Province Removes Barriers to Policing Career

By Ron Fanfair

Ron Fanfair


Office of the Chief
Toronto Police College

Tuition fees for the basic Constable Training program at the Ontario Police College will now be fully covered by the provincial government, making way for police services across the province to recruit and train more officers.

The elimination of the $15,450 tuition fee for the Basic Constable Training program will be retroactive to January 1, 2023. Recruits who paid for their 12-week training earlier this year will be reimbursed.

In addition, the number of recruits trained each year will be expanded from 480 to 550.

Premier Doug Ford made the announcement at a news conference at Toronto Police College on April 25.

He said his government is also introducing legislation that, if passed, will eliminate the post-secondary education requirement to become a police officer, clearing a path for more people to consider a career in policing.

“Together, these measures will help attract new recruits, break down financial barriers that may have stopped people from becoming a police officer and build a pipeline of police officers ready to serve and push back against the growing tide of crime,” said Ford. “While getting more boots on the ground is a critical step in improving public safety, we recognize that it is not the only step. That is why we have invested $267 million to support the Community Safety and Policing Grant program, arming local police services with the resources and tools they need to do their job.”


Person greeting police officers
Premier Doug Ford greets Toronto officers at the announcement Photo: Brent Smyth


Ontario’s Solicitor General Michael Kerzner embraces the historic changes to support police recruitment.

“This is good news for the people considering a career as a police officer, for Ontario’s police services and for all of the people of Ontario,” he said. “Let’s take a moment to recognize the incredible people wo step up to serve their communities. They choose to enter a profession filled with risk and sacrifice and today we are showing our recruits they are not on this journey alone. Police recruits choose to cross the line and pursue a career in public safety, they choose to have our backs. Today, we are taking the step so that we can continue to have their backs.”

Toronto Police Service Chief Myron Demkiw also welcomed the news.

“Like most police services across Canada, Toronto Police is working hard to recruit, select, hire and train new officers,” he noted. “But this takes time and there are often barriers to getting new officers deployed and on the road. We need support in recruiting and training. Today’s news will allow us to provide more effective delivery of policing services to residents in all our communities.”

Demkiw noted that the new measures will help TPS boost capacity and get officers sooner on the road without compromising the quality of training that they need to ensure that they are prepared for the important role they play in ensuring the public’s safety.

He also acknowledged that despite the TPS best efforts, service levels are not keeping up with the increasing demands of a growing city.

“Our latest budget, approved by City Council, is part of a multi-year plan to help us deliver core policing services and add capacity by adding people, improving technology and implementing reforms to help address the increasing public safety needs of our communities,” Demkiw added.

“This includes improving our 9-1-1 response, increasing patrols, focusing on crime prevention, intensive investigations and victim support as well as the delivery of our Neighbourhood Community Officer program that is well received and in demand across our city. And while we are not the only organization that plays a critical role in ensuring public safety, we are the ones along with our emergency response partners, responding to the community needs on a 24/7, 365 days a year basis.”

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