SATELLITE BEACH, FL – Gov. Ron DeSantis has announced that, unlike many states that are defunding police, Florida will be providing $1,000 bonus checks to every police officer, firefighter, paramedic, and emergency medical technician in the state.
THANK YOU FIRST RESPONDERS! Florida law enforcement officers, paramedics, emergency medical technicians and firefighters will soon get a $1,000 thank you bonus! Send your local heroes a message of your own below. Tonight at 11:00pm watch WPTV. pic.twitter.com/9h6p6mFaSf
— WPTV (@WPTV) May 6, 2021
Making the announcement from the Satellite Beach Police Department in Brevard County, Gov. DeSantis said:
“Some want to defund the police; we’re funding the police and then some, and that’s what we’re here today to say.”
In March, the governor proposed using money from Florida’s federal stimulus package to provide first responders with bonuses, saying they earned the financial boost with their work during the pandemic. The legislature agreed and passed the proposal.
— Curious Reporter (@ReporterCurious) May 6, 2021
At the press conference held Wednesday, DeSantis was joined by police officials from around the state who applauded the $1,000 bonuses.
DeSantis also commented on another piece of legislation passed in support of law enforcement. He applauded the state’s passage of the “Anti-Riot” Act, which places tougher penalties on protesters who engage in violent rallies.
"Some wanted to defund the police, we’re funding the police, and then some." https://t.co/Wl9hnarAyu
— IJR (@TheIJR) May 6, 2021
He praised a provision in the “Anti-Riot” Act that prevents local governments from defunding police:
“There is a very strong provision in there that said, ‘We are not going to let local governments defund law enforcement.’
“We are going to make sure that at the state level, we protect our communities, and if you try to do it, we are going to fight back, and we are going to defend the people of this state.”
Thank you Mr President because leading by example results in this,..
— 6r4$$h0qq€R (@maybe60794885) May 5, 2021
The Governor said that, beyond the “Anti-Riot” Act, he wanted to reward first responders for working through the pandemic at a time when many other people did not have to:
“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 from doing this, but you had some people working for different companies or whatever, they would just work on Zoom from their bedroom or from their living room.
“Well, the people that wear the uniform did not have that luxury. They were out there every single day. Our police, our fire, our EMTs, they were out there every single day. They had to work more than they ever have.”
Gov. Ron DeSantis traveled has announced $1,000 one-time bonuses for first responders in Florida, including law enforcement officers, paramedics, emergency medical technicians (EMTs), and firefighters across the state: https://t.co/BKZbxEfdhB
— The Argus Foundation (@ArgusFoundation) May 6, 2021
Gov. DeSantis said that police not only had to work during the pandemic keeping the country safe, but they had to face violence and hatred while doing so:
“(Police) not only had to deal with protecting us when the pandemic hit, but then, obviously, how the police were treated last year in many parts of the country which was a total disgrace.”
BONUS FOR THE BLUE: First Responders in Florida will get $1,000 'bonuses' courtesy of the Florida Legislature and federal COVID Relief cash.
Governor DeSantis kicked off the money tour in Brevard County today. https://t.co/gU1NNgZYBv
— Greg Angel (@NewsGuyGreg) May 5, 2021
Recognizing the service the officers and other first responders provide to the community, the Governor asked the legislature to provide a bonus to them, saying Florida always has the back of law enforcement:
“They (police) had to put the uniform on. Yes, they knew the State of Florida had their back and I think we did much better in Florida, but if you look at what a lot of these police officers are dealing with now, it’s terrible.
“So, I thought it was important to recognize the service, to recognize the sacrifice.”
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Sacramento proposes city’s highest-ever police budget – despite overwhelming calls to ‘defund’ them
May 3, 2021
SACRAMENTO, CA – Despite establishing a new mental health response unit and pulling approximately $10 million away from the police department over two years, the Sacramento Police Department’s budget is set to hit an all-time-high $165.8 million in the upcoming fiscal year.
Blue state capital ignores calls to defund police, proposes highest-ever law-enforcement budget
Amid national outcries to "defund the police," the city of Sacramento is looking to increase police spending by almost six percent. https://t.co/h8XmPvr8lf
— Ted L. Summerfelt (@SummerfeltTed) May 3, 2021
City Manager Howard Chan proposed a $1.3 billion budget for the city for the upcoming fiscal year beginning July 1. Included in the budget is a $9.4 million increase in the police budget including the hiring of five new sworn officers, funding for replacement of police vehicles, and a 3.5% raise for officers per a December union contract.
The new hires would bring the department to 756 officers.
In addition to the five new officers, the budget details funding for necessary equipment, such as body cameras, set at $1.6 million, and additional IT infrastructures such as data storage, software, and backup solutions, coming in at $1.5 million.
“The police budget is set at $166M, roughly $9M increase from last year’s budget”
“People don’t want to see police defunded. Every community across USA you see that. @TheDemocrats have just gone all-in on this crazy idea.” Sacramento City Mngr. Howard Chanhttps://t.co/pJraEmx15c
— Trina Solis (@TrinaSolis17) May 1, 2021
The budget also included $880, 740 for “less-than-lethal” equipment.
The outcry following the death of George Floyd while being arrested in Minneapolis in May 2020 led to a summer of violence, riots, and protests across the country, including in Sacramento, demanding the “defunding” of police.
Activists called for cities to pull funding from police and create civil programs, such as unarmed mental health responders, to be sent to certain incidents.
Despite calls to defund police departments by left-wing groups and Democratic politicians, most U.S. cities have been unwilling to cut their police budgets at a time of increased violent crime rates.
Sacramento CA set to increase police department spending | The Sacramento Bee. You can insist on reforms without cutting budgets https://t.co/QJBNRTbkQS
— barbara o'connorboc (@boconnor47) April 30, 2021
Although 18 major cities have reduced their police budgets, including Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York City, Portland, Ore., and Austin, Texas; 24 cities increased their police spending for the fiscal year 2021, including Atlanta, Omaha, and Phoenix as of May 1.
According to data compiled by Bloomberg CityLab:
“Even as the 50 largest U.S. cities reduced their 2021 police budgets by 5.2% in aggregate, often as part of broader pandemic cost-cutting initiatives, law enforcement spending as a share of general expenditures rose slightly to 13.7% from 13.6%.
“And many cities like Minneapolis and Seattle have watered down or put on pause changes that were proposed or even passed at the height of the 2020 demonstrations against racism and police brutality.”
An ASL interpreter signs Katie Valenzuela’s speech calling on the crowd to call city council in opposition to a slated $10 million increase to the police budget. Valenzuela was elected in March to represent District 4 on the Sacramento City Council starting in December. pic.twitter.com/J8iUjI0Ira
— Margherita Beale (@margheritabeale) June 6, 2020
In Sacramento, the budget still must be approved by the City Council, a heavy lift in the Democratic stronghold. Councilwoman Katie Valenzuela has already said she would not vote to approve the new budget with an increase for the police:
“To put more money into law enforcement when we’ve said as a city we want to move in another direction, it doesn’t line up.”
The city created a Department of Community Response in response to police reform protests and riots over the summer. The new unit will respond to 911 calls involving mental health issues, homelessness, and domestic violence.
Law enforcement leaders throughout the country have expressed concerns over unarmed mental health responses, concerned about the uncertain and dangerous circumstances that can develop during such incidents unexpectedly.
— Nancy Reid (@eyewonit) May 3, 2021
Mayor Darrell Steinberg proposed the Department of Community Response claiming $10 million would be diverted from the police budget within two years. Steinberg admitted Wednesday that the diversion of funds did not mean the police budget would shrink:
“I’m not for ‘defunding. There are some things that are part of running a city, like collective bargaining and binding arbitration, and genuine needs for the police department.”
“I’m not going to get pinned to the argument that the measure of whether or not we are investing in the community in an aggressive way is whether or not we’re taking the money directly from the police department.”
Only goes to prove #Politicians want themselves to be protected but the hell to their constituents! >> #Sacramento says no to defund trend, proposes 'highest ever' #police budget https://t.co/UA1HeQhGih
— Nancy Reid (@eyewonit) May 3, 2021
In the proposed budget, the Department of Community Response has $5.8 million in funding, including 23 employees. So far it has eight full-time employees and one part-time. The unit has not yet taken over responses to 911 calls, but has been leading the city’s homeless initiatives, Steinberg said.
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