Ramoutar slams “outrageous” statements by General Secretary of Prisons over recent murder of officer

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Ramoutar slams “outrageous” statements by General Secretary of Prisons over recent murder of officer

Commissioner of Prisons (Ag.), Mr. Deopersad Ramoutar has noted the circulation of a video published by the General Secretary of the Prisons Officers’ Association (2nd Divison), making several claims relative to the recent shooting death of a Prisons Officer and has issued the following statement.

In a statement, “The Office of the Commissioner of Prisons views with grave concern the publication of a video by the General Secretary of the Prisons Officers Association (2nd Division), and is worrisome as to whether the views expressed are those of the Prisons Officers Association (2nd Division) or of the individual himself.”

He said: “Being the head of this noble organization for the past year and ten months, the Prison Service has received admirable and unsurmountable support from the Ministry of National Security and I dare say the government of Trinidad and Tobago. I must admit that we have not received all that is needed, but it is understandable given the limited resources available in the economic market.”

“It is totally outrageous for the General Secretary to attack the Minister of National Security, the Honourable Mr. Fitzgerald Hinds, and indirectly the government of Trinidad and Tobago. In essence, if his suggestion were to be analyzed, it would be his endorsement for inmates to have illegal or unauthorized phones in their cells. The General Secretary’s call for legal phones to be installed in the Prison Service for the inmates is a matter on Prison Agenda. The officer works nowhere near the Administration and is completely unaware of the running of the Prison Service and its way forward.”

Ramoutar: “I have in the past spoken against unfair attacks on the Minister of National Security in relation to prison matters, and have been accused of ‘singing for my supper’. However, I can refute such claims for I have not had any supper during my tenure to date. What I have done though, is be an analytical and astute manager who is unafraid of criticism from crooked officers who are opposed to my tenure in office, and I will see them brought before the courts.”

“To date, there is no information from the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service or any other intelligence agency suggesting that the killing of Officer Kendell Smith, who was the holder of a Firearm Users License (FUL), was linked to him being an astute officer. The investigation is ongoing, and I vehemently state that the General Secretary’s statement can incite or have the potential to incite officers to panic and be afraid to do their jobs. Interestingly, he noted that the victim was a close and personal friend of his, so perhaps he can assist the police in providing a motive for his killing.”

“To my officers, I urge you to continue to stand firm. Do not panic, and do not be afraid. The job we do demands honesty, integrity, and transparency in public office. The Prison Service is in the best position it has ever been with regards to managing inmates and those officers who are willing to walk with me based on these principles, will have very little to be fearful about.”