funeral Wayne Jackson

FLASHBACK: Members of the Prison Service carry the coffin of slain colleague Wayne Jackson at the funeral at Bethel Outreach Ministries, Malabar, Arima. —Photos: CURTIS CHASE

National Security agencies are now on high alert and prison officers are being advised to exercise extreme caution.

This follows a series of threatening messages posted to social media against prison officers.

The messages have revealed a plot to “kill any two officers”.

Commissioner of Prisons Gerard Wilson has warned officers to exercise caution and vigilance especially when off-duty.

Wilson stated that all security agencies were now on high alert and directives are in place.

In a statement on Tuesday, Wilson said security would also be provided to officers who live in what are deemed 'high risk' areas.

“This advisory comes after several threats began circulating via the WhatsApp medium, indicating a plot to 'kill any two officers',” the release stated.

And Minister of National Security Stuart Young, has also given the assurance that the safety and security of prison officers remain a top priority.

A release stated that Young strongly denounces the recent circulation of threatening messages being made against prison officers. He assured that all National Security law enforcement and intelligence agencies are on high alert and are working cohesively to support the safety of prison officers.

“The Minister thanks all prison officers for pledging their support to the State and for their dedication to duty at the nation’s prisons despite the current challenges. He vows to continue working together with the Trinidad and Tobago Prison Service to provide officers with a greater sense of security while performing their duties,” he stated.

On Monday, the ex-wife of a prison officer was shot dead outside her home at Albert Mark Street, Phase 4.

The motive for the killing of 51-year-old Sherry Ann Watson has not yet been determined.

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Last October, prison officer Darren Francis was about to enter his vehicle, which was parked outside his parents’ home at Hindustan Village, Sixth Company, when he was shot around 4.30 a.m.

The case remains unsolved and police are uncertain whether the death was linked to his job.

His colleagues, however, had called for protection as they were convinced that Francis’ death was as a direct result of his duties.

Following the shooting, president of the Prison Association Cerron Richards told the Express there were no words to ¬describe the feelings of prison officers, as the death had affected their psyche and morale.

Richards said: “Yes, of course. Officers are dying as a consequence of performing their legitimate duties. People are dying as a direct consequence of doing the State’s job. That is what is happening. They need to put officers at a higher priority.”

He said prison officers were concerned about their safety and were not willing to work.

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