Gov. Ron DeSantis wants to offer police officers who refuse to get the coronavirus vaccine $5,000 to relocate to Florida, pledging “we will treat you better” than forces across the country threatening layoffs of those who don’t want the jab.
“We’re actually actively working to recruit out-of-state law enforcement, because we do have needs in our police and our sheriff’s departments. So, 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,” the Republican governor told Maria Bartiromo on “Sunday Morning Futures.”
Addressing officers in New York, Minneapolis and Seattle, DeSantis told them: ”If you’re not being treated well, we will treat you better here. You can fill important needs for us, and we will compensate you as a result.”
He also said he was going to convene a special session of the state legislature to block vaccine mandates imposed by federal and local governments.
“Our policy is very clear. We’re going to have a special session, and we’re going to say, nobody should lose their job based off these injections. It’s a choice you can make. But we want to make sure we’re protecting your jobs and your livelihoods,” DeSantis said.
He called front-line workers like nurses, firefighters and police officers heroes for doing their jobs despite the coronavirus.
“The nurses we have said have been heroes this whole time, they have been working day in and day out. They couldn’t do their job on Zoom. They had to be there. And they did it. And they did it with honor and integrity,” he said.
“Now you have people that want to kick them out of their job over this shot, which is basically a personal decision. And you’re right. What [President] Biden’s doing is unconstitutional. He does not have the authority to do this,” DeSantis said.
Police departments across the country are requiring their officers to get the COVID vaccine, leading many of them to walk off the job or be fired.
In New York, Pat Lynch, president of the Police Benevolent Association, vowed to take Mayor Bill de Blasio to court over his decision to require all city workers, including cops and firefighters, to be vaccinated.
“From the beginning of the de Blasio administration‘s haphazard vaccine rollout, we have fought to make the vaccine available to every member who chooses it, while also protecting their right to make that personal medical decision in consultation with their own doctor,” Lynch said in a statement.
In Seattle, a vaccine mandate has led to a shortage of as many as 500 officers.
Police in other cities, including Chicago and Minneapolis, have also refused to abide by the vaccine requirements and have either resigned or been fired.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious diseases expert, has pleaded with police officers and other public employees to get the shot to protect themselves and others.
“More police officers die of COVID than they do in other causes of death, so it doesn’t make any sense to not try to protect yourself as well as the colleagues that you work with,” he said in an interview on ”Fox News Sunday” earlier this month.
According to the Officer Down Memorial Page, 240 law enforcement officers died of COVID this year, more than four times the number of deaths from gunfire.
In 2020, 245 officers died of the coronavirus, said the organization, which tracks on-duty police deaths.