Gov. DeSantis’s budget would increase state law enforcement pay up to 25%
Ron DeSantis says lockdowns are never gonna happen in Florida.

Ron DeSantis
'Twenty-five percent is a pretty huge amount,' said FHP Chief Mark Brown.

Like Florida’s teachers until a few years ago, state law enforcement officers have been paid so low leaders say recruitment and retention have long been struggles, and on Monday, Gov. Ron DeSantis agreed to try to do something about it.

DeSantis announced his 2022 state budget will include money to increase minimum pay for entry level law enforcement officers by 20% and veteran officers’ salaries by 25%. DeSantis also said he’s calling for pay increases for correctional officers, juvenile justice officers, and state special risk firefighters, plus continuing and new bonuses for local recruits.

Leaders of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Florida Highway Patrol, and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission hailed the proposal, as well as state law enforcement officers gathered at the press conference at Orlando’s Florida Highway Patrol headquarters who often are lured to high-paying jobs in city and county agencies.

“Twenty-five percent is a pretty huge amount, I believe, for current officers. So hopefully if there were some troopers or any officers thinking about leaving or going to a county agency or city agency that pays more, hopefully this will stop that,” said Highway Patrol Chief Mark Brown.

“Typically we’re in the bottom or close to the bottom of pay … of state law enforcement across the country for highway patrol,” Brown added. The proposed pay level would make Florida more competitive, he said.

“I’ve been with the agency 37 years. Our base pay hasn’t gone up since 2006, 15 years,” said FDLE Commissioner Richard Swearingen. “As Mark said, I have never, ever in my 30-plus years seen a 20% increase to base pay, or a 25% increase for the agents currently on the job … This is huge.”

He added he has not had the same issues with retention that the Florida Highway Patrol has struggled with, but has “struggled for years to recruit, because our base pay is so far below even most of the sheriff’s departments in the state.”

The Governor said his budget would include $73 million to cover the minimum pay increase for newly recruited state officers and the pay increase for veteran officers; $135 million to increase correctional officers’ base pay, with a new minimum wage of $20 per hour, and for juvenile justice and juvenile probation officers, with new minimum wages of $17 or $19 per hour, depending on the positions; and $1.4 million for increases in salaries for state special risk firefighters, which could provide up to $2,500 for each.

Scott Powers

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at [email protected]


9 comments

  • Matthew Lusk

    November 29, 2021 at 8:22 pm

    Law enforcement is one career where it pays to pay well. Wouldn’t it be swell if high schoolers were beating down the doors to become officers. An officer must wear many many hats. There is competition for the best and brightest. The best and brightest need to be in the force. What? Ya want the JV team patrolling?.. Really, every officer should make at least 100k per year.

    • Tom

      November 29, 2021 at 11:39 pm

      Have you ever been told you remind everyone of a horses ass. Just saying.
      Sorry pal. LMAO

  • Zhombre

    November 29, 2021 at 9:15 pm

    Fund the Police

  • tjb

    November 30, 2021 at 10:22 am

    DeSantis buying votes with our tax money? Not against raises for LE but 25%. What about giving teachers a 25% increase … and supporting a $15 minimum wage.

    • Tom

      November 30, 2021 at 6:14 pm

      They the teachers received a raise 3 yrs and bonus last year along with administrators. Yes tjb, he announced in last 40 days to initiate new additional teacher pay increase. He’s proposed new additional pay increases for next years budget, as starting salaries after 2 years ago increased to $47,000. They provided bonuses and will offer them again with new proposed salary increase.

      I’m sure you and the teachers will vote for him. The Florida Union President sued the Gov and state when he kept schools opened 2 yrs ago.
      Lots of thanks.

      We welcome your vote.
      You have no other choice. Fraud, Crispy, Tarantula. LMAO.

      Amazing when Dems pass trillions you never hear Dems claim vote buying.

      America’s Governor! The best.

    • JB

      December 12, 2021 at 10:00 pm

      Teachers make more than state police officers in Florida and only work 9 months out of the year. State cops are grossly underpaid and work all 12 months.

  • John galt

    November 30, 2021 at 3:22 pm

    What about teachers and nursing home workers yeah forget us we put up and put ourselves in danger because of this pos

    • Tom

      November 30, 2021 at 6:17 pm

      John Wipe yourself pal.
      Stains are showing.

      DeSantis America’s Gov.

      Florida had 459,000 jobs
      Find a better one.

  • JB

    December 12, 2021 at 10:07 pm

    I suspect the governor will try a bait and switch in the end. Probably less of a pay increase by using fuzzy math with the definition of entry level and non entry level. A 20 year state cop should be making exactly what a 20 year city cop makes here in Orlando.

Comments are closed.


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