Ron DeSantis, the GOP governor of Florida, recently announced the state’s intention to recruit more law enforcement for the state. These recruitment efforts include additional signing bonuses, as well as out-of-state relocation support and an academy scholarship program.
During an appearance at the National Fraternal Order of Police-hosted 2021 Biennial National Conference & Expo earlier this week, DeSantis provided significant detail regarding the state’s plan for attracting police officers to the state, particularly after last year’s violent riots and pervasive anti-police commentary in several Democrat-majority states.
DeSantis observed that numerous states and cities have chosen “to disrespect, degrade and defund the honorable work of law enforcement,” though Florida has “[continued] valuing our men and women of law enforcement today, tomorrow and for generations to come.”
As a result of law enforcement’s high value in Florida, DeSantis announced new initiatives for rewarding brave, high-quality law-enforcement officers, including $5,000 signing bonuses, which will be part of the “legislative priorities” for upcoming legislative sessions in the state.
The $5,000 bonus will be available for individuals who are new to the law enforcement profession in the state of Florida. The officer must serve in the state of Florida for at least a year in order to keep the entirety of the bonus, and they must have no previous law enforcement experience in the state.
In addition, DeSantis will also offer the “State Officer Certification Exam free of charge to law enforcement officers relocating to Florida.”
Furthermore, DeSantis will help provide for the costs of any Equivalency Training Programs for officers who choose to relocate to Florida, with “a maximum of $1,000 per officer.”
DeSantis also caught national attention in April for signing an “Anti-Riot Bill,” which further enhanced penalties for rioters and permitted an appeal process in local areas that attempt defunding the police.