In an effort to recruit Illinois police officers to the Sunshine State, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced a program offering a $5,000 signing bonus to out-of-state police officers who move to Florida, while launching billboards in the Chicago area to promote the effort. .
Although the program applies to all out-of-state police officers, DeSantis singled out Illinois in his press release announcing the program, creating a contrast between Florida and Illinois throughout his statement.
DeSantis specifically mentioned the recently confirmed SAFE-T Act and House Bill 3751 as reasons for this effort in his statement, legislation that eliminates cash bail in Illinois and allows eligible non-citizens to work in the United States. United and carry guns to become police officers. respectively.
According to DeSantis, “more than 37” Illinois law enforcement recruits now work in Florida, and more than 2,300 officers receive signing bonuses, totaling more than $15 million since the program began.
“Other states are replacing non-citizens, adopting policies that favor criminals over victims, and working to overtly or covertly defund the police, but not in Florida. I look forward to welcoming the Illinois’ men and women in blue in law and order,” DeSantis said in his statement.
Responding to a request for comment from NBC Chicago, Illinois Governor JB Pritzker said he was not surprised by the program, arguing that Florida’s gun laws make the Sunshine State a more dangerous place to be a police officer.
Pritzker also said moving to Florida “only guarantees a lower average salary for police officers across the state compared to Illinois.”
“A one-time signing bonus for new officers in Florida does not erase the danger women, immigrants, people of color and members of the LGBTQ+ community face in the crosshairs of Ron DeSantis’ culture wars when “They’re moving to this state. “That doesn’t erase the fact that moving your family to Florida means guaranteeing your children a substandard education that paints history with racist dog whistles or that residents don’t benefit from “basic flood insurance for their home,” Pritzker said in his statement.
Responding to DeSantis’ criticism of the SAFE-T Act, in which he called the legislation taking effect Monday an example of “disastrous bail reform policy,” Pritzker defended the legislation that he has been defending for a long time.
“Right now, there are suspected murderers, child sex offenders and molesters who are on the streets of Florida because they have enough money to buy their way out of prison. The “robust program Florida’s “bail bond system isn’t working very well right now. Keeping dangerous criminals off the streets, but in Illinois, those criminals won’t have the opportunity to buy their way out,” Pritzker said .
As for the billboards themselves, Pritzker said residents won’t be perturbed as they welcome investment in the state.
“The people of Illinois can see through this lame attempt to grab headlines, but if Ron wants to spend Florida taxpayers’ money on Illinois billboards, we’ll gladly take his money,” he said. Pritzker said.