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WHAT THEY ARE SAYING: Law Enforcement Applaud Governor Ron DeSantis’ Framework for Freedom Budget

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Last week, Governor Ron DeSantis signed the Framework for Freedom Budget for Fiscal Year 2023–24 which continues to make vital investments in public safety. These investments include salary increases for correctional officers, enhancements to officer safety, and tools to more aggressively combat the flow of fentanyl into Florida from the southern border. Due to the continued diligence of Florida’s law enforcement officers, Floridians are benefiting from a 50-year record-low crime rate, and year-over-year crime in Florida is down nearly ten percent.

The Framework for Freedom Budget includes $20 million for a second round of $5,000 recruitment bonuses for law enforcement officers new to the profession or relocating from other states. Additionally, the budget provides $110 million to provide one-time recognition bonuses for eligible local first responders. The Framework for Freedom Budget also includes nearly $100 million to boost pay for Correctional and Probation Officers.

Read what Floridians are saying about Governor DeSantis’ Framework for Freedom Budget:

 

“Governor DeSantis’ steadfast support for law enforcement in the Framework for Freedom Budget is remarkable, and we don’t take that support for granted,” said Hernando County Sheriff and Florida Sheriffs Association President, Al Nienhuis. “Not only is great and common-sense policy being established for public safety, but this budget will also provide the sheriffs and our law enforcement partners with the tools necessary to find and hire the right people. Those people will, in turn, work hard to keep our streets safe and maintain an environment where all Floridians and visitors can feel safe.”

“The Florida Police Chiefs Association applauds Governor DeSantis’s commitment to public safety with new funding for the First Responder Recognition Payments Program and officer recruitment incentives,” said Florida Police Chiefs Association (FPCA) President and Fellsmere Police Department Chief Keith Touchberry. “These programs are making a difference, and Florida is a leader in public safety due to Governor DeSantis’ steadfast support of our law enforcement officers. His Framework for Freedom Budget is proof positive that Governor DeSantis will always back the blue.”

“Florida’s Framework for Freedom is yet another perfect example of Governor DeSantis making the safety of Florida’s citizens his top priority,” said Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey. “Like me, Governor DeSantis understands that government’s one and only responsibility is the protection of its citizens and their rights! This budget not only strongly benefits our citizens through sound fiscal responsibility but is also the exact reason that Florida is the greatest place in the country to live, work, and raise our families.”

“While there are states still defunding the police, Governor DeSantis once again has proven his remarkable leadership to keep all the people in the State of Florida safe and continue the strongest support of law enforcement officers who stand in the gap between good and evil,” said Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd.

“We appreciate the Governor’s continued commitment to ‘Back the Blue’ and support first responders throughout our state, especially during a time where this profession is seeing widespread challenges to retain and recruit passionate individuals who want to serve and protect their community,” said Nassau County Sheriff Bill Leeper.

“In addition to fighting to keep Florida families safe, Governor DeSantis’ Framework for Freedom Budget includes more than $20.7 million in investments toward law enforcement efforts to combat the crippling opioid epidemic affecting all of Florida’s communities and families,” said Citrus County Sheriff Mike Prendergast. “The budget also includes a continuation of a critical Governor DeSantis initiative to provide $5,000 bonus payments to new eligible law enforcement officers joining the profession. Thank you, Governor DeSantis, for your support to the thin blue line family.”

“Governor DeSantis has shown throughout his career that he has always held law enforcement as one of his highest priorities,” said Coral Gables Police Chief Edward Hudak Jr. “His commitment to the men and women who protect our great state is unmatched, whether it be to assist in our recruiting efforts to select the very best, or enact laws to protect our first responders to ensuring unbiased policing of our citizens and funding the resources needed to accomplish these initiatives.”

“Governor DeSantis continues to put public safety first! His commitment to law enforcement has remained steadfast ,and with his leadership and support, Florida Sheriffs lead the way in keeping our communities safe,” said Clay County Sheriff Michelle Cook.

 

“This legislation will continue to benefit the lives of our first responders and positively impact public safety in our communities around Florida,” said Walton County Sheriff Michael Adkinson. “This state is leading the way in making sure families feel secure and have exceptional quality of life.”

 

“I applaud Governor Ron DeSantis’ dedication to supporting law enforcement,” said Jackson County Sheriff Donald L. Edenfield. “His leadership is positioning the state of Florida as the frontrunner on how public safety drives our economy.”

“Florida is a great state to live, work, and raise a family because it puts public safety first,” said FHP Colonel Gary Howze II. “Through the support of Governor DeSantis, Florida can retain and recruit talented men and women dedicated to keeping Florida safe while providing them with resources and training needed to maintain our 50-year record crime low.”

“Next year’s fiscal budget recently signed by Governor DeSantis contains generous funding meant to enhance recruitment capabilities for law enforcement entities,” said Martin County Sheriff William D. Snyder. “The Governor reemphasized, by this initiative, his support for law enforcement.”

 

“Governor DeSantis is a staunch supporter of the rule of law, individual freedoms, and ensuring that Florida’s law enforcement officers have the resources they need to help keep Florida safe,” said Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri. “The Governor’s Framework for Freedom Budget demonstrates the Governor’s commitment to law enforcement officers and crime reduction in Florida. It’s because of Governor DeSantis’ unwavering efforts that Florida has over a 50-year low in crime.” 

“The budget recognizes that public safety is Florida’s top priority. We appreciate that Governor DeSantis and the Legislature provided the funding needed to keep Florida residents safe and secure,” said Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno.

     

“The Governor’s Framework for Freedom Budget helps keep our citizens safe by investing in Florida’s law enforcement and criminal justice community,” said Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) Commissioner Mark Glass. “At FDLE, additional resources for Capitol Police, Florida’s Missing Endangered Persons Information Clearinghouse, the Sex Offender Registry, and the E-Verify program will help us better serve our citizens and law enforcement partners while allowing FDLE to serve as a national leader in public safety best practices.” 

 

“Governor DeSantis has shown unparalleled support for the Florida Department of Corrections, which has breathed new life into the agency,” said Donald Leavins, Warden, Santa Rosa Correctional Institution. “This commitment has led to an increased interest in career opportunities within the department from people across the state and country and has boosted the morale of front-line staff who are relieved to see positive changes on the horizon. The increased funding also allows for infrastructure improvements, as well as a more diverse range of programming for incarcerated individuals to reduce recidivism rates. As a member of the largest “family” in the state, I have never been prouder.”

“Governor Ron DeSantis understands the importance of public safety, and he is committed to investing in the resources that allow law enforcement to be successful in their mission to keep Florida communities safe,” said Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles Executive Director Dave Kerner. “The Framework for Freedom Budget supports this effort as Florida continues to back the blue.”

“As someone who has worked in the Florida Department of Corrections for 37 years, I have never seen such a positive impact as the one brought by Governor DeSantis,” said Don Davis, Warden, Florida State Prison. “Under his leadership, the department has received unprecedented support for better pay and recognition, and our agency is on the road to restoration. Thanks to Governor DeSantis’ dedication to increasing law enforcement funding, we are now safer and better equipped to serve the public, staff, and inmates. I am grateful for the Governor’s unwavering support for public safety, and I am proud to commend his exceptional contributions to the Florida Department of Corrections.”

“Florida is enjoying record low crime levels, and this is not on accident. It is because of the leadership and investments made by Governor Ron DeSantis,” said Steve Zona, President of the Florida State Fraternal Order of Police. “There are substantial pay increases across the board for all of law enforcement and investments in technology that help us all to be more efficient and successful. The first responder recognition payments and the recruiting bonuses continues to make Florida the model for others to follow. We are fortunate in Florida that we have a Governor who backs up every word that comes out of his mouth and stands with law enforcement every single day. Thank you is not enough.”

 

“On behalf of our over 30,000 members, who proudly maintain public safety throughout our state, I thank Governor DeSantis and the Florida Legislature for significantly improving the quality of life for our first responders, who go above and beyond the call of duty every day,” said John Kazanjian, President of the Florida Police Benevolent Association. “With our recent raises and the restoration of our retirement benefits, our members know that Governor DeSantis has their backs and we have his back as well!”

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