Man of the Year

Man of the Year
Lieutenant Steven R. Floyd
“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” 
John 15:13

By Joseph R. Uliano, M.A., Ed.S.

The honor bestowed upon a “Man of the Year,” is reserved for someone who is so extraordinary no other man can surpass him. Unfortunately, at times, this prestigious title is often kicked around like an old can, awarding individuals who meet criteria solely supported by popular opinion (sometimes shaped by propaganda) or handed out for the potential benefits of spreading controversy and increasing sales. Yes, I just said that. It’s the truth. Far too many recipients of the “Man of the Year” award do not deserve it. I’ve seen way too many awardees celebrated, while the truth is they hide behind the podiums they speak from or kneel in front of, while pontificating about what real honorable men achieve and the hurdles they must overcome. It’s the old “Do as I say and not as I do.” These folks get their participation trophy, so to speak, while real deserving men get cast aside. But no more.

NJ Blue Now is proud to recognize admirable men and women who positively contribute to society as a whole rather than a portion of society that benefits only a selective population. Unfortunately, our pool of candidates and award recipients are not always present to receive the honors that they deserve, because many of them have paid the ultimate sacrifice, so that others could live. We honor and appreciate all of those who have not been considered this year for their unwavering commitment to help those in need, especially from those who knew their actions would ultimately cost them their lives. There are no greater heroes than those who made the ultimate sacrifice in the defense of another.

It is with great honor and privilege that Lieutenant Steven Floyd of the Delaware Department of Corrections is herby posthumously named our 2017 Man of the Year.

On Feb. 2, 2017 the normalcy of Lt. Floyd’s life changed in a flash. Earlier in the day he walked through the iron gates of the Delaware prison system, not knowing his sixteen-year career, and his life would end several hours later. Lt. Floyd, age 47, a former Army Veteran, began his tour of duty, and like every other day watched out for his subordinates, and made sure his job was done with the upmost professionalism and respect. He was a man of integrity whose reputation was impeccable. He was the model supervisor who other supervisors sought for guidance and perspective, especially during times of adversity. He was the flagship—the rock upon which officers built their careers. They knew when the struggle was on, when the risks were greater than anyone could ever imagine, Lt. Floyd would be the first one through the door—the first one to make a stand against evil and injustice. That’s how he led. That’s how he lived and that’s how he died.

It was a normal day at work just like any other when Lt. Floyd heard the call for help from one of his subordinate officers. A riot was breaking out from volatile prisoners who were seething over grievances at the prison, and it quickly got extremely violent. Lt. Floyd rushed to assist the officer calling for help. He engaged the rioting inmates, who overpowered him and took him captive. Lt. Floyd courageously fought his captors, who brought him to a secluded location, where they set up an ambush to kill additional responding officers seeking to rescue him. Lt. Smith although injured, was aware of what was transpiring. He knew if responding officer were to enter the room, they would die. Lt. Floyd ordered the officers to retreat—to save their own lives—while his was ultimately sacrificed for theirs.

After a twenty-hour hostage standoff, where Lt. Floyd and four other prison employees were held captive, the Delaware State Police finally breached the walls and found Lt. Floyd dead. The cause of death was later determined to be a direct result of the trauma he sustained at the hands of his captors. In the Bible, John 15:13 it tells how “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” LT. Floyd lived and died with honor and distinction only a few men ever achieve.

The life and service of Lt. Floyd was honorable and worthy of all praise and recognition. He was a family man, married for twenty-eight years to his wife, Sandra. They had two daughters, Candyss and Chyvante; and a son Steven Jr. Lt. Floyd’s call to service never ended with his shift though, as he was committed to serving his community through several civic organizations, and routinely supported his local schools and little league sport teams, while never deviating away from supporting his family, as he often volunteered to work overtime to ensure that his children’s college was paid for.

Lt. Floyd’s ultimate sacrifice allowed other officers to live. We at NJ Blue Now proudly present Lt. Floyd’s family our Man of the Year award. We remember him for heroism, valor, bravery and service. And for being the model for which all officers should aspire. May he continue to rest in peace. Job well done Lt. Floyd.