431 People from 45 States and U.S. Territories Relocate to Florida to Become Law Enforcement Officers 

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Yesterday, Governor Ron DeSantis announced that nearly 1,400 bonuses have been issued to newly employed law enforcement recruits in Florida through the Law Enforcement Recruitment Bonus Payment Program. Through the Florida Law Enforcement Recruitment Bonus Payment Program, 431 people from 45 states and U.S. Territories have relocated to Florida to become law enforcement officers, including more than 155 from New York, California, and Pennsylvania. Each of the 1,400 law enforcement officers received a $5,000 bonus after taxes, bringing the total to more than $7 million delivered through the program to date.

Here is what Florida’s newly recruited law enforcement officers are saying about the program:

Sean, Port St. Lucie Police Department, relocated from New York

“Aspirations of a better quality of life for my family and myself. In a professional capacity, I no longer wanted to work in a city where law enforcement was clearly not a priority. A city where elected officials and the majority of their constituents no longer held the rule of law in high regard. The bonus Governor DeSantis provided was an added incentive in a growing list of reasons to continue my career in Florida and for my wife and I to raise our children in a free state. The bonus directly assisted in the payment of the moving company we employed for our transition to Florida. Furthermore, the Governor included extra funds to cover the taxes that were to be withdrawn from the bonus as it had to be reported to the IRS. A further indication that my wife and I made the best decision in our lives to move to the great state of Florida.”

Jeffery, Vero Beach Police Department, relocated from Connecticut

“I retired from East Hartford Connecticut Police Department in 2021 after losing qualified immunity and the new bill that defunded Connecticut law enforcement. We decided to relocate to Vero Beach with our three children. I missed the profession and was hired by VBPD and absolutely love it. I was not aware that the bonus was still being offered, however it was a big help around the holidays. It’s also a nice feeling that police are appreciated here in Florida. Honestly, if it wasn’t for our strong Governor, Ron DeSantis, and the welcome I got in Vero Beach, I would have remained retired. Thank you.”

Joseph, Satellite Beach Police Department, relocated from Maryland

“I retired from the United States Marine Corps and worked at the National Security Agency before moving to Florida. My professional and personal values did not align with the culture at the NSA. I felt training at the NSA should have been focused on safety first law enforcement. Instead, the NSA focused on indoctrinating a political agenda of woke politics on NSA Police Officers. The $5,000 recruitment bonus allowed me and my family to relocate to Florida – where there is support and political sanity. Florida is a state where I can carry out my duties to serve and protect the Satellite Beach community as a police officer, and know that the community respects and supports me. My children are now able to attend schools that concentrate on strong academic skills in a safe and welcoming environment. The bonus was the financial incentive that made it possible. I look forward to a career as a police officer in Satellite Beach and spending the rest of my life as a resident of this great state. Thank you, Governor DeSantis.”

Shelby, Orange Park Police Department 

“Pursuing a career as a law enforcement officer in the state of Florida was and has been the best decision I have ever made. I am from Ohio, and I reside in Florida initially because I was stationed here in the Navy. After I completed my service, I planned to relocate back to Ohio to be with my family, but the opportunity to work as a law enforcement officer in Florida was too good to be true. The Orange Park Police Department supported me while attending the FSCJ police academy in Jacksonville and employed me as one of their law enforcement officers once certified. During this process I have also been supported by the state of Florida. Receiving a $5,000 check from the state for becoming a law enforcement officer is an absolute blessing. The support I have received has brought my family down from Ohio, making this state my home.”

Nicolas, Bradenton Police Department, relocated from Rhode Island

“I came back from a deployment from Africa in January of 2022 and immediately relocated to Florida so that I could self-sponsor through the academy. The GI Bill paid for me to attend the academy and I received a monthly stipend for living expenses. However, the stipend only went so far. I was forced to spend money out of my savings in order to remain debt free through the academy. Receiving this bonus within the first month as a certified law enforcement officer helped me immeasurably financially.”

Delfino, University of Florida Police Department, relocated from Texas

“Moving from Texas to Florida was not cheap and required me to use some of my savings and cash out my retirement from my previous employment. Since moving to Florida, my wife and I had to play catch-up with our financials until we both were able to find good jobs…Around the time we received the state bonus, my wife and I also found out that we will be expecting our first child. This bonus was a blessing! When I first applied to be a law enforcement officer, it was because it was something I always wanted to do, but receiving this bonus will help my wife and I plan our future for our new family member. It helped reinforce that answering the call to help the community does not go unnoticed. I am happy to do my part to help keep Florida safe and appreciate that the state has the same goal in mind.” 

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




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