Republican Tennessee Governor Bill Lee has a recruiting message for law enforcement officers around the country who have run afoul of COVID-19 vaccine mandates. He is inviting them to join the Tennessee Highway Patrol and offering to pay for moving expenses.
Last week, the governor said that Tennessee would not “get between” officers and their doctors regarding personal medical decisions in a video message posted.
I have a message for law enforcement officers from New York to Los Angeles: If you're looking for a state that stands with you & will protect your freedoms, come to Tennessee.
— Gov. Bill Lee (@GovBillLee) November 17, 2021
Lee did not specifically mention vaccine mandates but made his message to recruits clear. He said that he would make sure that officers’ “freedoms are protected.” He cited New York and Los Angeles by name, which has strict vaccine mandates for law enforcement personnel.
The governor also made a point to mention that the state planned to cover moving expenses for officers who are hired and will be “a great fit for our state.” He did not say how much would be available for those expenses. Nonetheless, a spokeswoman later indicated that the amount available for individual recruits would be determined by the number of competent individuals who commit to accepting a position when one is provided.
Lee recently signed legislation that significantly limits Tennessee schools and businesses’ power in imposing COVID-bases restrictions, masks requirements, and vaccine mandates.
The Tennessee governor’s announcement follows the recent proposal made by Republican Florida Governor Ron DeSantis describing plans to recruit police officers from other states who “aren’t being treated well.” DeSantis proposed $5,000 hiring bonuses for such recruits.
Lee also emphasized the Volunteer State’s advantages over other states, such as the absence of a state income tax, a low cost of living, and a good standard of living. Tennessee has been one of the most popular destinations for Americans relocating from big-government blue states in recent years. Lee told officers to consider Tennessee if they are looking for “America at its best.”