TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA — Governor Ron DeSantis announced on Wednesday that nearly 1,400 bonuses have been issued to newly employed law enforcement recruits in Florida. Through the Law Enforcement Recruitment Bonus Payment Program, 431 people from 45 states and U.S. territories have relocated to Florida to serve as law enforcement officers. More than 155 recruits relocated from New York, California, and Pennsylvania.
“In Florida, our number one priority is to protect Floridians and the best way to do that is by supporting the law enforcement officers who keep our communities safe,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “My administration will continue to deliver on our promises by prioritizing law-and-order policies and making Florida the best state to be a law enforcement officer.”
The program includes scholarships for law enforcement, scholarships for children of law enforcement officers, raises in pay and retention bonuses. Each of the 1,400 officers received a $5,000 bonus after taxes, bringing the total to more than $7 million delivered through the program to date.
FLORIDA’S LOW CRIME RATE
Florida’s crime rate is at a 50-year low, with total crime dropping 8.3 percent in 2021 and murder offenses dropping by 14 percent. In comparison, New York City saw a 22 percent increase in overall major crime in 2022 according to New York Police Department crime statistics. In California, 2021 was the deadliest year since 2007 with homicides rising 7.2 percent over the year, according to California Criminal Justice statistical reports.
During the 2022 Legislative Session, Governor DeSantis signed HB 3, a sweeping law enforcement recruitment and retention bill, which included $20 million for the Law Enforcement Recruitment Bonus Payment Program.