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Police Union Blames Budget Cuts For Correctional Officer’s Death

June 30th, 2008 by flanews

A Florida correctional officer was killed on the job last week. A Florida Police Union says budget cuts are to blame. Donna Fitzgerald, a correctional officer in Daytona Beach, was stabbed to death by an inmate last Wednesday. The Florida Police Benevolent Association says her death could have been prevented if the prison where she was working had more staff. While budget cuts were harsh, no correctional officer positions were cut. The police association says vacancies arent being filled and its making an already dangerous job worse.

Officers are working at critical staffing levels at some places. Theyre over worked. Theyre tired. We really need to get the staffing levels up and again we think thats done by paying quality salaries, said Matt Puckett with the Police Benevolent Association.

Gretl Plessinger a spokeswoman with the Florida Department of Corrections said the prisons have enough correctional officers.

The prisons are staffed where they need to be staffed as far as correctional officers positions go. We have staffing matrixs in place and so our prisons are staffed, said Plessinger.

The victim had 15 years experiences as a correctional officer. She leaves behind an 18 year-old son.

Posted in Criminal Justice, Legislature, State Budget, State News | 25 Comments »

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