MP for Fyzabad Dr Lackram Bodoe is urging Government to act swiftly to provide leadership at the head of the police service, after the murder of one of his constituents, prison officer Nigel Michael Jones.
He said the prison is an important arm of national security and more needs to be done to protect prison officers.
Bodoe told Newsday the killing of Jones at the Fyzabad taxi stand in Siparia on Monday, shows just how emboldened criminals have become in Trinidad and Tobago.
“The fact that these criminals chose to gun down Mr Jones in broad daylight, in a public place, and in the presence of his six-year-old daughter, is a signal that they fear no one and will show no mercy regardless of the circumstances.
“The fact that Mr Jones’ young child will now be scarred psychologically for life obviously did not matter to these hardened criminals.”
Jones had taken his daughter shopping in Siparia and the two were waiting for a taxi to take them to their home at Ruby Roberts Lane, Fyzabad around 3 pm, when a car pulled up next to them and the occupants started shooting.
Three days before, another prison officer, Trevor Serrette, 48, was shot dead at his fruit stall in Valencia. Both worked at Wayne Jackson Building, Maximum Security Prison in Arouca.
Bodoe expressed his deepest condolences to Jones's family, friends and loved ones.
“As a prison officer, he would have given service in the protection of society, in his role as a custodian of persons incarcerated for various criminal offenses.
“The very fabric of society is threatened when citizens like Mr Jones, charged with the responsibility of looking after those in our prisons, can so easily be taken out.
“The TT Prison Service, as an arm of our criminal justice system, is an important barrier that protects society from descending into anarchy. It is critical that more be done to protect prison officers.”
Prisons Commissioner Dennis Pulchan viewed the killings as an attack on the country and law enforcement officers.
"I think there are coward murderers out there that need to be stopped. They cannot be killing hard-working officers who came out here to do a job. These people (slain prison officers) are young men who are married and have children," Pulchan said.
Bodoe said he hopes the perpetrators of this crime will be brought to swift justice.
“In this regard, I urge the Minister of National Security Fitzgerald Hinds to ensure that the TTPS is adequately resourced, especially in the light of what appears to be increasing criminal activity.
“The Government must act swiftly to provide leadership at the highest level of police service, by ensuring that a Commissioner of Police (Cop) is appointed in an expeditious manner.”
He said he hopes that the newly appointed Police Service Commission (PSC) is moving rapidly to bring to the Parliament the best candidate for this critical job.