TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – At a news conference in Pensacola, Gov. Ron DeSantis committed Florida officers to reinforce the southern border in response to requests from the Texas and Arizona governors.
According to a release from the governor’s office, at least 50 members of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Florida Highway Patrol, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission are heading to the border, and bringing “mission critical equipment” with them.
The 50 officers’ deployment follows up on DeSantis’s promise to provide support and reinforcements last week, after Texas Gov. Greg Abbot and Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey sent a joint letter to the governors of every state asking for staff and resources to patrol the border with Mexico.
- The Florida Highway Patrol
- The Florida Department of Law Enforcement
- The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
- Bay County Sheriff’s Office
- Brevard County Sheriff’s Office
- Escambia County Sheriff’s Office
- Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office
- Holmes County Sheriff’s Office
- Lee County Sheriff’s Office
- Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office
- Pasco County Sheriff’s Office
- Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office
- Walton County Sheriff’s Office
Personnel will reportedly be deployed in 16-day shifts, and over 20 county sheriffs’ departments have pledged their support for staffing resources to cover the gaps left by the officers deployed to the border.
“When the Governors of Texas and Arizona reached out for help, Florida answered the call,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “We are witnessing a catastrophe at the southern border under the Biden Administration. In recent months, we have seen people from the terrorist watch list, known sex offenders and a flood of fentanyl cross over the border. This is a national security crisis, and we must get it under control.”
DeSantis isn’t the only leader addressing border concerns.
Vice President Kamala Harris announced Friday morning that she’ll be heading to the border, as well, fulfilling part of her role in leading the White House’s efforts to handle an increase in immigration.
Recently, Harris has faced criticism from Republicans for being weak on border security while not going to the border, a complaint leveled at both herself and President Joe Biden. Harris is expected to tour a Customs and Border Patrol processing center in El Paso.