Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said on July 12 that police officers from around the United States are welcome to relocate to Florida for a better workplace “culture” if they feel disenchanted.
“I do think you will see; I think you’ve already seen. But there are people in these police departments in various other parts of the country who, if they can get a job in Florida, they want to come to Florida to be able to do it,” he said, according to local media. “Because the culture is better, and they understand they’re going to be supported much more resolutely [in] what they do.”
DeSantis referenced rampant anti-police protests last year following the death of George Floyd, arguing that the lack of support for law enforcement has caused crime rates to spike. Some city governments moved to cut funding to their police departments in the face of left-wing calls to “defund the police.”
Some cities such as Baltimore, Los Angeles, New York City, Seattle, Minneapolis, and Portland, Oregon, cut police funding in the wake of the demonstrations and riots—although some municipalities recently have begun to pledge additional funding to departments.
“Make no mistake: the reason that you have such huge spikes in crime in many parts of the country is because of not standing up for law enforcement, having weak policies where you’re letting people out, and you’re not prosecuting people who are committing habitual offenses,” the Republican governor said. “That is clearly causing disastrous consequences.”
The governor’s comments come amid a wave of retirements and resignations in police and sheriff’s departments across the United States. Recruitment is also down across departments.
An analysis by The Epoch Times last month revealed that the top three police departments in the country—New York City, Los Angeles, and Chicago—have lost thousands of officers since 2019. Other cities have seen significant declines in their law enforcement ranks.
Over the past two years, the LAPD has lost about 600 officers, which reportedly has been blamed on a government hiring freeze implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the City Council’s move to cut the department’s budget by about $150 million amid “defund the police” calls.
In Chicago, 646 officers resigned or retired in 2020, while as of April 30, 330 have left the department, the analysis shows.
New York hasn’t fared much better, either, with retirements spiking to 2,600 last year from 1,509 in 2019, an NYPD spokesperson said. An additional 350 NYPD officers have exited this year, as of May 15.