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Post-secondary requirement for police officers to be scrapped

Halton Police | HRPS
Halton Police | HRPS

On Tuesday, Apr. 25, Premier Doug Ford announced that the province of Ontario will be cancelling tuition fees and post-secondary requirements for those who want to be a police officer.

The move is Ford’s response to the "rise in auto thefts, assaults, break-ins and random acts of violence" that have plagued Ontario this past year.

"People don't feel safe. Some are scared to take the subway or to go for a walk once it gets dark and that’s wrong." - Ford

He believes "more boots on the ground" will address the issue.

The province will set aside $20 million to cover tuition fees for the next three years, after which the program’s effectiveness will be assessed.

Students at the Ontario Police College (OPC) pay around $15,450 per year in tuition for 66 days of Basic Constable Training.

140 new recruits will emerge from the OPC this year, and over 400 next year.

At present, according to the Community Safety and Policing Act, police officers are required to have a university or college degree; this will no longer be the case once the new legislation is passed.

Ontario’s Solicitor General, Michael S. Kerzner, believes the change is positive, and will benefit those who were previously discounted due to their background or station in life. 

"I don't think bringing an arts degree is necessarily the criteria to go to OPC and be a cadet. [...] I think it's our whole life experience that we bring to our new career." - Kerzner