Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley promised to do “everything possible” to secure prison officers and their families in light of reports of a Christmas hit list emanating from the Maximum Security Prison in Golden Grove. The Prime Minister promised an unrelenting approach to secure the country.
In just a matter of days, two prison officers were ambushed and killed while a third was attacked but survived.
In response to a text message from Guardian Media on Wednesday, the Prime Minister confirmed that he was concerned about the reports of the hit list.
“We are very aware of the perils surrounding the duties of honest hardworking prison officers and will do everything possible to secure them and their families,” the Prime Minister said.
He said that the Ministry of National Security would not surrender the prisons to the criminal element.
“It must be correctly assumed by all that the Ministry of National Security will not surrender the nation’s prisons land,” he said.
“The state will continue without ceasing, to have Trinidad and Tobago 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,” the Prime Minister said.
This reassurance of protection from the Prime Minister comes after the Prison Officers Association called on him to intervene.
The POA, during a news conference one day after prison officer Nigel Jones was gunned down, said that inmates at the Maximum Security Prison had declared war on the officers and had plans to kill 13 officers before Christmas.
The POA said then that the inmates threatened that if they are not moved from Building 13, which was renamed the Wayne Jackson Building, then they will kill 13 prisons officers.
In the last week, two prisons officers- Jones and Trevor Serette-were both shot and killed while off-duty.
Three days ago gunmen made an attempt on the life of another prison officer.
There is no confirmation yet on whether or not the Prime Minister has met or plans to meet with the Prison Officers Association as was requested.