Tuition fees are waived for Ontario police officers

Ontario made several major changes in an effort to increase police recruitment, including removing tuition fees and post-secondary education requirements.

Speaking in Etobicoke, Ont., Prime Minister Doug Ford said there was a “growing crime wave” in the province and, as a result, there was an urgent need for reinforcements.

“People don’t feel safe. Some are afraid to take the subway or go for a walk when it is dark and that is wrong,” he told reporters.

“We need more police officers on our roads.”

To encourage recruitment, the province will waive tuition fees for the Basic Police Training program at the Ontario Police College. This change will apply retroactively to recruits who begin their training in January 2023.

The program fee is $15,450, the general attorney’s office confirmed.

The province will also open 70 additional rooms per batch under the program, and add additional batches so that there are four groups of 550 officers graduating each year.

With 2,200 students, the costs to cover tuition fees are close to $34 million per year.

It is also no longer necessary for recruits to graduate from a post-secondary educational institution to become police officers. Under The Community Security and Policing Actas it stands today, a police officer must also have a university or college degree.

If a new law is passed, this requirement will be removed.

Attorney General Michael Kerzner said he hoped the changes would encourage more people “from all walks of life and backgrounds” to join.

“We want more people to have the opportunity to become police officers,” he said. “That’s the gist of today’s announcement.”