15 Correctional Officer cadets graduated today from the 235th Correctional Employee Initial Training (CEIT) Class and took their oaths of office as Delaware’s newest law enforcement officers at a ceremony attended by Department of Correction (DOC) leadership and staff, family and friends. Cadets completed an intensive 12-week program 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. Speaking to the graduating cadets Department of Correction Commissioner Claire DeMatteis said, “You are joining a proud tradition of service as part of Delaware’s largest law enforcement agency. I am inspired by the skill, commitment, and sense of purpose that our more than 1,700 officers exhibit every day as they protect the public and advance our reentry mission. We will continue to support you with the tools, training and leadership for you to build rewarding careers in corrections.”
Thanks to the leadership of Governor Carney and strong support from members of the General Assembly, and in partnership with the Correctional Officers Association of Delaware, the DOC has taken measures to improve officer recruitment and retention, including increasing correctional officer salaries, establishing a career ladder for correctional officers, enhancing promotional opportunities and employing strategies to reduce forced overtime shifts. Most recently, the DOC has established an officer wellness initiative in partnership with the University of Delaware to support officer wellbeing. Through these efforts, over the past 24 months the Department of Correction has reduced its Correctional Officer vacancy rate by half.
“During your career in Corrections, your success will not just be measured by traditional numbers and statistics, it will also be measured by your ability to guide and inspire those who you interact with,” said keynote speaker Robert Coupe, Secretary of Safety and Homeland Security and former Commissioner of Corrections. “By choosing a career of public service you have dedicated yourself to making an impact on the lives of others and we are grateful that you have selected the DOC to fulfill your life of service. In your role as a Correctional Officer you will have the opportunity to make a difference in someone’s life, and if you are successful you can change the world, one life at a time.”
Today’s graduation featured a traditional badge pinning and a ceremonial procession to the sound of the Delaware State Police Pipes and Drums. Watch a video stream of the ceremony online at www.facebook.com/decorrection.
Cadet Luke Desrosiers served as Class Speaker and Cadet Christine Scruggs was selected by academy instructional staff as Outstanding Cadet.
The instructional team for CEIT Class 235 consisted of Primary Instructor Matthew Hopp, Instructor Joseph Sheridan and Drill Instructors Aaron Brown and Vincent Lewis.
The graduates begin their new careers with the Delaware Department of Correction next week.