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Politics / Issues

DeSantis Proposes $5,000 Bonuses To Recruit New Law Enforcement Officers

Ron DeSantis speaking at the podium
Gov. Ron DeSantis
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Gov. Ron DeSantis announced new initiatives aimed at recruiting law enforcement officers to Florida on Aug. 17, 2021.

It's part of a proposal DeSantis said he will present to the Florida Legislature for consideration during its upcoming session.

Gov. Ron DeSantis on Tuesday announced new initiatives aimed at recruiting law enforcement officers to Florida.

Among the proposals he said he plans to present to the Florida Legislature would be a $5,000 bonus to anyone who chooses law enforcement as a new profession, according to a news release.

Speaking at a Fraternal Order of Police conference in Indianapolis, DeSantis showed his support for law enforcement, saying Florida did “not tolerate” the looting and rioting that took place in protest of George Floyd’s death, prompting an anti-rioting bill that was passed in April.

DeSantis said said his proposal is aimed at recruiting “people to be good members of the community who are going to make our communities stronger.”

“One of the biggest opportunities we have in the state of Florida is to say to people who are well trained, professional, and work really hard – some for many, many years – in other parts of country who may not be treated very well right now — because morale may be low — we can look to you and say, ‘you know what? There’s a spot in the state of Florida for you. We value your service and we want you to come.’,” DeSantis said.

According to the release, the proposals include:

  • A one-time $5,000 payment to law enforcement officers who are new to the profession in Florida.
  • An Academy Scholarship Program, through the state Department of Education, that would be given on a first-come, first-served basis for law enforcement academy enrollees. It would provide tuition assistance for students who are ineligible to receive other state financial aid through a state college or technical center law enforcement program.
  • Relocation support, including free certification exams to law enforcement officers moving to Florida, and a maximum of $1,000 to cover the costs for any officer who needs to take part in any necessary equivalency training.

State lawmakers could take up the proposals during the next legislative session, which starts in January.
Information from News Service of Florida was used in this report.

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