CAPE CORAL, Fla. – The Law Enforcement Recruitment Bonus Payment Program signed into law by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is continuing to pay off as more cops relocate to the Sunshine state.
The governor delivered $5,000 bonuses to six new recruits in the Cape Coral Police Department last Friday. Two officers relocated from New York; one relocated from Maryland, and one from Georgia, while two are new to the profession, the Washington Examiner reported.
The new Florida police personnel were sworn-in at the Cape Coral Police Department in Lee County prior to Hurricane Ian. Hence, they’ve already been serving their new community during response and recovery efforts.
“We are glad these officers chose to bring their talents to the law enforcement profession in Florida,” DeSantis said. “The heroism all our officers displayed when responding to Hurricane Ian is yet another example of why we must always back the blue.”
DeSantis noted the novel program “is part of the strongest law enforcement support initiative” in the U.S. It was created and funded through HB 3, a sweeping bill DeSantis signed into law that allocated $20 million to law enforcement recruitment and retention efforts.
Last November, when DeSantis invited police personnel to come to Florida, he said, “NYPD, Minneapolis, Seattle, if you’re not being treated well, we’ll treat you better here: you fill important needs for us, and we’ll compensate you as a result.”
Shortly after his invitation, at least 14 NYPD officers departed New York City to join the Lakeland Police Department, located near Tampa. They cited DeSantis’ recruitment plan, saying it was enticing since they routinely experienced a hostile work environment in their former city whose leadership had routinely turned its back on officers.
In July, Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody praised the program, pointing to a new recruit with the Lee County Sheriff’s Office who relocated from Chicago to Florida.
The new deputy said he didn’t feel appreciated by the residents of Chicago or by the city’s leadership. He heard Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno speaking in a video on social media about “how great it is to be a deputy in Florida.” He discovered DeSantis’s invitation, researched it, and in March moved his family to Florida, the Examiner reported.