By Elizabeth Faddis, Breaking News Reporter
Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida touted a new effort from the state to recruit law enforcement officers amid job losses over COVID-19 vaccine mandates.
DeSantis explained during a segment of Sunday Morning Futures with Fox News host Maria Bartiromo that Florida is planning to offer outside law enforcement officers a bonus to relocate to the state. The proposed offer comes amid a wave of officer terminations over refusal to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
“In Florida, not only are we going to want to protect the law enforcement and all the jobs, we are actively working to recruit out-of-state law enforcement because we do have needs in our police and sheriff’s departments,” DeSantis said, explaining that he has plans to introduce and sign new legislation offering out-of-state police officers a $5,000 bonus in order to relocate.
“These people we’ve been hailing as heroes, the nurses we’ve said have been heroes, this whole time they’ve been working day in and day out,” DeSantis said during the interview. “They couldn’t do their job on Zoom, they had to be there and they did it, and they did it with honor and integrity.”
DeSantis continued on to decry efforts to remove people from their jobs over refusal to get vaccinated, citing it as a “personal decision” for people to decide whether they want to get the shot or not.
“What Biden’s doing is unconstitutional, he does not have the authority to do this,” he said, explaining that the vaccine mandate will have consequences ranging from economic “havoc” to “disruptions” in the medical, law enforcement and logistics industries.
On Sept. 9, President Joe Biden shared his six-part initiative to further combat the pandemic, including plans to make the COVID-19 vaccine mandatory for healthcare workers whose employers receive funds from the federal government. Businesses with 100 or more employees are required to have their employees receive a COVID-19 vaccine or submit to weekly testing.
Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown announced on Oct. 19 that 21 Chicago police officers had been placed on non-pay status over refusing to disclose their vaccination status. Out of the 12,770 employees who work for the Chicago Police Department, roughly 67.7% have confirmed their vaccination status in compliance with a city mandate, the Chicago Sun-Times reported .
A day before this announcement, the Chicago Police Department sent out a memo reminding officers that they could also be at risk of losing their retirement benefits, in addition to losing their jobs, if they refused to get vaccinated.