DeSantis signs bill into law to recruit, retain more law enforcement in Florida

HB 3 includes new bonuses, benefits, onboarding procedures

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis holds a news conference at the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office in Titusville on Friday, April 1, 2022. (Copyright 2022 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.)

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed HB-3 into law Friday, with the goal of making the state more attractive and accessible for people considering to pursue or continue a career in law enforcement.

Before signing the bill at a pair of news conferences, DeSantis said Florida was the most law enforcement-friendly state in the country.

“We wanted to say that this law enforcement profession is a noble calling and we want to support you if you make that decision to go and protect and serve, and so we started working on what we could do, what it would look like, and this turned into House Bill 3,” DeSantis said.

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The legislation introduces multiple new benefits for all walks of Floridian law enforcement, including a provision that dependent children of law enforcement officers be eligible for new and existing scholarships, a boost to county sheriffs’ salaries based on the population of their jurisdiction, and the establishment of a law enforcement recruitment bonus program that promises to reward newly employed recruits with $5,000 each.

“We already have strong law enforcement, but I mean we’re just going to have no peer in terms of the folks that we have working throughout our municipal, county and state agencies in the state of Florida,” DeSantis said.

Read HB-3 by clicking here.

The law will also exempt veterans from having to undergo basic training as a prerequisite to entering an LEO position, offer lump-sum payments of varying value for LEOs, qualifying agency employees, veterans or servicemembers who adopt a child within the child welfare system, and reimburse up to $1,000 for costs incurred during training and certification processes.

“Today’s bill signing is really monumental, I don’t think there’s any place in the country that is doing as much for law enforcement as we are doing with this bill here today. And I think you probably look back in the history of our state and it’d be hard to find an example of doing this much, particularly when you add in the other bonuses that we’re doing and everything else we’ve done over the last few years,” DeSantis said.

This comes one day after DeSantis spoke in Ponte Vedra Beach and West Palm Beach on Thursday to highlight a second round of $1,000 bonuses for sworn law enforcement, firefighters and EMTs in Florida, included in the state budget.

About the Author:

Brandon, a UCF grad, joined the ClickOrlando team in November 2021. Before joining News 6, Brandon worked at WDBO.