It was a law and order kind of night in ChampionsGate, where Gov. Ron DeSantis told Florida’s Sheriffs that the Sunshine State is a source of inspiration for officers nationwide.
The Republican Governor addressed Florida’s Sheriffs and supporters Tuesday for the Florida Sheriffs Association (FSA) Banquet, scheduled during its summer conference this week. Some communities are reversing course, returning to stronger public safety policies after “destructive” results in other states and communities, the Governor told attendees.
“As long as I’m Governor, we’ll be standing with the folks who wear the uniform, we understand that public safety is paramount, and we truly believe that the folks who are working for our sheriff’s departments and our police departments really are serving in a noble profession,” DeSantis said.
DeSantis has staked his claim as the “law and order” 2022 gubernatorial candidate by signing Florida’s anti-riot law and legislation to crack down on organized retail theft. He has also vociferously condemned lax enforcement policies and violent protests.
“Feeling safe and law and order has been a huge thing that Florida has distinguished itself versus a lot of these other states, It’s not just the states you would think of, blue versus red,” DeSantis said. “You know, we have people moving from Buckhead in Atlanta to Florida in numbers we’ve never seen before because the crime is just absolutely off the rails there.”
“I’ve talked to people in Southern California, like in Los Angeles, very nice places, and the women have to take off their jewelry just to go shopping — and these are even in nice areas — because you can steal a certain amount and rob people, and the prosecutor will not prosecute you for doing that. So that’s created a culture of lawlessness,” he continued.
He also referenced the District Attorney who was recalled in San Francisco for his more lenient stance on crime.
“We believe in enforcing the law across the board, and if you don’t like the law, then go run for office, the Legislature, and try to change the law,” DeSantis said. “But you don’t take it upon yourself as a prosecutor to just simply ignore the law.”
The Governor has also approved $1,000 bonuses for first responders, including law enforcement officials, for the second year in a row. And he touted the Hometown Heroes program, which helps qualifying law enforcement officers and others afford a home in their community.
Fifty-nine of Florida’s 67 Sheriffs are endorsing DeSantis for Governor as he hopes to secure a second term in November. He currently leads in both polling and fundraising against his two possible Democratic rivals, U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist and Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried.
Following his 25-minute speech, the Governor swore in the new slate of FSA officers and Board of Directors.