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DeSantis recruiting cops for Fla. from Democrat-run state; offering $5,000 bonus

Republican presidential candidate Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images/TNS)
September 16, 2023

Florida Governor and Republican presidential candidate Ron DeSantis announced Thursday that Florida is launching a new law enforcement billboard campaign in Illinois to entice police officers to relocate to Florida.

“We are launching law enforcement recruitment billboards in Chicago, where crime rates are soaring and officers are unappreciated,” DeSantis tweeted Thursday. “While dozens of Illinois officers have already relocated to Florida, we look forward to welcoming many more with open arms and a $5,000 bonus.”

The billboard campaign in Chicago, Illinois, features an image of a police officer and a police car, with the caption, “Citizenship matters. Law enforcement matters. Make the Smart Move to Florida!”

Florida’s billboard campaign also advertises a $5,000 bonus for new law enforcement officer recruits and directs interested applicants to visit

READ MORE: DeSantis massively cuts presidential campaign staff

A Thursday press release by the governor’s office contrasted the working conditions for law enforcement in Illinois and Florida. The governor’s office noted that Illinois law now allows foreign nationals to serve as police officers. Additionally, the press release said Illinois became the first state earlier this year to “completely eliminate its cash bail system,” which the Florida governor’s office said has allowed “dangerous criminals” to enter back into Illinois communities.

Presenting an alternative for law enforcement officers in Illinois, the press release explained that DeSantis has signed “historic law-and-order legislation” over the past three years, protecting Florida residents from the consequences of bail reform policies.

“Florida strongly supports law enforcement and has consistently enacted commonsense criminal justice policies to keep our communities safe,” DeSantis said. “We stand behind our citizen officers, and we give them the tools to succeed professionally and personally. Other states deputize non-citizens, enact policies that favor criminals over victims, and work to overtly or covertly defund the police, but not in Florida. I look forward to welcoming the Illinois men and women in blue to the law-and-order state.”

According to the governor’s office, since DeSantis signed the Florida Law Enforcement Recruitment Bonus Payment Program in 2022, over 2,700 recruits have joined Florida’s law enforcement, with 750 recruits relocating from 48 states and two U.S. territories.