Attracting officers to move to Florida
When Governor Ron DeSantis signs Florida's annual budget, it will include a provision of millions of dollars intended to bolster the strength of the state's police force. It reflects an ongoing commitment to reward police officers properly and to recognize them for the contribution they make in keeping residents safe.
The proposals were first suggested by Governor DeSantis over 6 months ago.
With the completion of the state's legislative season earlier in March and the budget for 2022 shortly to be signed by the governor, officers from other states who relocate to Florida will soon be eligible for the relocation bonus.
Existing state law enforcement officers will also have their base pay increased to $50,000 a year. There will also be benefits for law enforcement officers who adopt kids and tuition benefits for the children of police officers once the so-called 'Freedom First' budget is approved.
A response to staff shortages
Commenting on the shortages of suitable officers, Adam Myers - President of the Fraternal Order of Police for West Palm Beach, had this to say:
"Nationwide, police in general are having a problem attracting qualified candidates that want to be police officers. And, West Palm is no different."
"You already know it's an inherently dangerous job, and you already know you’re going to be paid a low wage, it makes that job less attractive."
The same pressures exist for police forces around the country, and it may just be that the additional money and working conditions in Florida persuade officers to relocate to the state.
Officers leaving New York
In late 2021, a number of police officers from New York moved to Florida amidst growing anti-police sentiment in the state of New York:
The effect of bonuses and increased basic pay for officers may well encourage more officers to move to Florida from elsewhere. If it leads to an increased number of qualified, motivated officers on Florida's streets then it can only be a good thing.
Do you feel like there's a shortage of police in Florida? Do you think the bonuses and salary increases are fair and enough to attract officers to Florida? Let me know in the comments section below.