Ford government hiring 200 more OPP officers in response to concerns about burnout, mental health
Chris Herhalt, CP24.com
Published Thursday, August 20, 2020 2:06PM EDT
The Ford government says it will hire 200 more Ontario Provincial Police officers in response to a sweeping report on mental health, stress and officer suicides in the service.
Solicitor General Sylvia Jones says it is likely many of the new hires will be added to detachments in northern Ontario.
"It is clear there are certain parts of the province, many in northern Ontario as you can imagine that have had chronic understaffing so we want to make sure we have the resources on the ground in those communities."
The hiring is in response to an independent review panel, a coroner's expert panel and internal efforts that suggested burnout and post-traumatic stress were widespread among officers.
Thirteen OPP officers took their own lives between 2013 and early 2019.
"We needed to react and respond to some of the mental health concerns that we heard from the (Ontario Provincial Police Association) and (OPP) Commissioner Carrique," Jones said.
The hiring will cost the province $25 million.
There were 5,800 sworn officers in the OPP in 2019, making it Canada's second largest police service.