LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Delaware Department of Correction should be held responsible in Floyd’s death

It has been a heart-wrenching two weeks for the family, friends and many in the law-enforcement community after the horrific murder of Lt. Steven Floyd at the JTVCC in Smyrna. We have all heard the sad news nationally and locally about what transpired and how this hostage situation should have never occurred and could have been avoided if the Department of Correction administration listened to the unions and the frontline staff who are out there struggling every day, protecting the public to the best of their ability, while the DOC administration sits in their cozy offices without a real clue of what is going on inside the jails.

I am a Dover resident who knew Steven Floyd from the neighborhood in which he lived. He was a good man who took care of his family. He was a hard worker just trying to make a living and served as an Army soldier of the United States military, like myself.

As a taxpayer in the state of Delaware, I am furious at how the administration in the Delaware Department of Correction could move forward knowing that they have blood on their hands for the murder of Steven Floyd.

Some questions I have are: Why did the administration procrastinate when they were told about the major issues going on in the state jails? Why does the administration appease the inmates and not defend the correctional officers who are protecting us, the public, from these vicious criminals of our society? Everybody now knows this could have been avoided in many ways, but the former commissioner, now Secretary of Safety and Homeland Security, new commissioner, bureau chief, warden, deputy warden and majors refused to listen to the problems, and now, someone is dead.

How would the commissioner on down feel if it were their loved one who was murdered? The new governor, John Carney, and the lieutenant governor, Bethany Hall-Long, need to act and do something now, or believe me, they will be one-term elected officials going down in the history books as disgraceful. They need to be leaders and terminate those who did not listen to the pleas and calls for help by the unions and frontline staff working for the Department of Correction.

I heard recently that many are blaming the Jack Markell administration for the situation that occurred on Feb. 1, 2017, but what people are forgetting is [that] the Jack Markell administration is still in power and in charge of the Department of Correction. The former commissioner, Robert Coupe, is now the Secretary of Safety and Homeland Security; the new commissioner, Perry Phelps, was the deputy commissioner under Coupe; and the Bureau Chief of Prisons, warden, deputy warden and majors all still hold the same job titles. Wake up, people!

As a taxpayer of this state, I am demanding, along with other citizens, that Gov. John Carney remove (terminate employment of), or ask for the resignations of, the following: Secretary of Safety and Homeland Security, Commissioner of the Department of Correction, Bureau Chief of Prisons, JTVCC warden, deputy warden and both JTVCC majors.

The appointment of an independent review committee is not enough, Gov. Carney. How long will this committee take to find out the real truth? You need to do the job the people of this state elected you to do and take action on the mismanagement, mishandling and malicious action by the DOC administration.

Howard Williams
Dover

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