Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is recruiting police officers from around the country who may not be happy with immunization mandates in their respective cities.
DeSantis announced that he plans to offer $5,000 bonuses to unvaccinated law enforcement personnel who relocate to Florida and join its police force. He urged officers from New York and Seattle to move to Florida if their state did not offer exemptions for those who did not want to take the vaccine.
The Republican Governor recently told Fox News that the state is, “Actively working to recruit out-of-state law enforcement, because we do have needs in our police and our sheriff’s departments.”
DeSantis hopes to make it official by signing a bill in the next legislative session.
“If you’re not being treated well, we’ll treat you better here,” he also told Fox News.
Law enforcement all over the country were the first to become eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine, but many refused. Now that cities across the nation are implementing vaccine mandates, some officers are resigning out of protest, leaving cities with fewer officers.
According to the Washington Post, at least 150 officers in Massachusetts have reportedly resigned or submitted paperwork to do so over the state’s vaccine requirements. In Chicago, officers were urged by their union to ignore a city mandate that requires officers to report their vaccine status. Both the Los Angeles and the New York Police Union plan to sue their city over vaccination requirements.
While DeSantis looks to take advantage of this dissent and recruit officers upset with their state’s stance on unvaccinated employees, cops continue to die from COVID-19 at an alarming rate.
According to CNN, coronavirus has become the leading cause of death among law enforcement. Since the start of the pandemic, 476 officers have died from COVID-19 related deaths, and five times as many officers have died from COVID-19, than from gunfire.
The safety of law enforcement doesn’t seem to be high on the DeSantis agenda, but other organizations are urging officers to protect themselves. The national Fraternal Order of Police released a letter to officers insisting they consider receiving the vaccine for the safety of themselves and others. Attached to the letter is an FAQ, with up-to-date info for officers still wary of misinformation.