PASTOR Clive Dottin did not mince words as he delivered a scathing message to corrupt officials as well as the government over rising crime, as he officiated at the funeral on Monday for murdered security guard Jeffrey Peters.
Peters, 51, and his colleague Jerry Stuart were shot dead near the Pennywise Super Centre, La Romaine, on September 19 during a robbery attempt in which police later shot and killed four bandits.
Speaking during Peters' funeral at the Mt D'Or Seventh Day Adventist Church, Dottin took past and present governments to task for their inability to significantly curb crime.
Dottin said he was aware of the dangers security guards face on the job and knocked some companies for their treatment of these workers.
Referring to the murder toll, which as of Monday stood at 446 so far this year, Dottin warned those in authority that without proper action, the annual murder toll would continue to rise.
"I want to be frank with you. I think that private security officers are among the list of endangered species, more than the police and the soldiers, of course we have some Judases among them too.
"But private security officers...Lord have mercy, sometimes they are paid very low wages and are called upon to make the greatest sacrifices.
"And by the way, I don't want to be accused of attacking anybody but some of our capitalists have no heart," Dottin said.
Turning his attention to governments, Dottin said it was not reassuring that corruption continues to exist and thrive.
Referring to earlier remarks from president of the Southern Caribbean Conference of Seventh Day Adventist Churches, Leslie Moses, Dottin said governments – past and present – seem incapable of addressing crime and violence.
"A lawless and indisciplined nation cannot fight crime.
"One of our parties practise sick corruption and the other political party practises slick corruption.
"This land is corrupt, this land is bloodthirsty and as somebody said, some of our leaders are totally cluless.
"Some may be part of the problem so they cannot be part of the solution."
Referring to security camera footage of the robbery, Dottin also noted that Peters' killers seemed to have some experience using high-powered weapons. He questioned how young men were able to use such weapons with proficiency as he accused corrupt law enforcement officials of training criminals.
During his tribute, one of Peters' long-time friends Carlos Guy said while his friend's death was difficult to accept, he hopes it serves as a wake-up call for security companies to provide better equipment and vehicles to their employees.
He said while employers enjoyed the profits from their workers, they should be willing to equip their security guards with the life-saving materials.
During his eulogy, Peters' brother Devon Goodridge said he was heartened by the support from family and friends but also hoped that promises made during the funeral would be kept and urged mourners not to forget Peters' family.
Peters was buried at the Tunapuna Public Cemetery.