Did you know...

At the end of the 19th century, police officers, if not police work , could be hairy at times. Officers had to trim their beards to reveal their badge number, which was embroidered on their collar. After 1910, beards were disallowed untill the 1990's.
School Days
During the Toronto Police Force's early years from 1834 onward, formal training for Constables did not exist. It wasn’t until 1886 that the first police school began operation. Officers attended for six weeks to learn everything from dealing with open-air preachers to City by-laws and the Criminal Code. Basic literacy was the only
educational pre-requisite. As policing this rapidly growing metropolis became more complex, the training became more sophisticated, and the standards became higher.

In 1959, an old Catholic school was acquired and converted to the first full-time Toronto police college. It served the Toronto
Force well until the early 1970s when it could no longer keep up with increased hiring levels.

In 1977, a state-of-the-art police college was built and named after the first Police Services Board Chairman, Judge C.O. Bick.

The educational bar for today’s
applicant has been raised to a minimum of high-school graduation. Many applicants have college and university degrees, even so, less than 10% are accepted. New recruits train for eight weeks at C.O. Bick College, and another 12 weeks at the Ontario Police College in Aylmer before graduating as fourth class Constables. Their police education has just begun. All our officers undergo training on a continual basis. Annual gun and self-defence re-qualification courses are augmented with instruction on problem solving, new technology, community relations, and a variety of other specialized skills. Training is also presented outside the classroom via TPS’s own LIVELINK internal television network.

We’ve come a long way from “seat-of-the-pants” training in the early 1800s to the “seats-of-higher- learning” today.

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