Robert M. Coupe was today sworn in by Delaware Governor Jack Markell as Commissioner of the Delaware Department of Correction (DOC) during a ceremony held at the DOC Administration Building in Dover. Coupe was joined by his family and was surrounded by friends, former colleagues and special guests.
After taking the oath of office alongside his wife, Pamela, and their children, Jocelyn and Tyler, Coupe expressed his thoughts on assuming leadership responsibilities for the second-largest Executive branch agency in Delaware and, with more than 2,500 employees, the largest law enforcement agency in the State.
“I am humbled as I stand before you today,” Commissioner Coupe stated during his remarks. “It is truly an honor and a privilege to serve you as the new Commissioner of the Delaware Department of Correction. I accept the responsibility of the position and pledge my commitment to serve with dignity and honor befitting the integrity of the Department. I am excited as I join the leadership team of the Department of Correction and look forward to the opportunity to proudly serve alongside the dedicated men and women of the Department.”
Coupe also took the opportunity to unveil an overview of his leadership plan for the DOC. He shared five areas of concentration:
1. To create a climate of trust through open and honest communication, both within the Department and externally.
2. To prepare for and anticipate change, and not be surprised by it.
3. To have a succession plan that includes developing future leaders for their opportunity to lead.
4. To have transparency in the decision making process.
5. To create a culture of accountability and generate unity throughout the Department.
“I am confident that my leadership plan will reinforce the positive efforts of the employees of the Department of Correction while enhancing the public’s confidence in the Department,” said Coupe.
Coupe, recently retired from the Delaware State Police after almost 28 years of service to the Division, was nominated as Corrections Commissioner by Governor Jack Markell on March 1 and confirmed by the Delaware Senate on March 13. At the time of his retirement, Coupe was the Delaware State Police Superintendent Colonel.
Governor Markell, during his comments before the swearing in, highlighted Coupe’s past success heading the Delaware State Police and commended his ability as a leader.
“He is truly an extraordinary leader,” Governor Markell said of Coupe. “He is open, transparent, forward-thinking and has a sense of urgency.”
As Commissioner of the Department of Correction (DOC), Coupe will work with the bureaus of Management Services, Correctional Healthcare Services, Prisons, and Community Corrections, to supervise approximately 6,500 individuals incarcerated in prison, more than 1,000 offenders serving a sentence within a community corrections facility, and approximately 17,000 probationers living in the community.
A video from the ceremony is available on YouTube.