Alaska, Florida recruiting Chicago police, offering large bonuses, no state income tax



Efforts to recruit police officers from Illinois to other states continue.

While Gov. J.B. Pritzker recently approved a measure allowing non-citizens on work permits or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals to be sworn in as police officers in Illinois, other states like Florida and Alaska are offering thousands of dollars in recruitment bonuses.

Earlier this month, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ office announced that the Sunshine State has now recruited 47 law enforcement officers from Illinois, offering $5,000 bonuses to relocate. In September, that number from Illinois was 37. 

Of those officers from Illinois, three have moved to Florida following billboards placed in Illinois, “encouraging officers to make the move to a state that consistently backs the blue,” DeSantis’ office said.  

“With a national lack of support for the important work law enforcement officers do daily, Florida has stood up for what is right,” DeSantis said in a statement. “Our back the blue policies have brought officers from all 50 states and two U.S. territories to Florida. We will continue to support law and order and make investments in the people that keep our communities safe.”

Jurisdictions in Alaska are offering up to $30,000 bonuses for lateral hires and $15,000 bonuses for new recruits. Fairbanks, Alaska, has a lateral recruitment effort with $60,000 in bonuses. 

Chicago Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 7 President John Catanzara said both these states have other incentives. 

“A state with no state [income] tax and a whole lot of other perks,” Catanzara told The Center Square. “Everybody is having recruitment issues. Everybody is doing everything they can. And I consider it flattering that they want to come and steal the best and brightest officers and well-trained officers in the country from Chicago.” 

Retention bonuses from Chicago are important, he said. 

“Explain to them the necessity of an incentive bonus for retention and try to give the 20-year veteran officers a reason to stay a little bit longer,” Catanzara said. 

There are other things Catanzara said Illinois and Chicago should do.

“Address the mandatory retirement age at 63 and make it equal to whatever the Medicare age is so officers can go straight there without having to worry about paying for health care when they retire,” Catanzara said. 

Beyond that, Catanzara said curbing anti-police policies can go a long way.

“Until the climate of anti-police profession kind of dissipates, I don’t know how long. Everybody kind of expects that to last several, five more years, so it’s not going away anytime soon,” he said. 


  1. Law enforcement in Alaska has, for the most part, been fairly classy, specially the Troopers. I have to wonder if that will continue to be the case as we move toward hiring police officers from very different local cultures ?

    • Bringing law enforcement to Alaska from other “local cultures” could be a good thing. They may be experience and talents Alaska law enforcement have not had to deal with. Criminals have no boundaries, and they are up to challenging any type of “local cultures”.

  2. We don’t need police officers from a big a big city. They will treat Alaskans like its the hood.

    Why don’t they pay enough and recruit from villages or local communities that understand the old trooper creed?
    Not intelligent decision.

  3. Several years ago, the Anchorage Police Department discovered that it had hired and trained an illegal alien. He was on the PD for several years until this slip up was discovered. Now it appears that being a legal US citizen to be a sworn officer is no longer important, at least in Chicago.

  4. Too bad Alaskans weren’t such dummies it could employ its own men and women for these jobs. However we have had a dumb education system from public schools to private schools. I praying the new arrivals arriving in Alaska these past recent years they are conservative men and women coming here while raising their children RIGHT.

  5. Really good thinking more trouble for Alaska, shoot first then let the state pay for gun happy law. Alaskans need Alaskans for law enforcement as life up here moves different. We are not the gang capital of the U D like Chicago.

  6. I’m with M. Moore. We don’t need poorly trained, poorly managed, “Chi town” cops trying to understand why a landowner or just a guy fishing has a “weapon” on them. I foresee a “he had a gun and I shot him first” mentality coming. Oh, and remember, Illinois is a “no CCW” state i believe. At least our CCW license has no reciprocity there. I just see danger for law abiding folk if they do this. p.s. The AK Troopers are, in my opinion, the top of the line in professionalism and the best at “de-escalating” the situation.

  7. This isn’t going to turn out well. AST Field Training Officers are already under tremendous pressure to push new recruits who should be washed out and laterals from big city departments through the system. Why? Lack of recruitment and retention here. It has to be a very egregious action on the part of the field training recruit to wash out. The State needs bodies to fill positions, and quality will suffer as does morale of those who have to work with sub-par people. Experienced officers will be forced to rural posts and families separated, further affecting morale and retention.
    I’ve had the opportunity to train many times with Chicago and other big city LEO’s and their mindset is so completely different from ours as to be alien at times. They don’t have much empathy for self-protection in big cities and any weapon seen is an immediate threat to contain. Training won’t correct that as they’ve been conditioned to respond that way. Here, the vast majority of people contacted are armed. It’s expected. Two different worlds Best advise is to always remain polite and calm during a law enforcement contact, keep your hands visible and immobile and explain where your license and documents are and ALWAYS ask for permission to reach for them.

  8. This was the great idea by? HR Director? Discussed in weekly cabinet meetings which ought to be foi’d and why is no one doing it? Very Democrat driven hoping to develop a fight against the second amendment. Another reason to be uncomfortable being ruled Alaskan Karen Democrats. Why would anyone subject those they love to continue to live in oppressive Alaska. Actions speak louder than words.

  9. Doesn’t Chicago have some of the highest crime rates in the nation? Why in the world would Alaska want to recruit police officers from there? Doesn’t appear that the police force in Chicago is doing a very good job of policing!


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