Gov. DeSantis lures out-of-state police officers to work in Florida
Governor Ron DeSantis is trying to hire law enforcement officers from other states to come work in Florida. He says the sunshine state has a better workplace culture and supports police.
It would seem as though people are already taking the governor’s advice. There is a waiting list of people who want to be police officers in Southwest Florida’s largest city.
“If you have a chance to do law enforcement in Florida versus some of these other jurisdictions you’re much better off in Florida because we’ll actually stand by law enforcement,” DeSantis urged.
However, becoming an officer in Cape Coral would not be that simple.
“We have a waiting list of people we’re vetting and our hiring is constant. We’re always looking for job applications,” Corporal Phil Mullen.
Cape Coral has 274 trained officers with a starting salary of about $40 thousand for a trainee while trained officers start at $56 thousand a year. This makes them one of the higher-paid cities in Florida.
“No one is going to get rich being a law enforcement officer but that is not why we do it,” said Corporal Mullen.
A fact DeSantis is aware of, prompting him to make changes.
“The pay is not great. We’ve done some stuff to increase that and obviously, you have on the municipal and county level as well,” DeSantis said.
The Fort Myers Police Department has their help wanted sign up inside police headquarters.
They have 16 vacancies and they’re offering incentives to attract new applicants.
“We offer relocation assistance. We offer relocation in state and out of state to help with the move,” said Lt. Jason Pate.
FMPD is even paying for police academy training.
“If we’re sponsoring officers to go through you have a job with us the minute we hire you. We pay for you to go through the academy plus we pay you while you’re in the academy,” said Lt. Pate.
Governor DeSantis went on to say the culture in Florida police departments is better and he noted that police will be supported.
“No one wants to work where they’re not supported,” said Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno.
Sheriff Marceno admitted he gets officers from all over the country looking to his agency.
“Other officers in New York and different places ask if we have any openings. They want to transfer down,” Marceno noted.
His answer is always the same.
“We have some vacancies but we’re not looking to just fill a vacancy. We’re looking for the right people and we’re not going to lower the bar,” Marceno stated.
CCPD points out that just because there is a waiting list here in Cape Coral that should not deter anyone from applying for a job because they always have openings being created.
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