Friday, December 08, 2023

Police Officers Wave Goodbye To Hatred, Taxes And Disrespect. Say Hello To Florida

Appreciation is a huge benefit in any line of work, but when your job may require you to put your life on the line at any moment, it’s especially meaningful. Being a police officer requires a special type of person. Split second decisions are often required where either you or someone else may lose their life or be seriously injured.

In many Democratic run states and cities, appreciation not only doesn’t exist, its been replaced with persecution. Cries of “defund the police,” have weakened forces to the point that the job is even more dangerous. In those cities and states the risk/reward factor has shifted dramatically to the risk side of the ledger, causing many good officers to look elsewhere.

For many officers that elsewhere is Florida. Back in September of 2021, Governor Ron DeSantis began initiating a new Florida Law Enforcement Recruitment Bonus Program, (“Be A Florida Hero”). The program offers new police officers and police officers that relocate to Florida from out of state, some significant benefits.

The benefits include a $5,000 signing bonus, assistance with the down payment for first time home buyers and as much as $10,000 to help couples that want to adopt a child.

When he started the program, DeSantis was open about showing the officers that were willing to make a change the appreciation that they deserved, saying:

“It’s a way to capitalize off some of the folks who are not getting the support they need and say, you know what, you will be supported in Florida. We will make sure we do our best to make sure it’s worth your while.”    

Since the program was initiated, the state has awarded over 1,750 bonuses totaling over $11.8 million dollars. Of those awarded, over 530 were relocations from out of state. Recruits have come from 48 states and U.S. territories with 200 of those coming from New York, California, Pennsylvania, and Texas.

Commenting on the program, DeSantis said this:

“I’m proud to announce that more than 1,750 new law enforcement officers have received bonuses through the Law Enforcement Recruitment Bonus Program. Florida is first in the nation in law enforcement recruitment because of our focus on back-the-blue initiatives that make our law enforcement officers feel supported by their communities. In Florida, we know the invaluable service that law enforcement professionals provide our communities, and we’ve got their backs.”

DeSantis isn’t slowing down in his pursuit of new officers or in his recognition of the service that they provide. In his fiscal 2023-2024 budget, $30 million has been allocated to continue the program. In addition, he has also proposed that $220 million be allocated for a First Responder Recognition Program, which is a proposed $95 million over the previous budget.

One city that has been hit hard is not surprisingly, New York. In the first two months of this year alone, 239 officers left the force compared to 176 in 2022 and 110 in 2021. Numbers from the city’s pension fund show that 2022 had the highest number of NYPD resignations in 20 years. Last year Though November 1, 1,225 officers resigned.

Another member of the community that is reaching out to NYPD officers is Spero Georgedakis, Founder and CEO of “Good Greek Moving and Storage.” Georgedakis grew up in New York before moving to Florida and joining the North Miami Police Department, where he eventually worked his way up to the S.W.A.T. team. After a decade in law enforcement, he decided to try his hand in the moving business where he has also been successful.

Georgedakis is spending $20,000 a month on commercials targeting officers by offering discounts to any that may want to take advantage of DeSantis’s plan.

“My goal here isn’t to deplete the NYPD of their officers. These are officers who are already contemplating leaving. As a former police officer and leader in my industry, I am going to make sure these families make it to where they want to go.

In his estimation, Georgedakis believes that he can assist up to 100 officers move to the state.

These officers were living their lives in the cities and states that they are now leaving. Lets face it, the money incentives are nice, but the real catalyst for these moves is the work atmosphere that had developed where they were living. As a resident of Florida I say welcome, and to all those places that shunned these men and women take note, your loss is our gain.