SMYRNA, Del. (WPVI) --The head of the Corrections Officers Association of Delaware is blasting the state's former governor following a hostage situation in Smyrna that left one officer dead.
Sgt. Steven Floyd, 47, was found dead after police stormed the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center early Thursday morning, nearly 20 hours after the hostage situation began.
At a news conference Thursday afternoon, union president Jeffrey Klopp hailed Sgt. Floyd, a 16 year veteran, saying he alerted other officers as the situation unfolded.
"As the inmates attempted to take over the building, Sgt. Floyd told a couple of lieutenants to get out of the building and it was a trap," Klopp said.
RAW VIDEO: Procession for body of Sgt. Floyd
Klopp called Sgt. Floyd a loving father, husband, and grandfather who was dedicated to his job.
"I'd like for Steven Floyd to be remembered as the happy, smiling man that he was, the wonderful father that he was, a wonderful husband and great corrections officer," said Klopp.
Klopp says the tragedy could've been prevented and he blames former governor Jack Markell. He charges Markell and the ACLU helped implement wider prison freedoms for violent criminals but without additional staffing.
"It's... made our job more taxing without any more staff. The inmates are required to get more time out of their cells, and we basically don't have enough staff to do it," Klopp said.
The union head claims attacks on officers have skyrocketed over the past year,
Efforts to reach Gov. Jack Markell for comment have not been successful.
Klopp called Sgt. Floyd's death the hardest day of his life. He is the first correctional officer to be killed on the job in the State of Delaware.
"His wife told me at 12:20 last night she was sitting on her couch and she looked at the front door, because that was the time he came home every night after working the overtime shift," Klopp said. "And she couldn't believe he wasn't coming through the door."