Union Leader: Smyrna Prison Inmates Practiced Hostage-taking - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Union Leader: Smyrna Prison Inmates Practiced Hostage-taking

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Geoffrey Klopp, president of the Correctional Officers Association of Delaware, speaks during a Thursday afternoon press conference. (Photo: WBOC) Geoffrey Klopp, president of the Correctional Officers Association of Delaware, speaks during a Thursday afternoon press conference. (Photo: WBOC)
Sgt. Steven Floyd, 47, died during the hostage incident at James T. Vaughn Correctional Center in Smyrna. (Photo: Delaware Department of Correction) Sgt. Steven Floyd, 47, died during the hostage incident at James T. Vaughn Correctional Center in Smyrna. (Photo: Delaware Department of Correction)

SMYRNA, Del. (AP/WBOC)- The head of the corrections officers' union in Delaware says he believes that inmates had practiced taking over a prison before they took three correctional officers and a counselor hostage at the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center in Smyrna. 
    
Geoffrey Klopp, president of the Correctional Officers Association of Delaware, said during a press conference Thursday afternoon that the Delaware Department of Correction has had staffing, salary and retention troubles for about the past decade.
    
Authorities say inmates used sharpened objects to take the hostages during the nearly 24-hour standoff that started Wednesday morning. Two were released, the counselor was rescued and 47-year-old Sgt. Steven Floyd died.
    
Klopp says Floyd was forced into a closet and yelled to other officers who were coming to help that the inmates had set a trap. Klopp says Floyd's warning saved his fellow officers' lives.
    
Klopp says he thinks Floyd was killed by the inmates. Authorities have not said how Floyd died.
    
He says Floyd is the first corrections officer in Delaware to be killed. Klopp said he was a dedicated officer with a wife, children and grandchildren and that he worked overtime to help put his children through college.

At around the same time as union's press conference, the Department of Correction issued the following media release about Floyd:

It is with sad hearts and heavy laden that The Delaware Department of Correction (DOC) announces the demise of Sergeant Steven R. Floyd. Born November 11, 1969, Floyd was forty-seven years of age on the date of his passing; February 2, 2017. Notwithstanding the hostage situation which occurred at the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center; Sergeant Floyd remained steadfast and never wavered in his duties as a sworn law enforcement Officer.

Floyd has been employed with the DOC for over 16 years all of which was served at the Vaughn Correctional Center, formerly the Delaware Correctional Center. He began his career in May of 2000 as a Correctional Officer, subsequently promoting to the rank of Sergeant in 2002.

Sergeant Floyd was a dedicated officer as demonstrated via the following accolades: perfect attendance (2004 & 2005) and receipt of the facility’s Warden’s Award (2016) for Outstanding Performance. . Notwithstanding the hostage situation which occurred at the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center; Sergeant Floyd remained steadfast and never wavered in his duties as a sworn law enforcement Officer.

The Department of Correction humbly requests that the public keep Sergeant Floyd’s family, loved ones and all members of law enforcement in their prayers at this time of bereavement.

    

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