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Governor Scott Issues Proclamation for Florida First Responder Appreciation Week

MIAMI LAKES, Fla. – Today, Governor Rick Scott issued a proclamation recognizing January 22-26 as Florida First Responder Appreciation Week. To read Governor Scott’s proclamation, click HERE.

Governor Scott said, “Florida is home to the world’s best first responders who never hesitate to keep others safe. Every day they dedicate their lives to protect and serve Florida families. That’s why I am proud to proclaim this week as Florida First Responder Appreciation Week. I encourage all Floridians to thank first responders for their service to their families and communities.”

Governor Scott’s Securing Florida’s Future budget proposes $5.3 billion in public safety, an increase of nearly $200 million over current year funding, and makes important investments to support Florida’s dedicated law enforcement officers. Some proposed public safety investments include:

  • $30 million for Florida’s state law enforcement agencies to use for additional pay raises to award Florida’s nearly 4,800 sworn state law enforcement officers;

  • $1.3 million to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) for incident command vehicles and emergency ordinance disposal vehicles to strengthen counterterrorism and intelligence efforts;

  • $2 million to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) law enforcement for a mobile command unit and other technologies that will provide law enforcement real-time information and communications, and will enable faster recovery efforts.

  • Also, Governor Scott recently announced his support for a proposal being considered by the Constitution Revision Commission to provide free tuition to the families of fallen first responders, state law enforcement officers and military members who have lost their lives in the line of duty.

  • The proposal provides 120 credit hours per family at a Florida state college, university or participating technical school.

  • If passed by the CRC, the proposal will be on the ballot in 2018 and would require approval of 60 percent of Florida voters.

  • The CRC proposal, P 49, was filed by Commissioner Emery Gainey and can be found HERE.


WHEREAS, Orlando Police Lieutenant Debra Clayton, Orange County Deputy Norman Lewis, Jefferson County Sheriff David Hobbs, Agricultural Law Enforcement Officer Joshua Albert Sanchez Montaad, Correctional Officer Joe Heddy, Florida Highway Patrol Sgt. William T. Bishop, Kissimmee Police Officer Matthew Baxter and Sergeant Richard “Sam” Howard, Hardee County Sheriff’s Deputy Julie Ann Bridges, Florida Department of Corrections Sergeant Joseph Ossman, Tallahassee Fire Department Engineer Jeffrey Atkinson Broward County Deputy Michael David Ryan, lost their lives in the line of duty in 2017; and

WHEREAS, following the devastation of Hurricane Harvey in Texas and Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, Florida’s brave first responders swiftly deployed to assist their fellow Americans in need; and

WHEREAS, during Hurricane Irma, our servicemen and women courageously rescued many Floridians, assisted with evacuation and responded to the needs of communities; and

WHEREAS, each loss of a first responder is heartbreaking, and losing twelve heroes over the last year is a signal to all Floridians to pray for our men and women in uniform who protect our communities each day; and

WHEREAS, Florida’s first responders include law enforcement officers, firefighters, and EMTs who bravely and selflessly risk their lives every day to protect Florida families, visitors, and businesses; and

WHEREAS, Florida’s first responders do not hesitate to risk their own lives in order to save the lives of others, and their commitment to continued training, skill enhancement, and inter-agency coordination make them vital members of every Florida community; and

WHEREAS, acts of kindness and appreciation from citizens for first responders provide them encouragement and support to confront the dangerous and uncertain situations they face every day;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Rick Scott, Governor of the State of Florida, do hereby proclaim January 22 – 26, 2018, as Florida First Responder Appreciation Week and encourage all Floridians to take time out of their day to show first responders and their families how much we value their service to our cities, counties, and state. Florida First Responder Appreciation Week is an opportunity for Florida leaders at every level to demonstrate appreciation for all men and women who protect and serve our state as first responders and an opportunity for Floridians to say, “thank you,” to the first responders who keep them safe.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Great Seal of the State of Florida to be affixed at Tallahassee, the Capital, this 19th day of January, in the year two thousand eighteen.



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