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Department of Correction announces warden promotions

Delaware News Desk
Smyrna/Clayton Sun-Times

Delaware Department of Correction Commissioner Claire DeMatteis announced Jan. 16 that she has promoted James T. Vaughn Correctional Center Warden Dana Metzger to statewide responsibilities as warden of the department's Special Operations Group.

The Special Operations Group within the Bureau of Prisons oversees DOC's central intelligence operations, emergency response teams and training programs.

Metzger's responsibilities will include security for all Level V prison facilities statewide, with supervision over the Steven R. Floyd Training Academy, Correctional Emergency Response Teams, Escapee Recovery Teams, K-9 Units, the Mobile Command Post and Court and Transportation Units for all facilities. Metzger replaces

Special Operations Group Warden Timothy Radcliffe, who is retiring in March after a 32-year career.

Metzger was recruited to lead James T. Vaughn Correctional Center in May 2017 after serving 22 years in the U.S. Air Force, years where he rose to the rank of lieutenant colonel. His last military posting was Dover Air Force Base, where he commanded the 436th Security Forces Squadron which oversees combat support, emergency services, law enforcement and security and antiterrorism efforts.

Metzger earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Nebraska and a master's degree from the American Military University. He completed several military courses and trainings including the Security Forces Command Advanced Officer Course, the FBI LEEDA Executive Command and Strategic Leadership Course and the Air Force Incident Management Course.

“Over the past two and a half years Warden Metzger has applied his tremendous knowledge and experience to lead James T. Vaughn Correctional Center forward during one of the most challenging times in its history,” said DeMatteis. “His hands-on leadership style, commitment to innovation, empowerment of officers, and expansion of services and programs for inmates have greatly enhanced security and created an environment that today strongly supports our dual mission of public safety and offender rehabilitation. I am pleased that he is joining my senior leadership team as head of our Special Operations Group which plays a vital role in keeping our facilities, staff, visitors and inmates safe. Today’s correctional environment demands that we take new steps to stay ahead of multiple threats, and Warden Metzger’s leadership will be instrumental in standing up our Intelligence Operations Center, which for the first time will centralize our intelligence gathering resources into one physical location.”

With Metzger's transition to statewide responsibilities, DeMatteis named Sussex Correctional Institution Warden Robert May as warden of James T. Vaughn Correctional Institution. May, a 27-year veteran of the Department of Correction, is DOC’s most experienced Warden. May began his career as a correctional officer at Howard R. Young Correctional Institution in 1993 and has held positions in Level IV and Level V facilities in all three counties, including correctional captain at Kent County Community Corrections, Deputy Warden at Delores J. Baylor Women's Correctional Institution and Deputy Bureau Chief of Prisons. He served as Warden of Sussex Correctional Institution since March 2018.

May was a four-year member of the DOC Central Intelligence Group and has completed extensive training, including the Risk Needs Responsivity Tool, PREA Auditor Training, Homeland Security Threats, Emergency Preparedness and Management Development for the Future. He holds an Associate's Degree in business, a Bachelor of Science in business management and a Master of Business Administration. May is a veteran of the U.S. Army and the U.S. Air Force Reserve.

With May's move to James T. Vaughn Correctional Center, Sussex Correctional Institution Deputy Warden Truman Mears is being promoted to warden. Mears joined the Department of Correction in 1989 as a correctional officer, and has served at Sussex Correctional Institution, James T. Vaughn Correctional Center and Sussex County Community Corrections. While serving at Sussex Correctional Institution, Mears was promoted to corporal in 1995, sergeant in 1998, lieutenant in 2000, staff lieutenant in 2008, security superintendent in 2011 and deputy warden in 2017.

Mears participated in specialized training including Prison Staffing Analysis, Institutional Field Training Officer Program Development, Conducting Security Audits and Jail Evacuation and Implementation Training. He has received multiple awards and commendations including, three Bureau of Prisons and Bureau of Community Corrections Commendations, the Commissioner’s Coin and Commissioner’s Award.

“The Bureau of Prisons is fortunate to have a deep bench of highly capable and effective leaders,” said DeMatteis. “Warden May and Warden Mears have proven their ability to meet daily challenges in the complex operations that take place every day in our prisons, from security to treatment and programming, healthcare, food service and more, while remaining focused on our core duty to provide safe and humane supervision of adult offenders. I am pleased to promote them to new positions of increasing responsibility.”

The appointments will be effective Feb. 10.

“I look forward to working with Wardens Metzger, May and Mears in their new positions to enhance safety and security through technology and modernization of operations and to expand collaboration to improve rehabilitative programming and reentry initiatives to support our public safety goals,” said Bureau of Prisons Chief Shane Troxler.