UNC candidate for Barataria/San Juan, Saddam Hosein during a walkabout on Don Miguel Road in Barataria.

The Barataria/San Juan MP met with members of the Prison Officers Association and is now calling on the Minister of National Security to take the necessary steps to ensure the safety of prison officers.

The call comes on the heels of the ambush and murder of prison officer Sherwin Francis.

In a statement released to the media yesterday, MP Saddam Hosein said in recent times “there has been a substantial amount of killings of prison officers in this country.”

He said these have occurred after despite several calls to the Government has failed to provide ample safety measures to protect these officers.

The MP said continuing with his frequent consultations, on Thursday he held a meeting with members of the Prison Officers Association.

Hosein said, “A lengthy discussion on many issues affecting the safety of prison officers was made a priority. In particular, there were discussions on implementing legislation to treat with the arming of prison officers, secure housing and camera systems for prison officers. These issues are of utmost concern after the recent murder of Prison Officer Sherwin Francis who was ambushed and killed at his residence on September 19 2020.”

He added, the issue of safety was not the only topic discussed as he said it was noted as a matter of grave concern that the government has taken no proactive steps in order to treat with any outbreak of COVID-19 cases in the prisons.

The MP said, “there must be established health protocols and international health guidelines implemented in the prison in order to prevent any serious outbreak.”

As such the Barataria/San Juan MP has called on the Minister of National Security Stuart Young “to take the required steps to ensure the safety of these officers who risk their lives and the lives of their families on a daily basis in national service.”

He said the safety of “our prison officers are of utmost priority and importance to the security of our country.”

Commissioner of Prisons Dennis Pulchan said the safety of officers was being treated with, but dismissed the idea that all officers would be given firearms as a means of protection.