Sep 8, 2021 - Politics

DeSantis announces $5K signing bonus for new Florida cops

DeSantis speaks at the Lakeland Police Department. Photo via Facebook

In the aftermath of the Lakeland shooting, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis visited the city police department on Tuesday to announce new programs to support law enforcement.

The programs he'll push next legislative session:

  • A $5,000 signing bonus from the state for new Florida police officers.
  • Removing roadblocks so out-of-state officers can more easily move to Florida.
  • Making the state certification exam free for relocating officers, with up to $1,000 per officer for additional training covered by the state.
  • A state-sponsored scholarship program for recruits to attend law enforcement academy.

What they're saying: Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody joined DeSantis to declare that "Florida is now the most pro-law enforcement state in the nation."

  • She called rollbacks on police funding "idiotic" and "negligent."

State of play: LPD Asst. Chief Hans Lehman said the department has had a difficult time filling deficits and believes signing bonuses are key to fixing that.

  • Lakeland is getting 13 new officers by the end of the year, which should help fill up the department, he said.

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