Road dedication for Lt. Steven Floyd; Insight on current conditions for Del. correctional facilities
SMYRNA, Del. – It’s been two years since the deadly prison takeover in 2017 and despite some time passing by, the man who died in that riot is still being remembered for his sacrifice.
The Department of Correction held a ceremony Tuesday for Lieutenant Steven Floyd and his family unveiled a new sign for the newly dedicated road at James T. Vaughn.
The 2017 riot is over but questions and challenges remain. The push to improve the Department of Corrections are ongoing.
Commissioner Perry Phelps says, “We want to have top-quality security and keep the public safe and we want to have top-notch rehabilitation to make sure these offenders call when they go back to the street they can reenter society and they can re-integrate and become taxpaying citizens.”
Geoff Klopp, the Correctional Officers Union President feels this day will help everyone heal, but he still feels like improvements are needed. “We still work on safe amount of overtime and we’re on schedule to spend $33 million in overtime which is unacceptable,” Klopp tells us.
Klopp says officers may clock into work for 8 hours before staying way past their assigned shift. “If they tell you, you can’t go home you have to work eight more hours whether you want to or not. According to Klopp, “Today, as we stand here right now, there’s less correctional officers working today and then the day that Steven Floyd was murdered.”
In order to move forward, Klopp wants the compensation package to change. “We want to have top-quality security and keep the public safe and we want to have top-notch rehabilitation to make sure these offenders call when they go back to the street they can reenter society and they can re-integrate and become taxpaying citizens.”
Klopp says they are losing quality people because the starting salary is too low and because the pension isn’t competitive. We’re told they are losing CO’s to other law enforcement agencies who are offering more and that’s why having better pay is crucial. He says they’ve had a number of conversations with Governor Carney’s administration but they believe that the state hasn’t been aggressive enough.
Still, while progress is slower than they wanted it to be, they do feel like progress is being made. “We’re in contract negotiations right now hopefully they’ll be serious about coming to a real solution. We have time and if we have to go to arbitration, we will.”
We were also told that Building C, the building that was taken over and where Lieutenant Floyd was killed will be destroyed in the next week or so.
As far as the men charged with murder, only three are left on trial, after the department of justice removed indictments towards six other men.
Roman Shankaras is set for his trial in April. Only one other inmate, Dwayne Staats has been convicted for murder.