DeSantis Announces Bonuses For Law Enforcement Officers

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) has announced the first checks being distributed as part of the 2022 recruitment program, — revealing that Cape Coral law enforcement officers will be receiving $5,000 bonuses and demonstrating his commitment to “funding the police” as opposed to the left’s calls to defund the police.

“We understand the vital, vital role that law enforcement plays in a situation like this [hurricane response], of course, because if you look at the people that were helping rescue folks, you had police officers, sheriff’s deputies, you had state agencies, [the] Coast Guard,” DeSantis said during a Friday press conference, noting that the response “spanned the gamut.”

“But you also just have daily life — even apart from a spectacular disaster like we’ve just suffered — you want to have safe streets. You want to have safe communities. That used to be something in this country that we universally expected and had in most places,” he continued, adding that the sentiment has eroded, “particularly over the last few years.”

While discussing the latest efforts from his administration to celebrate law enforcement, DeSantis noted that some areas of the country have “out of control” crime similar to what is seen in “third world countries” — asserting that Florida will not follow that trend.

“You have some places in this country that are operated almost like third world countries with crime just totally out of control… When that happens, the whole society starts to fray,” he said.

“Morale is very low, and we’ve seen the morale — really since the Floyd riots — has been probably the lowest we’ve seen in a long time. And so we saw an opportunity in Florida to say, you know, we want to reward people who are going into this profession. We want to value people that are going into this profession,” DeSantis added.

He went on to announce the latest recruitment efforts being taken by Florida, which included the $5,000 bonus checks for new law enforcement officers.

“So if you’re coming from one of those states or one of those other cities where you’re not being treated well and you come to take a job in any of our departments… you qualify for a $5,000 bonus and not just for people coming from out of state,” DeSantis said. “If you have new people within Florida who have not been in law enforcement and they make the decision to go into law enforcement, they are also eligible for the bonuses that we were able to enact. And so, you know, there’s some places where law enforcement’s targeted. We’re doing the $5,000 dollar bonus here, which is going out in a much better direction. I think people appreciate it. So we have folks here today that are gonna be rewarded with these $5,000 bonus checks.”

“And so they all came on board Cape Coral PD sometime this year. Some of them only a couple months ago, they got a baptism by fire having to go through Hurricane Ian,” he continued as he gave out six bonus checks to officers who had moved to Florida from New York, Maryland, and Georgia, as well as locals.

“These are gonna be the first, so the legislature passed the law in the session. I signed it. It took effect July 1,” DeSantis added.

This isn’t the only time that the Florida governor gave out bonus checks to police officers. In May of 2021, DeSantis gave $1,000 bonuses to all of Florida’s 174,000 first responders — including law enforcement officers, paramedics, emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and firefighters.

“Approximately $208 million has been allocated from DEO for over 174,000 first responders across the state, including 49,405 sworn law enforcement officers, 40,732 EMTs, 35,811 firefighters and 33,185 paramedics in Florida,” the governor’s office said in a statement at the time.

Speaking out about the decision, DeSantis noted that his administration has ensured that supporting law enforcement and first responders is “a top priority.”

“Supporting our law enforcement and first responders has been a top priority for my administration, and it has never been more important than over the last year,” the governor said at the time. “As a state, we are grateful for their continued service to our communities. This one-time bonus is a small token of appreciation, but we can never go far enough to express our gratitude for their selflessness.”