FILE - Tennessee Highway Patrol

A Tennessee Highway Patrol trooper blocks the road to McGhee Tyson Air National Guard Base after reports were received of shots being fired Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2020, in Alcoa, Tenn.

(The Center Square) – Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee is recruiting law enforcement officers who are leaving jobs in other states to avoid COVID-19 vaccination mandates.

Lee promised to pay moving expenses for those who are hired by the Tennessee Highway Patrol in a video pitch posted on social media.

“There are many highly skilled law enforcement personnel who want to work in a state that doesn’t get in the middle of personal health decisions yet also provides for a wonderful quality of life,” Lee said Wednesday in a statement. “As we’ve ramped up efforts to get more state troopers on the road, we want these men and women to consider Tennessee, and we will assist with their relocation expenses.”

Police departments and unions across the country have had recent issues with states, cities and counties attempting to enforce vaccination mandates. Many states, including Arizona and Florida, have recruited disgruntled law enforcement officers to their state from other states.

“Our force is one of the most professional in the country, and we won’t get between you and your doctor,” Lee said in the video. “We believe you’d be a great fit for our state and will help cover your moving expenses. Let me tell you why Tennessee would be a great fit for you.”

Lee used the opportunity pitch the publicly paid benefits of being an officer, including a full benefits package, a self-issued vehicle rather than a shared vehicle program, complimentary uniforms and equipment and all fees for training academy paid for by the department.

“The Tennessee Highway Patrol is a national leader in law enforcement and is internationally accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies,”  Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security Commissioner Jeff Long said. “We look forward to connecting with men and women who have served in various law enforcement capacities and showing them what THP has to offer.”

Staff Reporter

Jon Styf is an award-winning editor and reporter who has worked in Illinois, Texas, Wisconsin, Florida and Michigan in local newsrooms over the past 20 years, working for Shaw Media, Hearst and several other companies.