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The Florida Senate

CS/HB 3 — Law Enforcement

by Appropriations Committee and Reps. Leek, Brannan, and others

This summary is provided for information only and does not represent the opinion of any Senator, Senate Officer, or Senate Office.

Prepared by: Appropriations Committee (AP)

This bill provides law enforcement agencies with additional tools to bolster the recruitment and retention of qualified officers by providing financial incentives, enhanced training, expanded educational opportunities, and recognition that honors law enforcement officers’ service to the state of Florida. The bill:

  • Creates the Florida Law Enforcement Recruitment Bonus Program to provide one-time bonus payments of up to $5,000 to newly employed law enforcement officers in Florida;
  • Creates the Florida Law Enforcement Academy Scholarship Program to cover tuition, fees, and up to $1,000 of eligible education expenses for trainees enrolled in a law enforcement officer basic recruit training program;
  • Creates a reimbursement program to pay for up to $1,000 of equivalency training costs for certified law enforcement officers who relocate to Florida or members of the special operations forces who become full-time law enforcement officers;
  • Provides law enforcement officers who adopt a child from within the state child welfare system with a $25,000 benefit for adopting a child with special needs or a $10,000 benefit for adopting a child without special needs;
  • Makes dependent children of law enforcement officers eligible to receive a Family Empowerment Scholarship;
  • Increases the base salary for each county sheriff by $5,000;
  • Allows a sheriff to transfer funds between the fund and functional categories and the object and subobject code levels after the budget has been approved by the board of county commissioners or budget commission;
  • Exempts veterans and applicants with an associate degree or higher from taking the basic skills test as a prerequisite to entering a law enforcement officer basic recruit training program;
  • Requires that law enforcement officers receive training in health and wellness principles as part of their initial certification training and continued employment training;
  • Allows law enforcement officers or former law enforcement officers to receive postsecondary credit at Florida public postsecondary educational institutions for training and experience acquired while serving;
  • Encourages each district school board to establish public safety telecommunication training programs and law enforcement explorer programs in public schools; and
  • Designates May 1 of each year as “Law Enforcement Appreciation Day.”

If approved by the Governor, these provisions take effect July 1, 2022.

Vote: Senate 34-0; House 114-3