Union President Says Correctional Officer's Death Never Should H - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Union President Says Correctional Officer's Death Never Should Have Happened

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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)

SMYRNA, Del. - While authorities investigate what went wrong after a nearly 24-hour hostage standoff that left 47-year-old correctional officer Sgt. Steven Floyd dead, the union president representing Delaware correctional officer’s was outspoken about the incident, which he says should never have happened.

Geoffrey Klopp, said Steven Floyd's death was preventable and slammed the state for understaffing and low pay.

"(We) believe Sgt. Floyd's year death is due to directly to staffing issues that have been going on at the Department of Correction through the Gov. Jack Markell administration for the last 8 years," said Klopp during a press conference Thursday afternoon.

Klopp continued, "I want to be clear, Sgt. Floyd didn't have to die yesterday."

Delaware Homeland Security Secretary Robert Coupe noted that the prison system faces staffing shortages every day.
           
"Statewide, we are down on any given day about 90 positions," said Coupe, who added that the agency uses overtime to meet minimum staffing levels.

In 2004, an inmate at the prison raped a counselor and held her hostage for nearly seven hours before he was killed by a department sharpshooter. Klopp said none of the resulting recommendations for improving staffing were put into effect.

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