Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam issued the following statement today urging legislative leadership to fund much-needed pay raises for first responders:
“Leading up to legislative session, I asked legislative leadership to fund modest pay raises for our department’s law enforcement officers and wildland firefighters, who are demonstrably underpaid compared to other state and local agencies. These raises will help us recruit and retain the best of the best to keep Floridians and visitors safe when lives and property are on the line. I continue to ask legislative leadership to stand with Florida’s first responders and fund these much-needed and well-deserved raises.”
Starting pay for the department’s law enforcement officers is $31,880 and the starting pay for Florida Forest Service wildland firefighters is $26,580, substantially less than their counterparts in other state and local agencies resulting in high turnover in these critically important positions.
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