DOC graduates class of 33 correctional officers

DOVER – A total of 33 correctional officer cadets from the 239th Correctional Employee Initial Training (CEIT) Class graduated from the Steven R. Floyd, Sr. Training Academy Friday during a socially-distanced ceremony attended by Gov. John Carney, Department of Correction officials and family members.

The graduates took their oaths of office as Delaware’s newest law enforcement officers after completing a rigorous three-month course of classroom and hands-on instruction in multiple subject areas, including inmate supervision, defensive tactics, emergency preparedness, weapons and chemical munitions, report writing, behavioral health training, CPR/Basic First Aid and inter-personal communication skills.  

 “The Delaware Department of Correction is today at a high point after four years of incredible progress that we’ve made together as a team,” Gov. Carney said to the graduates. “Thanks to new investments in equipment, training, and higher salaries and capable leadership across our facilities I believe the level of professionalism and loyalty to mission has never been higher.

“That’s driving success in recruiting cadets just like you who are bringing new energy and skills to the department. Thank you for your commitment to the critically important work of the Department of Correction and to your families for supporting you every step of the way.”

Friday’s ceremony marked the fifth class of correctional officer cadets to graduate from the academy this year and reflects the positive impact of significant state investments since 2017 to recruit and retain highly qualified officers, including salary increases, a signing bonus, a career ladder for correctional officers, new promotional opportunities and reductions in forced overtime shifts.

It came two weeks after the opening of the Department of Correction Intelligence Operations Center. This statewide facility, operated by the Special Operations Group within the Bureau of Prisons, positions the DOC with new resources to support correctional officers by proactively identifying, assessing and mitigating security threats across all facilities.

“The times we are living in are much bigger than any single one of us and you begin your law enforcement career at a time of heightened awareness of race relations, the appropriate use of force, the power of peaceful protest and the destruction caused by senseless violence,” Commissioner Claire DeMatteis told the graduates.“Rely on your training, support each other, and demonstrate DOC’s core values as you do your part to ease racial tensions, de-escalate volatile and violent situations, and treat offenders in your custody firmly, fairly and consistently.”

Cadet Andrew Matthews served as Class Speaker and Cadet Isabella Crocker was selected by academy instructional staff as Outstanding Cadet at Friday’s ceremony.

The instructional team for CEIT Class 239 consisted of Primary Instructor Craig Brumbaugh, Instructor Matthew Hopp and Drill Instructors Vincent Lewis and Tyler Wilton.

The new officers begin their careers with the Delaware Department of Correction immediately with a weeks-long period of supervised field training in their assigned correctional facilities.