Guns for prison officers

Tuesday, September 17, 2019 - 16:30

Na­tion­al Se­cu­ri­ty Min­is­ter Stu­art Young made good yes­ter­day on the PNM’s 2018 bud­get promise to pro­vide 250 firearms for prison of­fi­cers.


This lat­est pro­vi­sion to pro­tect prison of­fi­cers comes sev­er­al months af­ter of­fi­cers were pro­vid­ed with 250 stab vests.

De­scribed as one of the most dan­ger­ous pro­fes­sions in this coun­try, prison of­fi­cers have been ap­peal­ing for more to be done to en­sure their safe­ty for years.

In a press re­lease af­ter the han­dover of the Smith and Wes­son M&P firearms, Young said very ear­ly af­ter he as­sumed of­fice as Na­tion­al Se­cu­ri­ty Min­is­ter, he met with the T&T Prison Ser­vice and the Prison Of­fi­cers As­so­ci­a­tion to dis­cuss the is­sues fac­ing the of­fi­cers.

The guns will be giv­en to of­fi­cers on a “keep and car­ry” sys­tem.

In the re­lease, Young said he took the op­por­tu­ni­ty to reaf­firm his com­mit­ment to the men and women in the Prison Ser­vice. He said the min­istry is cur­rent­ly im­ple­ment­ing a num­ber of mea­sures to ad­dress the is­sues af­fect­ing the or­gan­i­sa­tion.

Since 2009, 16 prison of­fi­cers have been killed.

Four of them were mur­dered in the last two years.

Last Oc­to­ber, two of­fi­cers, Su­per­in­ten­dent of Pris­ons Wayne Jack­son and of­fi­cer Dar­ren Fran­cis were mur­dered out­side their homes.

An­oth­er of­fi­cer, Khalil Baksh’s home was fire­bombed, al­though he es­caped harm.

 - by Sharlene Rampersad