Fourteen New York City police officers have reportedly left the city to join the Lakeland Florida Police Department, according to a report by The New York Post.
Lakeland’s police leadership made an effort in April to reach out to New York officers to help address the area’s police officer shortage. At least 14 have already responded.
“I think everybody, regardless of the career that you chose – you want to be appreciated in what you do. It doesn’t matter what job you do,” former NYPD officer Matthew Spiro said in the report.
New York’s police officers have been forced to take the COVID-19 vaccine to remain employed. In addition, some officers have grown concerned offer anti-cop and “defund the police” effort in their state.
In contrast, Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis has strongly supported law enforcement, even offering a $5,000 bonus incentive for officer moving to Florida from other states.
Florida also does not require its officers to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
The shift shows one of the benefits of states that strongly support its law enforcement and their freedoms. Officers are not alone in moving to Florida, however. The state has become one of the nation’s fastest-growing over the past year as it has focused on freedoms and business growth.