Ontario proposes elimination of post-secondary education requirement for police officer training

By Amanda Jerome

Law360 Canada (April 25, 2023, 12:21 PM EDT) -- The Ontario government is introducing legislation that, if passed, will “eliminate the post-secondary education requirement to become a police officer, as set out in the Community Safety and Policing Act (CSPA).”

“If passed, the act would amend the CSPA to provide that a secondary school diploma or equivalent is sufficient education for the purposes of being appointed as a police officer,” a government release, issued April 25, explained.

Solicitor general Michael Kerzner said, “these changes are good news for police services across the province, as well as for Ontarians considering a career as a police officer.”

“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,” he added in a statement.

The proposed legislation was wrapped up in an announcement on the removal of tuition fees for the Basic Constable Training program at the Ontario Police College (OPC) and the immediate expansion of the “number of recruits that can be trained each year.”

The Basic Constable Training program at the Ontario Police College will “be expanded immediately to accommodate an additional 70 recruits per cohort, from 480 to 550,” the release explained, noting that, starting in 2024, the “Basic Constable Training program will also be expanded to four cohorts per year instead of three.”

According to the release, the “elimination of the tuition fee for the Basic Constable Training program at the Ontario Police College will be retroactive to January 1, 2023.” Therefore, “recruits who paid for their twelve-week Basic Constable Training earlier this year will be reimbursed.”

“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 Doug 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,” he added in a statement.

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