Sheriff Lauds New Pro-Police Laws, Declares Florida ‘The Most Law Enforcement Friendly State in the Country’

Sheriff Lauds New Pro-Police Laws, Declares Florida ‘The Most Law Enforcement Friendly State in the Country’

By Stephen Owsinski

 While other jurisdictions steamroll the law enforcement community and gleefully hand out gift baskets to bona fide criminals, Florida has passed even more legislative acts that support cops in their official duties of serving justice by locking up violators who hinder cops.

With this, it is unlawful to impede, threaten, or harass first responders.

More fresh air for police officials in the Sunshine State…

On April 12, 2024, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed into law a few more bills that pillar police personnel doing a job that has become a target for loons in society, with those bravely wearing justice badges finding themselves in the reticles of rebellions armed with weaponry and vitriol spewed by antithetical sorts polluting the air with public safety-oppressing nonsense.

(Photo courtesy of the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office.)

St. Johns County Sheriff Robert A. Hardwick, a 30-year seasoned law enforcement officer whose entire career spanned several public safety agencies in Florida, took to the podium and praised the latest foray of pro-police legislation, proudly declaring that his state is “the most law enforcement friendly state in the country.”

Here is why he was touting…

A St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office press release cited Senate Bill 184, which “prohibits the harassment of a police officer or first responder who are on the job. This law applies to any person who is given a verbal warning not to approach an officer and who disobeys with the intent to harm, harass, or interfere with their official duties. Anyone who does will be charged with a second-degree misdemeanor.”

The pointed verbiage in that statement more than hints at the throngs of cell-phone-wielding individuals who somehow always manage to be Johnny-on-the-spot and stick their nose in official police actions that more often entail potential dangers…only increased by the distractions posed by typically anti-cop sorts.

In other words, those who interfere in official police duties will be seated in the back of patrol cruisers, right alongside those whose arrests they made their business, thus creating heaps of extra hardships upon the backs of LEOs.

“With the signing of Senate Bill 184, it simply puts the exclamation point behind what ‘Back the Blue’ truly means in the State of Florida. You never know what you can encounter when responding to a call for service,” Sheriff Hardwick said. “What this does is it sets up that boundary, the protective area around us so we can do our jobs.”

He is referring to that boundary that has been largely dissolved by jurisdictions seated at the pro-criminal table, the same table that has since been upturned by the glaring crimes being committed, compelling some proponents of justice reforms to sit uncomfortably in their respective chairs. Unfortunately for them, the table napkins are saturated with the blood from their hands.

Another portion of the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office press release entailed House Bill 601, which “prevents anti-police activists from bringing extrajudicial investigations against law enforcement. The bill also addresses Civilian Oversight Boards to ensure it’s comprised of members who are appointed by the sheriff or chief of police. The bill also ensures misconduct allegations are investigated by those properly trained and increases all county sheriffs’ base salaries by $5,000 for each population group.”

A line included in the legislation having to do with (do away with) denounces boards judging cops and police actions with zero experience to justify doing so. It reads: “prohibiting a political subdivision from adopting or attempting to enforce certain ordinances relating to the receipt, processing, or investigation of complaints against law enforcement officers or correctional officers, or relating to civilian oversight of law enforcement agency investigations of complaints of misconduct by such officers.”

While fresh ink dries, House Bill 601 will take effect on July 1, 2024. Senate Bill 184 will take effect on January 1, 2025.

With House Bill 601 comprising monetary allocation besides increased legislative backing for Sunshine State cops, it is no wonder that the 67-county largely coastal landscape is welcoming hordes of public safety professionals who sought greener pastures: Laterals are leaving domains where they are oppressed and not wanted…

Laterals Land in Florida

House bills bolstering law enforcement officers are what likely influence cops in states considered doomed to relocate and become lateral hires, allowed to perform the public safety feats that they trained for, without being hampered by ridiculous soft-on-crime policies that endanger everyone, written by so-called leaders whose favorite color is not blue.

(Photo courtesy of the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.)

The litany of municipal police departments in Florida has also seen their ranks grow with already-certified and experienced cops relocating, rooting homesteads, and joining public safety forces…feeling supported and aided by relocation expenses offered by the state government.

Per the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO), “Welcome to the family! Sheriff Chad Chronister and TeamHCSO are proud to welcome our latest pre-certified law enforcement deputies, who will soon be serving and protecting our community!”

Comparable Compliance

When newly arrived pre-certified cops from other states apply and get accepted by a law enforcement agency in Florida, an abbreviated program known as “Comparable Compliance” entails academy attendance and coursework mostly in the state’s laws and law enforcement lingo (numerical codes) which often differs from other states.

Once found to be up to snuff with Florida’s culture of LEOs and learn the hiring agency’s geographical jurisdiction, out-of-state cops are sworn in and endure a field training program overseen and documented by a field training officer (FTO). Generally, experienced cops from elsewhere glide through the training protocols and are then “cut loose” to perform police duties in compliance with the state’s Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission.

In April 2023, a tad more than one year ago, Governor DeSantis’s office published some statistical material and officer testimonies regarding the state’s incentives for out-of-state law enforcement officers seeking change, citing the following:

“…Florida has awarded more than 1,750 bonuses to newly employed law enforcement recruits through the Law Enforcement Recruitment Bonus Program. To date, 530 law enforcement recruits from 48 states and U.S. territories have relocated to Florida, including more than 200 from California, Texas, New York, and Pennsylvania. Each of the more than 1,750 law enforcement officers has received a $5,000 bonus after taxes, bringing the total amount awarded through the program to more than $11.8 million to date.”

We close with keen words from Sheriff Hardwick, supplemented by commentary from Governor DeSantis:

“We’re blessed in St. Johns County where we have this partnership and relationship with our community that stands behind the blue, just like you Governor [DeSantis], and that being said, this simply gives us the law and gives us that latitude for enforcement if someone doesn’t want to listen and doesn’t want to pay attention as we continue to do our jobs.”

Governor DeSantis underscored these newest pieces of legislation written for law enforcement officers, saying, “We’ve developed a track record in Florida…of supporting law enforcement that is quite simply second to none!”