Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis wants to offer unvaccinated cops $5,000 to come to Florida
“If you’re not being treated well,” the governor said of cops quitting over the jab, “we’ll treat you better here.”
Here’s a head-scratcher for you: What happens when you take a state that’s reveled in its catastrophic handling of a global pandemic, and flood it with indignant authoritarians who would rather quit their jobs than be vaccinated against the No. 1 killer of people in their line of work? I don’t know the answer, I’m afraid, but if Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has his way, we’re gonna find out soon enough.
This week, DeSantis announced plans to pay any police officer willing to relocate to Florida an up-front signing bonus of $5,000 for their troubles. “NYPD, Minneapolis, Seattle, if you’'re not being treated well, we’ll treat you better here,” DeSantis told Fox News on Sunday, adding, “You fill important needs for us, and we’ll compensate you as a result.”
The offer, which DeSantis said he hoped to sign during Florida’s upcoming special legislative session, comes amidst a spate of very public temper tantrums on the part of police officers furious at the notion that their responsibility to public safety might include a simple inoculation that would help keep the public safe. And while the governor, whose rising national profile is in no small part based on his abject refusal to do anything to mitigate the coronavirus pandemic in his state, has insisted that the offer is unrelated to the hissy fits being thrown by law enforcement officials around the country, he nevertheless reiterated on Monday that he doesn’t “think police officers should be fired for shots.”
It’s also not hard to draw a straight line between the mass resignations and firings spurred by vaccine mandates for law enforcement and DeSantis’s claim that this offer is simply for officers who “feel they’re 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,” DeSantis continued Monday during an event in North Venice, on Florida’s east coast. Hm, I wonder what sort of “environment” is currently making headlines around the country for inducing “low” morale among police officers lately?
The morbid irony of DeSantis’s payout for disgruntled cops eager to separate themselves from the communities they swore to protect is that, should there be an influx of unvaccinated officers in Florida, it will be first and foremost to their detriment before anyone else. That’s because over the past two years COVID has easily become the #1 cause of fatalities for active duty police officers, with more cops killed by the pandemic than people killed in the 9/11 terrorist attacks. With that in mind, the only thing that could make that already alarming trend any worse is if police were incentivized to congregate in a state that’s shown time and time again how little interest it has in actually helping combat the virus.
Then again, if DeSantis really wants to cement his claim to being the next Donald Trump in Republican politics, he’s gonna have to convince voters he backs the blue ... even if it kills ‘em.