Police Officer Leaves Chicago for Florida: ‘He Will be Valued and Respected for Protecting His Community’

August 1, 2022 Updated 2:28 PM ET

Lee County Deputy Raymond Arce.
Lee County Deputy Raymond Arce.

August 1, 2022 Updated 2:22 P.M. ET

CHAMPIONSGATE (FLV) – Deputy Raymond Arce chose to move from Chicago to serve in Florida after Sunshine State leaders talked about their appreciation for law enforcement.

“I needed a change. I started doing my research online and every time I’d be on social media or on the TV, I’d always see Governor DeSantis always talking about how much he appreciates his law enforcement,” Arce said.

“And the Attorney General is saying if you need to know where to go, please come to us. We appreciate our police. So that really was a big factor in my move.”

Attorney General Ashley Moody shared Arce’s story Monday.

“If they feel not respected or appreciated for the selfless decision to put on a badge and a gun and a bulletproof vest ever day, move to Florida,” Moody said.

Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno said the city of Chicago does not support law enforcement. Arce now, who now works at the Lee County Sheriff’s Office, said the risk to move was worth it.

“I do have a lot of friends still back in the city. They’re still with the Chicago Police Department and I tell them all the time, I mean, it’s a big risk for when your whole family coming to overstay starting new,” Arce explained. “But you know what I decided to take that risk because I wasn’t happy where I was and it was the best decision I ever made.”

DeSantis Racks Up Pro-Law Enforcement Accomplishments in Face of ‘Defund the Police’ Movement

“We are making decisions, common sense decisions, behind those that are truly the backbone of a stable civilized safe society and that’s you,” Moody said.

Florida Republicans have focused their efforts on encouraging law enforcement officials to move to the state. Florida’s Freedom First Budget allocates $5,000 signing bonuses for new recruits and out-of-state officers, $1,000 bonuses for local officers and first responders, and $5 million for law enforcement training scholarships.

“We respect the rule of law, we respect people that wear the uniform, and we may very well have spots for you. And we’re going to make sure to reward the folks that want to come and help keep us safe,” DeSantis said in 2021.

DeSantis signed the Care for Retired Police Dogs Program Act. It provides caregivers with money to care and provide veterinarian assistance for retired police dogs.

“We’ve also got to think of these guys here on all four legs,” DeSantis said. “A lot of these canines are instrumental in helping to keep our community safe.”

Florida also has a program to help teachers and law enforcement officials purchase their first homes.

In May, DeSantis announced $100 million for Florida’s Hometown Heroes Housing Program. The high cost of living in Florida makes it difficult for first responders to live near their work so they end up driving long periods of time one-way.

“If you’re somebody that is here serving our community in those vital roles, you now have the ability through our Hometown Heroes program to get assistance to be able to purchase that first home now, to honor those who have served and sacrificed for our country,” DeSantis said.

Florida ‘Heroes Housing’ Program to Help Teachers, Law Enforcement Buy First House

President Joe Biden took aim at Governor DeSantis in a tweet. He said the governor is “not on the side of police.”

“And to me, it’s simple. If you can’t support banning weapons of war on America’s streets, you’re not on the side of police,” Biden said.

The governor’s press secretary, Christina Pushaw, fired back at Biden and said the President’s message is another way to deflect from his own administration as inflation and gas prices remain at staggering rates.

“Clearly, President Biden has nothing to say about his own administration’s failures, which is why he is attacking politicians from the great state of Florida,” Pushaw explained. “Under the leadership of Governor DeSantis, Florida has emerged as a national success story in contrast to the federal government’s dysfunction.”

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