The Florida Police Benevolent Association (PBA) is the first in line to back Governor Ron DeSantis‘ reelection bid.
After announcing the filing of his campaign committee earlier this week, DeSantis received the
“We proudly endorse Governor Ron DeSantis for reelection,” said PBA President John Kazanjian. “He insists that the men and women of law enforcement and corrections be treated with the utmost respect. His ‘Law and Order’ agenda continues to support and defend the citizens of our state amid the vicious attacks against the law enforcement community by the radical segments of our society. We know that he will protect law enforcement officers from the threat of the ‘Defund the Police’ movement, while also creating an environment that recruits and retains the best and brightest sworn law enforcement officers our country has to offer. We have his back and we know he has ours.”
Since taking office, DeSantis has been an ardent supporter of those serving on the frontlines to keep Floridians safe. As part of his plan to recruit and retain law enforcement officers for the upcoming 2022 Legislative Session, DeSantis recently proposed $5,000 signing bonuses for new recruits. The bonuses will provide a one-time $5,000 payment to sworn law enforcement officers who are new to the profession in Florida. Those eligible include individuals with no prior employment in this state as a sworn law enforcement officer, corrections officer or other institutional security officer. Additionally, the funds are to be repaid to the state if the officer leaves their role prior to one-year of continuous service.
The new proposal comes on the heels of DeSantis distributing $1,000 bonus checks to over 105,000 sworn law enforcement officers and other first responders.
DeSantis also made efforts to protect officers in the wake of lawlessness and unrest that occurred in major cities during the summer of 2020. Following the 2020 Legislative Session, DeSantis announced new legislation to stop violent assemblies and protect law enforcement. The proposed legislation, the “Combatting Violence, Disorder and Looting and Law Enforcement Protection Act,” creates new criminal offenses and increases penalties for those who target law enforcement and participate in violent or disorderly assemblies. It also increases mandatory minimum sentences and provides protections against localities defunding the police.
The controversial bill was signed into law last April.
“Every day, members of law enforcement say goodbye to their families and walk out the door knowing there’s no guarantee they’ll make it home,” DeSantis added. “From day one of my administration, I promised to always Back the Blue and I’m proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with Florida’s law enforcement.
“Unlike many of the liberal cities and states across America that shame police, we’ve created an environment in Florida that supports the women and men who keep our communities safe. From $1,000 bonus checks to banning sanctuary cities and signing the strongest anti-rioting legislation in the country, I have been a fierce advocate for Florida’s police officers. I will continue to stand up for the men and women who risk their lives daily keeping Floridians safe.”