THE Prime Minister has told prison officers and their families that all will be done to protect them after two officers were murdered three days apart.
In a Facebook post on Thursday morning Dr Rowley said: “It must be correctly assumed by all that the Ministry of National Security will not surrender the nation's prisons, and the State will continue without ceasing to have Trinidad and Tobago remain a place where there is the rule of law and that there is adequate and effective law enforcement at every level so as to secure the peace and safety of all citizens.”
Rowley’s statement came two days after Prison Officers Association president Ceron Richards called for a meeting with him.
On Tuesday, National Security Minister Fitzgerald Hinds said he relies on the professionals for technical solutions when asked what the ministry would do to address the concerns of prison officers, who claimed there is a threat to kill 11 more officers before Christmas.
On November 26 prison officer Trevor Serrette was killed at his fruit stall in Valencia. Three days later Nigel Jones was gunned down in front of his daughter at the Fyzabad taxi stand in Siparia. Both men worked at the Wayne Jackson Building (Building 13) at the Maximum Security Prison in Arouca.
On Tuesday night, a prison officer was shot at in Tunapuna. An off-duty policeman shot one of the attackers, who is now warded under police guard. The police officer was also shot in the gun battle.
Rowley said: “We are very aware of the perils surrounding the duties of honest, hardworking prison officers and have taken note of the onslaught aimed at these officers of State. We will do everything possible to secure them and their families.”
Inmates at Building 13 have denied that the deaths of the officers are linked to their claims of abuse by prison officials. One inmate claimed the officers are “playing victims” after provoking a situation.