Tallahassee, FL – Florida law enforcement officers and other first responders will be receiving a one-time $1,000 bonus from the state as a token of appreciation for their service.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis proudly announced the move during a press conference outside the Satellite Beach Police Department (SBPD) on Wednesday while surrounded by members of law enforcement and other first responders, FOX News reported.
“I thought it was important to recognize their service and their sacrifice,” DeSantis said, according to Florida Today.
“I asked the legislature in this legislative session, we need to do bonuses for law enforcement,” he told the crowd. “Some wanted to defund the police. We’re funding the police, and then some.”
Every first responder who continued working during the coronavirus pandemic will receive the $1,000 payment, FOX News reported.
This includes paramedics, firefighters, and law enforcement officers, WESH reported.
“When the coronavirus pandemic hit, you had some people…they would just work on Zoom from their bedroom or their living room,” DeSantis said, according to Florida Today. “The people who wear the uniform, they didn’t have that luxury. They had to work more than they ever had.”
FL Gov. Ron DeSantis announces $1K bonuses to law enforcement officials in his state:
“Some want to defund the police. We’re funding the police and then some.” pic.twitter.com/qy3bhedlye
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) May 5, 2021
The governor said the way police have been treated over the past year has been “a total disgrace,” Florida Today reported.
SBPD Chief Jeffrey Pearson, who is also serving as president of the Florida Police Chief’s Association, told the governor he is thankful for his “unwavering” support for law enforcement officers.
“With your strong and consistent leadership, law enforcement can count on you… and most importantly, the people of Florida can count on you,” Chief Pearson said, according to Florida Today.
State Representative Randy Fine (R-Palm Bay) said the financial bonus signifies a much deeper level of appreciation.
“I don’t want anyone to think that we don’t appreciate every single day what it is you do to keep us safe,” Fine told the first responders in attendance. “We’re really grateful to have this small opportunity to repay it to you.”
The $1,000 payments are contained within the state’s $101.5 billion budget, which DeSantis said he will soon sign off on, Florida Today reported.
More specifically, the funds allocated for the first responders’ bonuses will come from federal rescue plan money passed by Congress, according to WESH.
It is up to each state to determine how the federal rescue plan funds will be allocated.
DeSantis also said the Florida Historic Capitol will be lit up with blue lights next week in honor of National Police Week, Florida Politics reported.