Correctional Officer Memorial

By: Whitney Ray Email
By: Whitney Ray Email

Tallahassee, FL -- May 31, 2012 --

Bag pipes played and family members of the fallen fought back tears, as hundreds of correctional officers mourned the loss of three of their own.

Colonel Greg Malloy, Sgt. Ruben Thomas, and behavioral specialist Kirk Cummings are being added to this monument honoring Florida correctional officers killed in the line of duty.

Colonel Malloy was mortally wounded on February 2nd, 2011, Sgt. Thomas was fatally injured after being stabbed by an inmate. Cummings died of an apparent heart attack while at work.

As the officers honor their fallen, they’re also bracing for more state budget cuts. Prisons are being closed and 1300 positions are being eliminated. The officers were given the option to take corrections jobs in others parts of the state. Many did. Others opted for early retirement.

Department of Corrections Secretary Ken Tucker thanked the victims’ families for their sacrifice. After the ceremony I asked him if the budget cuts are making Florida prisons less safe.

“Ultimately, my number one priority as we look at the budget is officer safety,” said Tucker.

But danger comes with the territory. It’s a fact these officers face every day, knowing that the next 21 gun salute could be in their honor.

And just yesterday an officer at the Okeechobee Correction Institute had a close call while trying to disarm an inmate. The office was cut on his arm wrestling with an inmate armed with a shank.

So far this year eight DOC facilities have closed due to budget cuts and dwindling inmate populations. Three more will shut down by year’s end.

The eight that have closed:
Caryville Work Camp, Gainesville Correctional Institution, Hillsborough Correctional Institution, Indian River Correctional Institution, Levy Forestry Camp, New River Correctional Institution, New River O Unit, River Junction Work Camp

The three to close before July 1st:
Broward Correctional Institution, Demilly Correctional Institution, Hendry Work Camp

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  • by Gran In Quincy on Jun 1, 2012 at 06:00 PM
    Long after the arresting officer has "left the building" the correctional officers are left to baby sit with the arrested person. Some of them are first-timers and some have been arrested more times than they themselves can count. The job of a CO is the most dangerous and the most unappreciated jobs in todays work force. I wish Gov.Scott could spend one 24 hour shift in a facility with some of our inmates before he cuts budgets that impact the correctional system.
  • by Annoyed on Jun 1, 2012 at 03:01 PM
    I dont know why the even interview the so called Secretary of the Department. He never even answered the question that was asked all he did was repeat what the man asked after being tongue twisted. They are playing with these people lives. How can you run an instutiton with 20 staff and over 1500 inmates. when all the staff are stuck in the officer station alone and one or two officers on the yard to assist. Tell them to go help these officers work for two weeks inside an instutiton and see how it feels to work alone.
  • by past resident on Jun 1, 2012 at 08:52 AM
    they used to be my landlords (long time ago), they have a tough job. its hard to go to work everyday where everyone hates you and 70% would kill you if given the chance. ill pray for them and the familys of the fallen. my hats off to you for doing a crappy job for low pay, but thanks for doing it.
  • by Bull Roper Location: Florida on Jun 1, 2012 at 06:16 AM
    I am not going to be long winded but the prison population is not getting smaller check the numbers. Ken Tucker is not worried about safety either, just making Scott happy.
  • by Sergeant Location: Tallahassee on Jun 1, 2012 at 05:13 AM
    There is a lot of whining and crying that can be done over the state of affairs with DOC and other state offices, however, this is the time to honor our fallen. The ones that made the ultimate sacrifice. They won't be coming home and complaining about their paychecks anymore. They are due our respect and our honor. They were great men and they may be gone but never forgotten. Be thankful you are still around to gripe!
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Jun 1, 2012 at 01:28 PM in reply to Sergeant
      Agreed!! Both my mother and stepfather work at a state prison and I pray that they come home everyday...not in a body bag!
  • by Amazing Location: FLDOC on Jun 1, 2012 at 04:50 AM
    It's amazing that the public isn't notified of all the assaults on staff at prisons. 167 last year at ONE prison. Amazing.
  • by Hmm Location: Here on Jun 1, 2012 at 04:48 AM
    I think its very interesting that on the radio they are always claiming that Prisons are being put up every where. But to me it looks like they are closing them all
  • by GLAD I LEFT ! Location: co on Jun 1, 2012 at 03:25 AM
    been gone 6 months and haven't looked back. long hours and lower pay don't add up. moving up not down seems smarter.
  • by in the know Location: FLDOC on May 31, 2012 at 07:57 PM
    Interesting that there is no mention that he inmate at okeechobee also tried to gut an officer, cutting his uniform shirt! There will be more CO's hurt and killed in the coming months as the shift to 12 hour shifting goes into place especially since the critical staffing levels are being dropped drastically and staff are constantly working overtime since the department won't hire any help. This is becoming unsafe for staff and inmates, too!
    • reply
      by truth on Jun 1, 2012 at 08:10 PM in reply to in the know
      tea party republican way!!!!
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