While the governments of New York, Seattle, Chicago, and other liberal cities try to force their police departments to take a COVID vaccine or get booted, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis invites the officers who refuse to get a shot to the Sunshine State, where they will be “treated well.”
In an interview with Fox News on Sunday, DeSantis said that the state is “actively working to recruit” officers from outside of Florida to fill needs in police and sheriff’s departments, and that he would welcome law-enforcement personnel who risk losing their jobs for defying local vax mandates.
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. So, NYPD, Minneapolis, Seattle, 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.”
The governor slammed President Biden’s vaccine mandates as“unconstitutional” and argued that such policies will “wreak havoc on the economy.”
“It [the vaccine mandate] will wreak havoc in the economy, because even if a small percentage of these folks end up losing their jobs or voluntarily walking away, you’re going to have huge disruptions in medical, in logistics, in law enforcement,” DeSantis stressed.
The governor later noted that most first responders had previously contracted the virus and recovered, “so they have strong protection.” Yet, the large liberal cities “pretend that it [the natural immunity] doesn’t exist.”
DeSantis conveyed the message that taking a COVID shot is a personal decision, and people whom “we hail as heroes” should not be “kicked out” of their jobs for refusing it. Last week, DeSantis announced that he was calling a special session of the state legislature in an effort to protect people’s personal choices in taking COVID vaccines without being threatened with the loss of employment. “Your right to earn a living should not be contingent upon COVID shots,” the governor said.
According to a statement from the governor’s office provided to The Hill, the bonuses will be available to any law-enforcement officials who wish to relocate to Florida regardless of their vaccination status. None of them would be asked to verify vaccination status as a condition of hiring or employment. The statement notes, “In other states, police officers who are vaccinated are also considering leaving the force due to other challenges, such as the anti-police rhetoric and political threats of defunding law enforcement in certain parts of the country (these tend to be the same areas terminating first responders over vaccine mandates).”
Speaking at the economic event in North Venice on Monday, DeSantis said, “We are 100% excited about saying anyone that’s being mistreated, if the morale is low, if you can’t take that environment — and we have openings here — you are going to get an environment where people are going to support you.”
In August, DeSantis rolled out a proposal to boost recruitment of new law-enforcement officers, which includes a $5,000 signing bonus to officers joining the profession, academy scholarship program, and relocation support for officers moving to the state.
The stance of the Florida governor in regard to vaccine mandates came days after President Joe Biden unequivocally voiced his support to the idea of firing law-enforcement and emergency personnel for noncompliance with the vax mandates during a CNN town hall this past Thursday.
Asked by the host if police officers and emergency responders should be mandated to get vaccines, “and if not, should they stay at home or be let go,” Biden said, “Yes and yes.”
The vaccine mandates that put people in the position of quitting their jobs or being fired are already putting public safety in jeopardy.
Last week, 1,900 Washington State employees quit their jobs or were fired for not abiding by Governor Jay Inslee’s COVID vaccine mandate.
Per the Washington Post, in Virginia, less than half of all State Police troopers and half of corrections officers are inoculated against COVID. In Las Vegas, Atlanta, and Columbus, only a third of police officers have gotten the shots. In the nation’s capital, 42 percent of police officers are unvaxxed.
In Chicago, more than one-third of the city’s nearly 13,000-member police force are defying the city’s mandate to attest to their vaccination status. On Monday, Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 7 President John Catanzara urged City Council members to repeal the vaccine mandate.
In Massachusetts, the state’s police union estimated at least 150 state police officers will resign over Governor Charlie Baker’s vaccine mandate.
New York’s largest police union, the Police Benevolent Association, filed a lawsuit Monday to overturn Mayor Bill de Blasio’s vax mandate, which goes into effect for police officers and all other city workers at the end of this week.
The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund called on officers to “seriously consider receiving the vaccine to protect themselves and others from becoming seriously ill,” but underlined that the police officers should “maintain freedom to make that educated decision for themselves.”
According to an MSN report, police departments nationwide have been experiencing staffing shortages since before vaccine mandates took place. The National Police Foundation found that 86 percent of law-enforcement agencies nationwide reported a staffing shortage in 2020.
Since September, at least 10 lawsuits have been filed in state and federal courts against the mandates.