Florida Gov. DeSantis Offering $5,000 to Unvaccinated Police to Relocate to Florida
19:09 GMT 25.10.2021 (Updated: 13:25 GMT 06.08.2022)
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis plans to offer $5,000 bonuses to lure out-of-state law enforcement officers who resist COVID-19 vaccine mandates.
The Republican governor said in an interview
with Fox News Sunday that he hopes to sign legislation to award these bonuses in light of welcoming law enforcement personnel who are at risk of losing their jobs.
“We’re actually actively working to recruit out-of-state law enforcement,” DeSantis told Fox News. "In the next legislative session, I'm going to hopefully sign legislation that gives a $5,000 bonus to any out of state law enforcement that relocates in Florida.”
"NYPD, Minneapolis, Seattle, if you're not being treated well, we'll treat you better here: you fill important needs for us, and we'll compensate you as a result."
Vaccine mandates for public employees began to take effect across the country by many US cities and government agencies after President Biden issued a series of executive orders
that expanded mandatory vaccination requirements for COVID-19.
Many police unions and first responders are pushing back, driven by principled disagreement over changing workplace rules and being forced to get vaccinated.
Police unions are utilizing their collecting bargaining rights to resist the mandates, which threaten suspension without pay for city workers who refuse to get vaccinated or be tested twice a week at their own expense.
“Nobody should lose their job based on these injections. It’s a choice you can make, but we want to make sure we're protecting your jobs and your livelihood,” said Desantis, who believes many officers have already become infected with COVID-19 and want to use their natural antibodies as a first line of defence against the virus.
Last week, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot warned
that one-third of its nearly 13,000-member police officers who defy the city’s vaccine mandate will not be paid — and could risk being disciplined or fired if they failed to show up for work.
In Seattle, six police officers and 11 firefighters reportedly
faced termination after its vaccine mandate went into effect on October 18, while another 93 police and 66 firefighters were seeking exemptions to the requirement.
The head of theNational Fraternal Order of Police urged officers in a letter
to "seriously consider receiving the vaccine to protect themselves and others from becoming seriously ill," but noted that they believe individual officers should “maintain the freedom afforded to us by the U.S. Constitution” to decide whether to get vaccinated.
"As an organization that prides itself on protecting the freedoms afforded to us by the U.S Constitution, we are vehemently opposed to any suggestion of a vaccine mandate from any organization, employer or government agency," Patrick Yoes, president of the National Fraternal Order of Police wrote.
This comes after the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund released a law enforcement officers fatalities report
that said COVID-19 related deaths accounted for more law enforcement deaths last year than all other causes combined.
DeSantis said Sunday
Covid vaccines were a “personal choice” and Biden's vaccine mandate was “unconstitutional,” saying it will likely cause "huge disruptions in medical, in logistics, in law enforcement."
The Republican proposal that was introduced in September is aimed at bolstering recruitment of new law enforcement officers to Florida, which includes a $5,000 signing bonus to officers joining the profession, as well as relocation support for officers moving to the state.