Florida to offer more incentives for joining law enforcement

Reporter: Asha Patel Writer: Joey Pellegrino
Published: Updated:

Gov. Ron DeSantis is trying to encourage people to join law enforcement in Florida by offering incentives that include a $5,000 bonus, and the Lee County Sheriff’s Office is fully on board.

Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno thinks this is the best way to recruit law enforcement officers from both in and out of the state, especially with lots of agencies experiencing staffing shortages. DeSantis says this bill will give new police officers in Florida a $5,000 bonus. It will also cover up to $1,000 in tuition and fees for the police academy, but in order to receive that bonus, new officers have to complete training, be hired at a Florida law enforcement agency and work there for at least two years.

Marceno says that these days, people are looking for more than just getting any job, especially in law enforcement.

“When you’re looking, you’re looking at, ‘What’s the salary, what’s the benefits, what’s the pension?'” Marceno said. “When you offer $5,000 for someone to come down, plus more money, you look at the benefits package, you’re living in a beautiful area… I mean, people from all over come here, we have a waiting list.”

Marceno says being a police officer in Florida already comes with a lot of benefits.

“If you want to be a law enforcement officer—whether you’re getting into the game today or you’re someone at the later part of your career looking towards retirement—and you still got that in you, OK; don’t wait one day,” Marceno said. “The weather’s amazing, we’re surrounded by beautiful beaches and palm trees and you are surrounded at every level by people that will support you.”

Also included in the measure: Children of police officers will be eligible for vouchers to attend a private school, and police officers who adopt a child from the state welfare system will receive $10,000.

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