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Many NYPD officers are headed to Florida, thanks to incentives

NYPD officers moving to Florida in droves
NYPD officers moving to Florida in droves 03:03

NEW YORK - Trained in New York, but working in Florida, many NYPD officers have been handing in their badges and moving down south. 

For many, the relocation is coming after Florida's governor invited them. Governor Ron DeSantis has been luring them for a little over a year.  

He first made it known back in September 2021 that he would financially reward police officers from other states if they quit their jobs and move to his state and join a police force.  

"It's a way to capitalize off some of the folks who are not getting the support they need and say, you know what, you will be supported in Florida," DeSantis said back in 2021. "We will make sure we do our best to make sure it's worth your while."    

Former NYPD Detective Efrain Collado said the words meant a lot to him.  

"What he has done is smart," said Collado. "Going on national TV and telling police officers and first responders 'I want you,' it's huge to hear that."   

The promises the governor made even enticed Collado to put back on a police uniform a few years after he retired from the NYPD and moved to Florida. 

Through a new program called "Be A Florida Hero," DeSantis is offering police officers things like a $5,000 sign-on bonus, down payment assistance for first-time homeowners and up to $10,000 for help to adopt a child. He said he's recruiting cops from all over the country, especially where morale is low. He tweeted Monday more than 600 police officers nationwide have joined his state.  

But it appears he is mostly looking to get officers from the NYPD.  

Numbers from the New York City Police pension fund show 2022 had had the highest number of NYPD resignations in two decades. Through November, 1,225 officers resigned, some heading to Florida. 

Lawyers say what DeSantis is doing is legal.  

"Bottom line is, there is freedom to go," said Richard Roth, litigation attorney at the Roth Firm. "There's nothing wrong with it. All you're doing is inducing someone to start a job in a new location. The government can do it, an employer can do it."   

Now, moving companies are even helping to sweeten the deal.  

"My goal here isn't to deplete the NYPD of their officers. These are officers who are already contemplating leaving," said Spero Georgedakis, Founder and CEO of Good Greek Moving and Storage.    

Georgedakis says he's spending $20,000 a month on commercials to advertise the program and is offering discounts to those who take DeSantis up on the deal.  

He anticipates he will help up to 100 cops move.  

"As a former police officer and leader in my industry, I am going to make sure these families make it to where they want to go," Georgedakis said.  

Dias reached out to Mayor Eric Adams' office for a comment but they had none. Instead, they referred him to the NYPD. 

The NYPD still has yet to give us a statement.  

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