Governor Ron DeSantis announced a $400 million project to raise salaries and provide incentives to law enforcement officers and other first responders across Florida.
According to the governor’s office, the proposal intends to raise pay for law enforcement officers, correctional officers, and special risk firefighters.
DeSantis also suggested a $1,000 incentive for first responders, including police officers, paramedics, emergency medical technicians, and firefighters, for the second year running.
“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,'” he said in a statement. “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.”
DeSantis’ proposal would provide $73 million to raise the minimum wage for state law enforcement personnel by 20% and veteran officer salaries by 25%. In addition, the proposal includes $135 million for increased base pay for correctional officers and Department of Juvenile Justice officers and $1.4 million for wage increases of up to $2,500 for special risk firefighters, reported Foxnews.
DeSantis also announced $5,000 bonuses to recruit and retain both state and local level law enforcement.
“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.
“Florida’s first responders and law enforcement officers are the backbones of our communities and these men and women have stood strong on the frontlines time and time again,” said 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.”
The proposal will be considered during the 2022 Florida Legislative Session, which will begin on Jan. 11 and end on March 11 the following year.
Earlier in 2021, Governor DeSantis collaborated with the Florida Legislature to obtain $1,000 awards for 174,000 first responders, and he approved House Bill 1, a critical anti-rioting bill, according to flgov.