Disgruntled Immigration Officers say punishment for escape of Haitian detainees is a slap on the wrist of those responsible

Nearly two months after the escape of five Haitians from the Immigration Department’s Detention Centre, disciplinary action has finally been taken; but staff members are dissatisfied with the “slap on the wrist” meted out to those responsible for the breach.

Reportedly, the supervisor of the shift on which the escape was made has been “suspended for a mere one week,” and some of his colleagues say this is naked bias and preferential treatment.

They point, again, to a 2020 incident in which a single detainee escaped and was recaptured the following day. In that instance, the staff say, the employees on duty were placed on six weeks suspension and half pay and the supervisor was demoted.

Officers also claim that there is an attempt by management to blame the escape of the Haitians on officers who were not even on duty at the time.

Meanwhile, one of the officers involved in the recent scandal that involves a Jamaican using a Canadian passport reportedly has “skipped town” while the other is being investigated.

Adding to their grievances, the staff claim that, for four years now, they have had no epaulettes to complete their uniforms and denote their rank.

“We are just walking around [looking] like security guards and nobody knows their rightful rank,” one says.

Yet again, they tell REAL News, the Minister responsible for Immigration, MP Paul “Chet” Greene, and Prime Minister Gaston Browne need to make an intervention “before things get worse” and since morale in the Department is so low.