Cops find respect, warm welcome, more money in Florida

Cops find respect, warm welcome, more money in Florida


More than a dozen NYPD cops have ditched the Big Apple to join the force in a small Florida city — part of a nationwide trend of disgruntled officers finding greener pastures in pro-police communities.

Lakeland — a community of 108,000 people 35 miles east of Tampa — mounted a social media campaign targeting NYC cops earlier this year, and in April dispatched a delegation to recruit in Times Square.

Fourteen former Finest moved to Lakeland in the past year — 12 of them wooed over the past two months thanks to the recruiting trip.

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The respect accorded cops in Florida “was an eye opener,” former NYPD cop Matthew Spoto said at a September press conference after heeding Lakeland’s call of duty.

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