Ontario is deciding to increase police enrollment to have more officers in locations across the city.
“I have seen too many reports of attacks and shootings lately, so I feel that we do need more officers who are properly trained with the right resources,” said Krystle Barran, a local resident in Toronto.
These changes include removing tuition fees and post-secondary requirements for aspiring police officers, announced by Premier Doug Ford yesterday in Etobicoke, Ontario.
Premier Doug Ford said during the announcement that, “here in Toronto, major crimes are up over 20 per cent.”
Ford also said to the reporters during the announcement that, “people don’t feel safe, some are scared to take the subway or go for a walk once it gets dark and that’s wrong.”
According to the Toronto Police Service’s public safety data portal, six homicides were reported in March, which is the highest number in a month since the year began.
As of April 21, 15 homicides were reported so far.
Out of the 15 homicides reported, 33 per cent was declared a shooting, 40 per cent was declared a stabbing, and a 27 per cent was declared other.
To motivate enrollment, Ontario will be removing the cost of tuition for the Basic Constable Training program held at the Ontario Police College, according to the Premier.
Students who began their training in January 2023 will be included in this change.
According to the Halton Regional Police, its 12-week OPC training program designed for newly hired police officers includes $15,450 in tuition fees.
Premier Doug Ford told reporters, “We’ve 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 jobs.”
The Premier also explained that Ontario is looking at some of the root causes of crime in the city; by investing over $4 billion towards support for mental health and addiction.
Other Toronto residents feel differently about Ontario removing tuition fees and post-secondary requirements.
“Similar to other industries, everyone shares learnt responsibility and hard work through paying tuition and going through post-secondary,” said Braden Decoito, local resident in Toronto.
“When police officers mediate with citizens, they should be able to relate and bring forth important skills from their post-secondary experiences,” he said.
As this legislation is pending, residents have yet to see if Ontario will remove tuition fees and post-secondary requirements for newly hired police officers.
Edited by Kavya Venkateshwaran
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