On Monday, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced $400 million in new funding proposals to increase the salaries of Florida’s state law enforcement officers, correctional officers, and state special risk firefighters, and to provide $1,000 bonuses for first responders, including law enforcement officers, paramedics, emergency medical technicians (EMTs), and firefighters across the state for the second year in a row.
DeSantis also announced $5,000 bonuses to recruit and retain both state and local level law enforcement.
The Legislature will consider the proposal as it gets ready to meet for its regular session early next year.
“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,” said DeSantis. “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.”
“Florida’s first responders and law enforcement officers are the backbone of our communities and these men and women have stood strong on the frontlines time and time again,” said state Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis. “Through natural disasters and a pandemic, these are the heroes that leave their families at a moment’s notice to run towards danger in the service of others. We don’t have safe communities and a vibrant economy where families can thrive without these heroes working every day to protect us. In Florida, we appreciate law and order and those that answer the call to serve. Thank you to Governor DeSantis for always supporting Florida’s first responders and ensuring they have the resources needed to keep Floridians safe.”
“Governor DeSantis’ historic law enforcement pay proposal furthers Florida’s support of law enforcement, and it also addresses a critical need within the Florida Highway Patrol,” said Terry Rhodes, the executive director of the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. “Recruiting and retaining highly qualified law enforcement officers dedicated to public services is crucial, now more than ever. The Governor’s historic pay proposal makes it clear that Florida cares for and recognizes the sacrifices that law enforcement officers and their families make, many times in the most challenging of circumstances.”
“Today’s announcement is yet another testament to Governor DeSantis’ steadfast support of law enforcement,” said Col. Roger Young, FWC Division of Law Enforcement. “The conservation law enforcement officers of the FWC work hard every day to protect the people and natural resources of Florida. This initiative will enable our agency to recruit and retain qualified officers and continue to provide excellent public service to Floridians and visitors to the state.”
“I applaud Governor DeSantis’ tremendous proposal that emphasizes the depth of his unwavering support for our state’s law enforcement members, as well as his recognition that recruiting and maintaining public safety personnel is vital to strengthening our communities and keeping all Floridians and visitors safe,” said FDLE Commissioner Rick Swearingen.