Gov. Ron DeSantis authorized a $1,000 bonus for Florida first responders.
(Photo by Governor Ron DeSantis Facebook)

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis authorized a one-time $1,000 bonus to approximately 174,000 first responders Wednesday. The Florida first responders recipient list includes law enforcement officers, paramedics, emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and firefighters.

Florida First Responders Get $1,000 Bonus From Gov. DeSantis

“Supporting our law enforcement and first responders has been a top priority for my administration, and it has never been more important than over the last year. As a state, we are grateful for their continued service to our communities,” DeSantis said. “This one-time bonus is a small token of appreciation, but we can never go far enough to express our gratitude for their selflessness.”

The move stands in stark contradiction to other parts of the country. Minneapolis famously defunded its police force following the killing of George Floyd. Now the city council blames that very force after a wave of rising crime. Several other states currently ponder police force budget reductions or restructuring. But the consequences loom potentially catastrophic according to law enforcement observers. Meanwhile, Florida rewards its men and women who serve.

“When the Coronavirus came to Florida, our first responders worked overtime to protect our communities and get people the care they so desperately needed,” said Florida Chief Financial Officer and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis. “I say all the time that these men and women work 24/7, 365-days a year to protect our communities – and they performed with honor and distinction during this global pandemic. The bonus checks that Governor DeSantis proposed, and secured from the Legislature, means a lot to these first responders and their families who had to live through this crisis. With his hard work, the Governor has made it very clear that Florida loves and appreciates our first responders, which means a lot to these heroes.”

Honoring Those Who Serve

“It is great to see today’s focus on thanking our first responders, not only for their tireless work during the pandemic, but their service day in and day out in our communities,” said Senate President Wilton Simpson. “These dedicated women and men are at their best when we are facing some of life’s most challenging moments. They stand with us when a loved one is facing a medical emergency, when a home is damaged by a fire, and so many other difficult circumstances. Today, the Florida Legislature and our Governor are proud to stand with these dedicated first responders, and I hope these bonuses will serve as a reminder that their hard work is seen and appreciated.”

“Throughout the entire pandemic, Florida’s first responders made sacrifices nobody could foresee,” said House Speaker Chris Sprowls. “They answered the call when Floridians were in need the most, and I am grateful for their service. I applaud Governor DeSantis for proposing these bonuses and am proud to have the Legislature get it across the finish line.”

The authorization comes following DeSantis’ call fro the bonuses in March. Additionally, the 2021-22 state budget includes the bonuses. The plans calls for $208 million allocated for more than 174,00 first responders. The number includes 49,405 sworn law enforcement officers, 40,732 EMTs, 35,811 firefighters and 33,185 paramedics.

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