Governor Ron DeSantis announces more than 1,750 bonuses awarded to new law enforcement recruits

Press release from the Office of Governor Ron DeSantis

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Today, Governor Ron DeSantis announced that Florida continues to reach new milestones in law enforcement recruitment, issuing more than 1,750 bonuses through the Florida Law Enforcement Recruitment Bonus Program. This program is designed to encourage Floridians to join the profession and attract out-of-state recruits or experienced officers to relocate to Florida. To date, 530 law enforcement recruits from 48 states and U.S. territories have relocated to Florida, including more than 200 from California, Texas, New York, and Pennsylvania. Each of the more than 1,750 law enforcement officers has received a $5,000 bonus after taxes, bringing the total amount awarded through the program to more than $11.8 million to date.

“I’m proud to announce that more than 1,750 new law enforcement officers have received bonuses through the Law Enforcement Recruitment Bonus Program,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “Florida is first in the nation in law enforcement recruitment because of our focus on back-the-blue initiatives that make our law enforcement officers feel supported by their communities. In Florida, we know the invaluable service that law enforcement professionals provide our communities, and we’ve got their backs.”

“DEO is proud to support Governor DeSantis’ continued efforts to recruit in-state and out-of-state individuals to join the law enforcement profession in Florida,” said Florida Department of Economic Opportunity Acting Secretary, Meredith Ivey. “Law enforcement officers are hardworking, dedicated individuals who protect and serve our residents and communities. We are proud these recruits are choosing this noble profession in the state of Florida.”

In addition to a $5,000 recruitment bonus, the benefits of becoming a Florida law enforcement officer include financial stability, upward mobility, excellent health and retirement benefits, student loan forgiveness programs, home loan programs, and more.

In the Governor’s Framework for Freedom Budget for fiscal year 2023-2024, $30 million is proposed to continue the Law Enforcement Recruitment bonus payment program, which is $10 million more than the previous year’s allocation. Governor DeSantis is also proposing $220 million for the First Responder Recognition payment program, an increase of $95 million over the current year for state and locally employed first responders.

Florida has also established the Hometown Heroes program to help local hometown heroes like law enforcement officers, firefighters, military veterans, and active-duty military personnel afford to purchase their first homes in the communities they serve. The program provides down payment and closing cost assistance to eligible homebuyers who are purchasing a home for the first time or buyers who have moved to Florida and are purchasing their first home in the state. Learn more here: www.floridahousing.org/programs/homebuyer-overview-page/hometown-heroes.

For more information about the Florida Law Enforcement Recruitment Bonus Payment Program, visit www.FloridaJobs.org/Recognition-and-Recruitment.

  • And yet the Governor still does nothing for Public Safety Dispatchers even though it is harder to hire a dispatcher than it is a cop. Dispatchers are considered first responders. Dispatchers even have to be certified by the state of Florida. Dispatchers are on the job every day, they were there every day during the dark days of the pandemic just like cops and fire rescue but they were not part of the bonuses the Governor has given out before(but teachers were). Nor were they on the less property taxes bill (that didn’t pass) but teachers were. The fact that teachers were on it was probably one of the reasons it didn’t pass. The Governor of Florida needs to remember the Public Safety Dispatchers that serve every day, 24 hours a day just like cops and fire rescue when accolades and money are handed out.

    • Excellent points. Dispatching police, fire and rescue is a high stress, high adrenalin job that takes a real toll on the dispatchers. They should have been included in the bonuses.

      Many thanks dispatchers for the job you do.

  • >