Gov. DeSantis announced recently at a national police union conference that he plans to ask the Florida Legislature to take on several initiatives to attract new law enforcement recruits to Florida.
The Florida governor proposed three policy initiatives to support the state’s law enforcement at the 2021 Biennial National Conference & Expo hosted by the National Fraternal Order of Police in Indianapolis.
One proposal includes providing $5,000 bonus payments to recruits who have not previously worked as a law enforcement officer in Florida in order to attract new talent.
DeSantis also proposed additional scholarship aid for students in law enforcement academies in the state who are not receiving financial assistance through other state colleges or technical centers. According to the governor’s office, the scholarship will cover tuition and training program fees.
A third proposal aims to assist officers relocating to Florida by providing free certification exams and up to $1,000 per officer for Equivalency Training Programs.
DeSantis said that he wants to ensure that Florida continues to respect and support the law enforcement community through these policies.
“As so many cities and states choose to disrespect, degrade and defund the honorable work of law enforcement, we want Florida to continue valuing our men and women of law enforcement today, tomorrow and for generations to come,” DeSantis said. “That’s why today, I am proud to announce new initiatives to recruit and reward brave, high quality law enforcement officers in Florida that I will be including in my legislative priorities for our upcoming legislative session, including $5,000 signing bonuses.”
The Republican governor hopes Florida can remain an oasis for law enforcement across the country during a difficult period in the industry.
“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.’,” he told police union leaders.
The proposals will be up for consideration at the January Legislative Session.