From a memo from then-Interim Secretary Walter McNeil to staff regarding the death of Holmes CI Colonel Greg Malloy, who was killed in the line of duty that day, February 2, 2011.
Pictured top: Colonel Greg Malloy;
Pictured bottom: A Correctional Officer holds
a program at Colonel Malloy's funeral.
(Photo by the Northwest Florida Daily News)
Wednesday, February 2, 2011
Memo from Interim Secretary Walter McNeil to staff:
Holmes CI Colonel Greg Malloy killed in the Line of Duty
Our Corrections family is mourning the loss today of one of our own, Holmes CI Colonel Greg Malloy, who died in the line of duty while working with a Department K-9 unit tracking a suspected killer in Holmes County. The suspect who was being pursued died in the exchange of gunfire.
Words fail me at times like these. Greg was one of our elite K-9 officers, who responded to the call when local law enforcement, in this case the Holmes County Sheriff's Office, asked for our help. We get these calls daily from law enforcement all over the state, and our officers who choose to participate in K-9 units know how dangerous and unpredictable the outcome can be – but they go anyway.
Greg died a hero, protecting others. While that fact will not alleviate the pain of his loss to each of you, it will be his legacy.
My condolences to Greg's family, his friends and co-workers. Our Corrections family will pull together to get each other through this tragedy, as we always do.
Make use of our Employee Assistance Program if you feel the need. I urge you all to be vigilant, not just to the dangers inherent in your jobs, but to the needs of each other during this difficult time.
Chief Walter A. McNeil, Interim Secretary
Department of Corrections
Secretary's Message on Friday, February 4, 2011
Holmes CI Colonel Greg Malloy
As you know, we lost one of our shining stars on Wednesday, February 2, when Holmes CI Colonel Greg Malloy was killed during an exchange of gunfire with a suspected killer that he and his K-9 team were pursuing with local law enforcement. One of our other K-9 officers, CO Arthur Teal, was also injured, but has since been released from the hospital.
Colonel Malloy rose quickly through the Department's ranks, beginning in 1988 as a CO at Okaloosa CI and Work Camp, where he worked his way up to Lieutenant. From there he was promoted to Captain at Washington CI in 2007, then Major at Tomoka CI Work Camp before returning home to his roots in the Panhandle when he was promoted to Colonel at Holmes CI in July 2010.
He had recently completed the Department's Leadership Succession of Command Training. In a survey from that class, he credited his mother and father for instilling in him good values and a strong work ethic. He was close to his family, particularly his daughter, whom he adored. He made sure he attended as many of her sporting events as possible, even the out-of-town games. One colleague said simply, "She was his heart."
Recently-retired Mary Ellen Dayan was the Warden at Holmes CI when Greg was promoted to Colonel. She tells this story.
"From the day he arrived at Holmes CI, it was obvious that Greg was strongly committed to staff. He came to work in the early morning hours and visited with midnight staff every day. He stood inside the gate every morning and afternoon so he could greet staff members coming on duty or leaving for home. He convinced other Department Heads in medical, education, maintenance, etc., to stand with him on different days. Line staff became used to having a chance to speak with him each day or just to say 'hi' and he had a remark or kind word for every one of them. I spoke with many staff at Holmes (the morning after his death) and they said the hardest thing for them was walking through the gate knowing the Colonel was not there. Many had to sort of regroup before walking in," she said.
Current Holmes CI Warden John Whitfield spoke with Greg before he left the institution to assist his K-9 Unit. He relayed these thoughts about Greg's character and attitude. "Greg Malloy was one of the finest men I've been honored to know. It did not take long after I met him to realize that his character and integrity were unimpeachable. He loved his family, his career, the people he worked with and the Florida Department of Corrections. Greg did not have to be where he was Wednesday morning, but he felt so strongly about his mission to protect the citizens of Holmes County and the people that he worked with that he insisted on going. How many Colonels go on K-9 runs? Normally it is a Lieutenant or Captain. We got the call that morning from the Holmes County S.O. that double murder suspect Wade Williams had been located and had shot a citizen and they were requesting K-9 assistance. Colonel Malloy came to my office with his fatigues under his arm and said "Boss, I've got to go with them, this is a dangerous run and they're my men and I need to be with them. We've got to get Williams locked up before he kills someone else." Normally a Colonel doesn't tell the Warden what he is going to do, but that is how strongly he felt about his responsibility to his men on that day. Having been a former K-9 Officer and K-9 Sergeant, he knew they could benefit from his experience. The K-9 team members said that as they ran the track they could tell from the dogs' actions they were very close to the subject and that Colonel Malloy was constantly giving them advice trying to protect them. Colonel Greg Malloy gave the ultimate sacrifice trying to protect the men he loved and felt responsible for. I will never forget my time on earth with a true HERO: Greg Malloy."
Greg's fellow K-9 team members said they not only lost their Colonel this week, they lost their friend. An institution lost a leader, and a mentor. A daughter lost her loving father. A family lost their brother, and son. This Department lost one of its shining stars. And the state of Florida lost an outstanding public servant, and an honest-to-God hero.