MPA Major Research Papers

Date of Award


Degree Type

Major Research Paper

Degree Name

Master of Public Administration


Political Science

Geographical Areas

Ontario, Canada, United States


This paper examines police forces across Canada and the United States in an effort to determine why there are such large discrepancies in per capita policing costs between Ontario and North American comparators. While there are obvious differences between the various states, provinces, and territories in North America, and not all are similar to Ontario, all jurisdictions were nonetheless assessed and compared with the expectation that the variances might help to explain the figures for per capita police cost. The data was collected from a variety of sources, including Statistics Canada and the U.S. Census Bureau, as well as various books, journals, and professional organizations. The findings reveal that the factors that proved to have a statistical relevance to per capita policing costs were the number of law enforcement officers and the geographic area of a jurisdiction, with the conclusions applying to Ontario as a whole.