Firefighters and police officers are getting $1,000 bonuses from the state of Florida, a program that Gov. Ron DeSantis celebrated on Monday with a visit to Jacksonville.
The bonus is being offered for the third year in a row to first responders statewide.
Joined by Jacksonville Sheriff T.K. Waters and Fire Chief Keith Powers at Craig Municipal Airport, the governor, who is running for the Republican presidential nomination, ceremonially presented checks to 20 local firefighters and 20 police officers.
One of the recipients was Officer A.G. Acala-Sweat, who shared how her family has benefited from the bonus over its first two years.
“In the past, I have used my check on daycare costs and necessities that my family would need,” she said. “I can tell you as an officer, feeling appreciated really goes a long way, especially on the days that are not easy. With my $1,000 check this year, I will be able to put that money towards my child, who is in need of dental work, so it honestly could not have come at a better time.”
DeSantis said more than 3,100 bonuses have also been awarded to new recruits and law enforcement officers who have moved to Florida through the Florida Law Enforcement Recruitment Bonus Payment Program. Both types of bonuses were included in this year’s state budget.
The visit to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office helicopter hangar came after the governor visited Green Cove Springs to hand out some more state funds to the Clay County Board of Commissioners.
That $3.5 million came from the Florida Job Growth Grant Fund, for use in targeted infrastructure improvements. The award will go towards the construction of a new half-mile section of the Pringle Road collector route, as well as enhancements to a section of County Road 218.