In a press conference Monday, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) is proposing raises and bonuses for law enforcement officers and first responders as part of his budget hopes ahead of the 2022 Florida legislative session.
“Increasing salaries for state law enforcement by 20 and 25 percent respectively is going to make a real difference for those officers, it will make a real difference for the families, it will help retain a lot of the talented people we have as well as recruit new people,” DeSantis said.
In 2021, DeSantis announced $1,000 bonuses for law enforcement officers, and DeSantis desires the same bonuses to be a part of budget talks for this upcoming year, as well. He is also asking for $73 million to raise the minimum entry salary for state level law enforcement positions.
On Twitter, DeSantis added to his comments by saying Florida will continue to support its law enforcement community.
“While other states defund their police, in Florida, we will always support our law enforcement,” DeSantis tweeted.
While other states defund their police, in Florida, we will always support our law enforcement.
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) November 29, 2021
DeSantis, for months, has worked to brand himself as a supporter of law enforcement, including the announcement of new recruitment strategies to attract law enforcement officers from across the country to Florida.
“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,” said DeSantis at a law enforcement conference in August. “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.”
Similarly, the Florida Police Benevolent Association (PBA), the largest police union in the state, announced their endorsement of DeSantis for his re-election bid in 2022.
“He insists that the men and women of law enforcement and corrections be treated with the utmost respect,” said PBA President John Kazanjian. “His ‘Law and Order’ agenda continues to support and defend the citizens of our state amid the vicious attacks against the law enforcement community by the radical segments of our society. We know that he will protect law enforcement officers from the threat of the ‘Defund the Police’ movement, while also creating an environment that recruits and retains the best and brightest sworn law enforcement officers our country as to offer. We have his back and we know he has ours.”
After the 2021 legislative session, DeSantis also signed “anti-riot” legislation, which DeSantis touted as the strongest pro-law enforcement legislation in the country. A judge has recently blocked the law, and numerous Florida cities have filed suit against the law citing its restrictions on local budget decisions regarding law enforcement funding.
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Grant Holcomb is a reporter at the Florida Capital Star and the Star News Network. Follow Grant on Twitter and direct message tips.
Photo “DeSantis speaks on law enforcement support” by Gov. Ron DeSantis.