an effort to boost more recruits going into police college. 👮🏽♂️ Premier Doug Ford made the announcement in Etobicoke on Tuesday saying that “getting boots on the ground is a critical step to public safety." Ford also said that crimes were up by 20% in Toronto alone since last year. #ontarionews #police #dougford #torontonews #torontopolice #ontario
"We're seeing increases in the auto thefts, assaults, break and enters and random acts of violence on public transit and on our streets. Here in Toronto, major crimes are up over 20% compared to the same time last year," said Ford in a press conference.
"That's why today we're pleased to announce new measures to address policing shortages to get more boots on the ground in every part of the province, including right here in Toronto, to help police services attract new recruits."
The Ontario government will be expanding class sizes from 480 recruits per cohort to 550, and come 2024, there will be four cohorts per year instead of three to "get more boots on the ground," according to a press release.
Ontario will see a significant increase in recruits from the Ontario Police College, and these recruits will be saving big time, considering tuition for the three-month program is usually $15,450, according to Halton Regional Police.
The tuition cuts are retroactive to January 1, 2023, so any recruits who coughed up $15K earlier this year will also be reimbursed.
If free tuition isn't enough to sway new recruits, Ford's government is introducing new legislation on April 25 that, if approved, will take away the requirement for post-secondary education in the Community Safety and Policing Act (CSPA.)
This means potential recruits with only a high school diploma or equivalent education will be able to become police officers.
Although new officers will get more comprehensive training than previous cohorts since earlier this year, the program was extended six extra days to include training for rapid deployment, active attacker and mental health responses for people in crisis.
How to become a police officer in Ontario
Becoming a police officer in Ontario can be a lengthy journey.
Candidates will need to fill out the OPP Application Package, and then it will be pre-screened and given a file number assignment.
If your application makes it to the next round, you'll have to take a physical test and pass the Leger 20m Shuttle Run.
If you pass the physical test, you may be invited to a Pre-Background Questionnaire or, if you're a competitive candidate, for a Local Focus Interview.
The next step in the hiring process is a background investigation, after which they asses your file and decide whether to offer you a job.
If you are successful and get a job offer, you'll have to get a score of 75 or higher on your Fitness PIN while at the Provincial Police Academy before heading to the Ontario Police College, where your tuition will be covered by the government.
How much money do police officers make in Ontario?
While salaries can vary, the average salary for a police officer in Ontario is $95,737, accoridng to Indeed.
In the Toronto Police force, Cadets in training make $67,680 per year, 4th Class Constables make $75,218, 3rd Class Constable make $85,971, 2nd Class Constable make $96,716, and 1st Class Constables make $107,456, as of January 2021.