Four days after another prison officer was gunned down the Commissioner of Prisons is saying all will be done to protect officers but arming all of them is not the answer.
The call to give prison officers guns has been made on several occasions by the Prison Officers Association.
Speaking on CNC3’s The Morning Brew today, Commissioner of Prisons Dennis Pulchan said the concerns for safety being expressed are valid and are actively being looked into.
But, on the issue of distributing guns to all officers, Pulchan said:
“It is not something I would like to give to every single officer.”
He said if he announced that all officers will get guns, they would automatically targeted.
He added that it is a decision to be made based on the risks posed to a particular officer.
Commissioner Pulchan explained that the responsibility that comes with a firearm is “enormous” and he would prefer that candidates for firearms undergo psychological evaluations and risk assessments.
He added that because officers are being targeted, the service has started having patrols by high-risk officers’ houses, along with the necessary safety discussions.
Pulchan said all the legal options are being explored to protect prison officers.
On Friday, 48-year-old prison officer Sherwin Francis was ambushed and killed at his Chaguanas home, in what some of his colleagues speculate may have been a hit called from inside the Golden Grove Prison, due to an ongoing hunger strike by prisoners.