Monday, 30 October 2017

No Firearms For Off Duty Trinidad and Tobago Prison Officers

17 officers killed within the last 15 years.
 Prisons Officers Association president Ceron Richards:“They murdering us with impunity but no government putting laws in place. Nobody is creating a deterrent,”

Prison Officers have been breaking the Law, their own internal regulations and the People' s trust with impunity as well for the last fifty years, but let's be brutal with the facts. No hit can be ordered from behind prison walls on anyone on the outside, without active collusion and conspiracy between the incarcerated criminal element, their outside conspirators  and prison officers themselves.

Whether the hit is on innocent civilian witnesses, other criminal elements or prison officers, instructions cannot be issued unless prison officers are themselves part of the conspiracy.

Only prison officers can allow cell phones into the prisons. And only prison officers can otherwise facilitate the necessary communication between the incarcerated criminal mastermind and the trigger man on the outside for a hit to be ordered.

Arming off duty prison officers is not the answer. Weeding out compromised and corrupt officers is the only sensible and practical solution because we may very well be arming the same officers who together with criminal elements are plotting the assassination of their colleagues.

If off duty Prison Officer "A" is armed, what is to stop rogue Prison Officer "B" from informing the hit-man that Officer "A" is armed? Or why would the hit man not simply assume that the officer is indeed armed and plan accordingly? The element of surprise is all that is needed to render the officer's firearm useless to him and have it end up in the hands of his attackers. It happened to the special forces soldier who was recently relieved of his pistol after being shot in the head.

Being in possession of a firearm does not guarantee the safety of the off duty prison officer. None other than Prison Commissioner Mike Hercules learned this the hard way when a 16 year old 'duncey-head' piece of shit from Morvant named Nevada Johnson shot him dead and stole his firearm.

Criminals, as we all know, routinely and fearlessly engage in shoot-outs with well trained, heavily armed police squads and teams. What makes Prison Officers believe that the same armed criminals would hesitate to target the individual off duty prison officer, who even though armed, like Hercules was, when attacked, is usually alone or with an unarmed friend or two. Or even if armed that he would stand a snowballs chance in hell of surviving a hail of bullets directed at him?

The fatal shooting of the two Diaz brothers, both of them prison officers, took place as they were leaving a rum shop at 2.30 in the morning. One wonders whether they could have passed sobriety tests and what might have happened had they been armed at the time. Family members admit that the brothers had been the recipients of death threats over a period of time.

People, generally, need to take responsibility for their own actions, and by extension, their own safety and Prison officers are not exempt from that need to exercise reasonable and sensible precaution as they go about their daily off duty routines. They, more than anyone else ought to be aware of the occupational risks they face, which incidentally they are paid to face, both on and off the job.

But putting occupational risks aside, the Prison Officers Association needs to rid itself of the notion and the belief that its officers are saints when on the job and sacrificial lambs when off. Prison Officer Bernard Kirk was killed in May 2010 during a drunken brawl at Salybia Beach between a group of prison officers who it is alleged were drunk and misbehaving, beating members of a family who were on the beach. We can well imagine the blood bath that would have resulted had any of these officers been armed.

The commissioner needs to examine to what extent the activities of his officers behind prison walls contribute to attacks they sustain on the outside. It has been established on many occasions, even in the courts,  that prison officers inflict unnecessary and unprovoked brutality on inmates, many times simply because of the officers' ignorance, their bullying nature and their own criminal predisposition to violence. And when these acts of criminal behaviour involving the abuse of prisoners are reported a web of deception and perjured testimony is concocted and weaved by the prisons brotherhood up to the highest levels to frustrate, pervert and derail the wheels of justice.

The wife and daughter of slain Prison Officer Robert Seecharan painted a picture of a sadistic, violent officer who took pleasure in brutalizing prisoners to a bloody pulp and boasting about it, even coming home with his uniform spattered with bllod. He was issued with a firearm for his protection when off duty.

Is that the type of conduct the State is being called upon to protect by giving firearms to off duty prison officers. And housing as well? Most decent law abiding citizens would recoil at the thought of a badly behaved, rogue prison officer from a traditional hot spot crime infested neighborhood where he has probably lived all his life becoming their (next door)neighbor.

We say a resounding NO! No firearms for off duty prison officers. No special housing consideration for them either, other than what they can qualify for. Clean up the service and let them simply behave themselves on the job. Attacks against them on the outside may very well cease.

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  1. Published: Wednesday, November 8, 2017
    AG,"We must stop criminal empires in prison"

    Prison officers will be safer once the corruption and operation of criminal empires in prisons are stamped out, Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi maintained yesterday

    “Did the grenade at the Frederick Street prison (in the July 2015 jailbreak) get there by magic? Let’s call a spade a spade. There are good prison officers - but there’s also a problem. It requires collaborative effort to stamp out the corruption and stop the criminal empires in the prison system,”

    “How do phones get into the prison? How does contraband get in - not by itself. Last year, we logged a million illegal text messages over three months and 330,000 illegal phone calls in one month (during a period of surveillance).”

    1. Finally!!

      Some one in Officialdom recognizes the real issue and only sensible solution as preached by this blog for the last six years


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