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Gov. DeSantis proposes $5,000 bonuses for police that relocate to Florida

The proposed funds would be repaid to the state if the officer leaves their role prior to 1-year of continuous service.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Are you a police officer looking to move to the sunshine state? 

Gov. DeSantis is trying to make it easier by proposing a one-time $5,000 payment to law enforcement officers who are willing to relocate to Florida.  

He discussed the bonuses during a press conference in Lakeland Tuesday alongside AG Ashley Moody,

DeSantis said the bonuses will help law enforcement recruit skilled employees during a very critical time.

"In the summer of 2020...there was a movement throughout the country to defund or reduce funding or reduce support for the people who wear the uniform and in Florida we said at the very beginning that is not going to fly..." he said. 

"... We see an opportunity given how morale is low throughout many parts of our country amongst many people in law enforcement, we have the opportunity to capitalize on that in the state of Florida. We do need to fill positions..."

The bonuses would be eligible to individuals with no prior employment in the state as a sworn law enforcement officer, corrections officer or other institutional security officer. 

Additionally, DeSantis says the proposed funds would be repaid to the state if the officer leaves their role prior to 1-year of continuous service.

DeSantis initially pitched the bonuses as part of several policy proposals at the 2021 Biennial National Conference & Expo hosted by the National Fraternal Order of Police back in August.

He also pitched the idea of providing the State Officer Certification Exam free of charge to law enforcement officers relocating to Florida and covering the cost of any necessary training programs up to a maximum of $1,000 per officer. 

An 'Academy Scholarship Program' would also provide additional resources for law enforcement academy enrollees.

DeSantis says he hopes to move these proposals through the next legislative session in order to assist the state's law enforcement agencies with recruiting and retaining law enforcement.

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