Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced on Sunday his plan to offer $5,000 bonuses to police officers who are leaving other states’ departments in protest of COVID-19 vaccine mandates.
DeSantis said the bonuses will be available to cops who relocate to Florida and work in law enforcement.
“We’re actually actively working to recruit out-of-state law enforcement, because we do have needs in our police and our sheriff’s departments,” DeSantis said during an interview on Fox News’ show “Sunday Morning Futures.”
DeSantis told host Maria Bartiromo that he intends to sign a bill that would allow for the bonuses during the next legislative session. He specifically urged cops in New York, Minneapolis and Seattle to join Florida’s police force if the departments in those cities refuse to accommodate officers who decline the COVID-19 vaccine.
“If you’re not being treated well, we’ll treat you better here,” DeSantis continued. “You can fill important needs for us, and we’ll compensate you as a result.”
“Nobody should lose their job based off these injections,” he said.
Police across the country have been resisting vaccine mandates. Last week, Seattle police patrol cars with Gadsden flags draped from their windows appeared in photos on social media just hours before the vaccine mandate for Washington state went into effect.
“Some officers plan on taking time off to decide what they will do long term. They don’t seem eager to stay with SPD,” radio host Jason Rantz tweeted, along with the photos. “Others explained that they are going to leave the SPD by the end of the year as a result of this. Officers took these photos in protest of the mandate.”
Earlier this month, Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said he would not force his staff to take the COVID-19 vaccine despite the vaccine requirement recently passed by local lawmakers, citing already “bare bones” staffing that would be made worse by resignations caused by the mandate.
“I’m not forcing anyone,” Villanueva said when asked if he would enforce the vaccine mandate. “The issue has become so politicized. There are entire groups of employees that are willing to be fired and laid off rather than get vaccinated.”
“I don’t want to be in a position to lose 5, 10 percent of my workforce overnight on a vaccine mandate, while at the same time we’re barebones with the defunding effort,” Villanueva continued “So, this is like the worst of two worlds right here. So, we have to pick and choose.”