DeSantis boosts pay for law enforcement officers

by Vianca Rodriguez

In an effort to improve Florida’s law enforcement capabilities, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Monday several million-dollar funding proposals for local and state law enforcement officers within the Sunshine State.

The funding proposals include $400 million in funding to increase officers’ salaries as well as $1,000 bonuses for first responders, paramedics, emergency medical technicians (EMTs), firefighters, and general law enforcement officers. The governor also revealed $5,000 bonus proposals to help “recruit and retain both state and local level law enforcement.”

“While other states have turned their backs on law enforcement, even calling to ‘defund the police,’ in Florida we continue to support the men and women in law enforcement,” Gov. DeSantis stated in the press release. “I am proud to propose larger and longer-lasting measures to help our state recruit and retain the best law enforcement officers in the nation and to provide $1,000 bonuses for first responders and law enforcement officers for the second year in a row,” Gov. DeSantis continued.

Following the announcement, DeSantis affirmed his support for police officers. “While other states defund their police, in Florida, we will always support our law enforcement,” said the Republican governor.

Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis and several other public officials praised the proposal efforts as positive reinforcement for law enforcement officers that bore the often difficult brunt of ensuring public safety while being criticized and vilified as a whole for the few controversial police brutality cases witnessed nationwide.

Patronis referred to law enforcement officers and first responders as “heroes” for working around the clock for the health and safety of American citizens, despite the posed risks from natural disasters and the Covid-19 pandemic.

These supplementary efforts reinforce DeSantis’ announcement early September to provide incentives for out-of-state police officers. Most law enforcement departments experienced significant slashing of funds due to left-wing, racial justice riots that took place nationwide during the summer of 2020 calling for demands of police defunding.

In addition, Gov. DeSantis signed a bill in August to offer $1,000 bonuses to first responders and other law enforcers as an incentive to showcase appreciation for their hard work.

The Florida state legislature is expected to take up Gov. DeSantis’ proposals early next year, during the next legislative session. Seeing as they have approved legislation to boost law enforcement morale in the past, this most recent proposal looks very promising.

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