Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) says that unlike other states trying to defund their police departments, he is offering bonuses to every police officer, firefighter, paramedic, and emergency medical technician (EMT) in the state.
During a press conference on Wednesday, DeSantis announced that as part of the state’s budget that he will sign into law, police officers, firefighters, paramedics, and EMTs in Florida will each receive a $1,000 bonus following a year of unrest spurred by the Chinese coronavirus and anti-law enforcement riots.
“Some want to defund the police. We’re funding the police and then some,” DeSantis said:
The other thing that we fought for was the recognition that when the coronavirus pandemic hit, you had some people — and I don’t begrudge them for doing this — but you had some people working … they would just work on Zoom from their bedroom or from their living room.
Well the people that wear the uniform, they didn’t have that luxury. They were out there every single day, our police, our fire, our EMTs and they had to work more than they ever have, not just to deal with protecting us when the pandemic hit but then obviously how police were treated last year was a total disgrace and they had to put the uniform on.
Some want to defund the police.
In Florida, we’re funding them & then some by providing all of our heroes $1,000 bonuses. This represents more than 174,000 first responders across the state!
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) May 5, 2021
DeSantis said the money paying for the $1,000 bonuses derives from the American Rescue Plan passed by Congress that gives states relief funding, which they can then use as they wish.
Along with the first responder bonuses, DeSantis signed legislation last month that increases penalties against rioters to deter riots in the state and provisions that prevent localities from defunding their police departments.
“If you don’t stand up for law enforcement, you are going to have more crimes,” DeSantis told Breitbart News in an exclusive interview.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter here.