Florida Police Chiefs Association backs DeSantis for president

by | Jul 25, 2023

  • The Florida Police Chiefs Association (FPCA) endorses Governor Ron DeSantis for President over former President Donald Trump.
  • The endorsement is based on DeSantis’ implementation of recognition programs for first responders and a 50-year low in crime rates.
  • The governor authorized $5,000 signing bonuses for new law enforcement officers to recruit and retain personnel, culminating in 2,265 people joining the profession in Florida.

The Florida Police Chiefs Association (FPCA), the third-largest state police chiefs association in the United States, announced on Monday that it is endorsing Gov. Ron DeSantis for President.

In a published statement, organizational leaders expressed their endorsement for DeSantis over former President Donald Trump, predicated on the governor’s implementation of recognition programs for first responders and a 50-year low in crime rates. In 2020, the organization backed Trump, but endorsed DeSantis in his successful gubernatorial re-election campaign, when he defeated former governor Charlie Crist.

Another law enforcement organization in Florida, the Florida Police Benevolent Association, which had previously endorsed Trump during the 2020 election, declared its endorsement of DeSantis as a presidential candidate earlier this year.

“The Florida Police Chiefs Association is honored to fully endorse Governor DeSantis for President of the United States of America,” FPCA president Keith Touchberry said. “From his commitment to safe communities and defending the rule of law, to his unwavering support for the profession of law enforcement through better pay and recruiting bonuses, Governor DeSantis backs the blue.”

Since taking office, DeSantis has been an ardent supporter of first responders. As part of his plan to recruit and retain law enforcement officers, DeSantis authorized $5,000 signing bonuses for new personnel. The bonuses will provide a one-time $5,000 payment to sworn law enforcement officers who are new to the profession in Florida.

2,265 people, both new recruits and current officers from other states, entered the law enforcement profession in Florida through DeSantis’ program. The governor also helped secure a second round of recruitment bonuses during the most recent Legislative Session and $110 million for first responder recognition bonuses.

“The Florida Police Chiefs Association is proud to endorse an extraordinary public servant like Governor DeSantis,” said FPCA 1st vice-president Charles Broadway. “His first responder recognition programs are making a difference, and we know he will take that same results-oriented approach to Washington.”

With the support of various police unions, DeSantis signed a series of anti-crime bills into law in May. The most wide-ranging of the bills, House Bill 1627, requires the state Supreme Court to develop a uniform statewide bond schedule by the beginning of next year, establishing a standard set of bail amounts for different crimes across the entire state.

Moreover, the legislation prohibits the chief judge of a judicial circuit from setting a lower bail amount for a crime than what is on the statewide bond schedule without approval from the Florida Supreme Court.

The House bill also prohibits individuals who have been arrested for specific crimes from being released before their first appearance in court while concurrently allowing courts to consider nonmonetary conditions of release in place of bail.

It also adds certain crimes like DUI manslaughter and extortion to the list of “dangerous crimes” that can lead to pretrial detention.

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