OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has launched a pro-police tour of several major cities where police are under assault by Democratic politicians and incidents of violent crime have spiked in recent years.
The GOP governor plans to visit New York City, Philadelphia, and Chicago to discuss his efforts in the Sunshine State to recruit and support law enforcement.
“It’s a law enforcement rally to send a message back to some of our elected officials that the laws that they have enacted in the state of New York are not working — specifically the bail reform laws — and it’s putting my members, detectives and cops in danger, as well as the public,” Paul DiGiacomo, president of New York City’s Detectives’ Endowment Association, noted regarding a meeting Monday’s meeting in Staten Island. “It’s gone too far to the left over the last couple of years.”
“On Staten Island, we are proud to support our law enforcement,” Assemblyman Mike Tannousis, the Staten Island GOP chairman, said. “I’m happy that our law enforcement community will get some recognition and support.”
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement announced at the close of last year that the state’s crime rate had fallen 8 percent to the lowest level in 50 years, WJHG reported.
The GOP governor’s “Framework for Freedom Budget” for the current fiscal year includes several measures supporting law enforcement officers such as salary increases for a host of personnel:
$107.2 million to increase the Department of Corrections (FDC) base rate of pay to $23 per hour for specified Correctional Officer, Correctional Probation Officer, and Inspector positions;
$1.8 million to provide a four percent increase to Special Agents and Law Enforcement positions within the Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE);
$6.8 million for special pay adjustments based on salary ranges for all sworn law enforcement officers within FDLE, Department of Legal Affairs (DLA), State Attorneys, and State Courts (SCS); and
$8.5 million for an increase for years of service for sworn law enforcement officers within FDLE, DLA, State Attorneys, and SCS.
$30 million for a second round of recruitment bonus payments for law enforcement officers who are new to the profession in the state, including those relocating from other states. This initiative will provide bonus payments of $5,000 to new eligible law enforcement officers.
“What Florida has done is establish a blueprint for governance that has produced tangible results while serving as a rebuke to the entrenched elites who have driven our nation into the ground. Florida is proof positive that we, the people are not powerless in the face of these elites,” DeSantis wrote.
While the governor has not announced a bid for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination, he appears to be making several moves suggesting he will be a candidate. As of last week, there were two official Republican presidential contenders for the party’s 2024 nomination — former President Donald Trump and his UN ambassador and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, with more candidates expected to jump into the race.
That includes DeSantis, who dropped the strongest hint yet that he is at least contemplating a run during a press conference in Jacksonville.
There to discuss tort reform, the popular GOP governor was asked by a reporter about former UN Ambassador and South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley’s official entry into the race earlier in the day and, specifically, whether DeSantis will be the next to declare.
“Nikki Haley announced her presidential run today, do you plan on following suit?” the reporter asked.
“Hahaha! Wouldn’t you like to know,” DeSantis responded with a laugh.
BREAKING: DeSantis asked if he’s running for president
“Nikki Haley announced her presidential run today, do you plan on following suit?”
“Hahaha! Wouldn’t you like to know!” pic.twitter.com/skYs9wi3DL
— Florida’s Voice (@FLVoiceNews) February 14, 2023
DeSantis has an autobiography due out later this month, and the timing of its release has political insiders whispering that it’s a precursor to a presidential run.
The book, which documents the popular GOP governor’s rise from a star Little League baseball player to one of the most significant figures in politics, is due out in February, just in time for potential presidential contenders to begin building a war chest and campaign organization ahead of the 2024 election.
The Daily Wire notes:
“The Courage to Be Free: Florida’s Blueprint for America’s Revival,” is expected to detail the 44-year-old leader’s journey from Sunshine State baseball diamonds to Yale, Harvard Law, service in the U.S. Navy, three terms in the U.S. House of Representatives, and his current role. While DeSantis has not announced plans to challenge former President Trump for the Republican presidential nomination, books such as this often precede White House bids.
“He shares his thinking from when he was fighting back against COVID mandates and restrictions, critical race theory, woke corporations’ and what Broadside describes as ‘the partisan legacy media,” noted the publisher, Broadside Books, said in a statement.