Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced that the state will be giving a $1,000 dollar bonus to first responders, including every sworn law enforcement officer, EMT, firefighter and paramedic.
According to WESH 2, the money is from Congress’ federal rescue plan and will be allocated out of the state’s upcoming budget. For the governor, allocating some of that money to law enforcement stands as a promise that there won’t be any defunding to those making up the thin blue line.
“Some want to defund the police, we’re funding the police and then some,” DeSantis said.
The governor made the announcement at the Satellite Beach Police Department in Brevard County, surrounded by officers and police chiefs from the region.
The governor made his stance clear, calling last year’s treatment of law enforcement officers across the country “a disgrace,” and promising to defend those in law enforcement.
The bonus is intended to be a reward for first-responders’ hard work over the last year.
“The people that wear the uniform, they didn’t have that luxury [of working from home during the pandemic]. They were out there every single day. They had to work more than they ever have,” DeSantis said.
DeSantis also praised the state’s “anti-riot” law, which introduced harsher penalties for those participating in violent protests in order to protect officers and increase protester liability.
DeSantis further lauded the state’s economic productivity throughout the pandemic, attributing it to Florida’s relaxed pandemic restrictions.
“If you look at the amount of revenue that’s pouring into the state because of all the economic activity, the forecasters can’t keep up with it. We’re probably going to end up with total reserves close to $10 billion, which I think has gotta be a record for the state.” He continued, “By keeping Florida open, we saved hundreds of thousands of jobs in the restaurant, hotel, hospitality industry. We saved thousands of businesses.”
For Martin County first responders, the extra cash means a few extra days off and more time with family.
“Some people say it’s not a lot of money, but it’s extra hours that guys don’t have to work. It takes a little bit of the load off,” said Martin County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Brian Martini.