Ontario hiring an additional 200 OPP officers

Government says new hiring is about improving the mental well-being of frontline officers

The province is going to spend $25 million to hire 200 more Ontario Provincial Police officers.

Premier Doug Ford made the announcement at OPP headquarters in Orillia on Thursday.

“As we help communities recover from the impacts of COVID-19, it’s absolutely critical we give our brave men and women in uniform the tools and resources they need to do their job, stay healthy, and keep us all safe,” said the Premier. “That’s why our government is putting more boots on the ground to crack down on the criminal who would rob families and individuals of the chance to rebuild their lives during this very difficult period.”

The government said the hiring responds to recommendations made by the OPP Independent Review Panel (IRP) in its final report released in March. The IRP was created in April 2019 to study the workplace culture at the OPP. The mandate was to also look at how the provincial police address issues of mental health, occupational stress injuries and suicide among its members and with providing a series of recommendations.

The OPP is addressing other recommendations from the panel including changes and enhancements to leadership training and activities to promoting a healthy and inclusive workplace.

The government said the new hiring is in addition to the $2.6 million investment in April to hire new OPP psychologists and other mental health clinicians. As well, the province said this supports the creation of a new integrated mental health support program launched in March in partnership with the Ontario Provincial Police Association.