TITUSVILLE, Fla. — For anyone wanting to become a law enforcement officer in the Sunshine State, now is a good time to sign on.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Friday the new addition of $5,000 one-time bonuses for newly-employed law enforcement officers.
"This is the right thing to do...," the governor said at a news conference at the Brevard County Sheriff's Office. "That $5,000 bonus is significant and we're really happy, but we're doing more than just that in HB 3."
The legislation not only gives a bonus to officers but also provides an educational scholarship for trainees, creates a reimbursement program for officers who relocate to pay for training costs along with exempting veterans and people with associate degrees from taking the basic skills test before entering recruitment.
“If you’re being mistreated, you’re not being supported – whether you’re on the west coast, whether you’re in New York, whether you’re in Chicago, any of these places – if you’re qualified and you can fill a spot here, you know, we’re gonna get your back. And so, we’re getting your back in the form of a $5,000 signing bonus," the governor said at a second bill signing in Polk County.
“We’ve stood for this being a noble profession. We want to support the folks who are protecting us," he added.
DeSantis also mentioned after the budget is signed, all existing law enforcement officers will receive a $1,000 bonus for the second year in a row.
"This will go a long way to ensuring we can have the best and the brightest filling our law enforcement ranks," Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody explained.
Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd praised DeSantis, Moody, House Speaker Chris Sprowls and Senate President Wilton Simpson for their work in supporting law enforcement through legislation.
“I’ve been in law enforcement my entire adult life and I have never once seen a team like this. Never once have we had a legislative year that was this robust that said, ‘Look, we value the law enforcement officers that keep the state of Florida safe,'" Judd said.
The well-known sheriff presented DeSantis with two of his famous signs. One was shaped like a $5,000 bill with the governor's face on it, while the other showed the state of Florida and called the group the "A-Team."
Along with educational and career benefits, officers who decide to adopt a child from the state's child welfare system will receive up to $25,000 with the newly signed bill.
“[$5,000] may not seem like a lot of money to some folks but it’s big money when you’re trying to move across the country to the state of Florida, it’s big money when you’re trying to come where you can really enforce the law and protect the people," Judd added.
Click here to read the full bill that was signed into law.