HomeState governmentGovernor DeSantis Signs HB 3, the Strongest Law Enforcement Recruitment and Support Initiative in the Nation
Governor DeSantis Signs HB 3, the Strongest Law Enforcement Recruitment and Support Initiative in the Nation
April 1, 2022
Press release from the Office of Governor Ron DeSantis
Today, Governor Ron DeSantis furthered his commitment to making Florida the most law enforcement-friendly state in the nation by signing HB 3, legislation that encourages Floridians to join the law enforcement profession and incentivizes out-of-state law enforcement professionals to bring their skills to the Sunshine State. More on the bill and other pro-law enforcement initiatives can be found here.
“While other parts of the country are mistreating, marginalizing, and defunding law enforcement, in Florida we continue to prioritize and appreciate our law enforcement officers,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “This legislation encourages Floridians to pursue careers in law enforcement and attracts high quality law enforcement officers from other states who are sick and tired of the mistreatment they experience to bring their skills to Florida. From $1,000 scholarships to $5,000 bonuses to $25,000 adoption incentives, we are putting our money where our mouth is, and we are backing the blue.”
“Florida is the most pro-law enforcement state in the nation, and this new law is the perfect example of how our leaders back the blue,” said Attorney General Ashley Moody. “As the wife of a law enforcement officer, it is so important to me that we support the courageous men and women who swear an oath to protect and serve. This law does that and will also boost law enforcement recruitment efforts through our Be A Florida Hero initiative. Thank you, Governor DeSantis, and each and every member who voted for this important legislation.”
“While leaders of other states are trying to defund the police, Florida just passed a historic law-and-order budget and strong legislation that shows we stand with the brave law enforcement officers who keep our communities safe,” said Senate President Wilton Simpson. “With major pay increases for state law enforcement officers in our budget, along with the significant recruitment bonuses signed into law today, we are making certain our law enforcement agencies have the tools they need to retain and recruit officers.”
“During my time as Speaker, I made it a mission to demonstrate my appreciation for our law enforcement officers not only in word, but in action,” said House Speaker Chris Sprowls. “House Bill 3 includes several critical steps in establishing a lasting culture of value and retention for Florida’s law enforcement community. I was proud to stand beside Governor DeSantis today as he signed Representative Leek’s great bill into law, making Florida the most law-enforcement-friendly state in America.”
“We enjoy the freedoms of our community because of the men and women in blue,” said Representative Tom Leek. “We want the men and women of law enforcement to know that we support you, we respect you, and we appreciate you. In Florida, we don’t defund the police. Not today. Not tomorrow. Not ever.”
“What an honor to be able to show all of our law enforcement community that we care and we will always have their back,” said Senator Ed Hooper. “God bless each and every one and may they get home to their families after their shift.”
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HB 3 will improve the recruitment and retention efforts of Florida’s law enforcement agencies by:
Providing signing bonuses of up to $5,000 to newly-employed law enforcement officers in Florida through the creation of the Florida Law Enforcement Recruitment Bonus Payment Program.
Covering tuition, fees, and up to $1,000 of eligible education expenses for trainees enrolled in a law enforcement officer basic recruit training program through the creation of the Florida Law Enforcement Academy Scholarship Program.
Offering a reimbursement program to pay for up to $1,000 of equivalency training costs for certified law enforcement officers who relocate to Florida or members of the special operations forces who become full-time law enforcement officers in Florida.
Among other provisions, the bill also makes dependent children of law enforcement officers eligible to receive a Family Empowerment Scholarship to attend private schools and provides law enforcement officers who adopt a child from within the state child welfare system with a $10,000 benefit or a $25,000 benefit for adopting a child with special needs.
Yesterday, Governor DeSantis announced that for the second straight year, local government first responders will receive a $1,000 bonus. The Fiscal Year 2022-23 budget includes $125 million for the bonuses, which will benefit local government police officers, sheriff’s deputies, paramedics, EMTs, and firefighters throughout the state.
To watch Governor DeSantis’ speech to the National Fraternal Order of Police National Conference where he first announced this legislation, click here.
To watch today’s press conference and signing ceremony, click here.
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