NATION

Panapasa Recognised For Long Service, Good Conduct

  You are going die today. This phrase would never be erased from the mind of Principal Corrections Officer (PCO) Luna Panapasa – a dark reminder of his harrowing experience
03 Feb 2017 11:00
Panapasa Recognised For Long Service, Good Conduct
Prinicipal Correction Officer Luna Panapasa during the Fiji Corrections Service commissioner parade yesterday.Photo:Vilimoni Vaganalau.

 

You are going die today.

This phrase would never be erased from the mind of Principal Corrections Officer (PCO) Luna Panapasa – a dark reminder of his harrowing experience in the 2000 mutiny.

His hard work and dedication to the Fiji Corrections Service over the years was recognised yesterday.

He was awarded with a long service and good conduct medal at the Naboro Corrections Complex.

He was among than 50 Corrections officers, recipients of the awards.

“I served in the Corrections service for more than 20 years,” PCO Panapasa said.

The former Republic of Fiji Military Forces officer said in that 20 years of service, one of the most horrifying experiences was the breakout at Korovou Corrections Complex in 2000.

“The inmates broke out of the Korovou prison, one experience which I can’t even imagine,” PCO Panapasa said.

“Just imagine there were more than 400 inmates in the Korovou Prison Complex at that time, and it is sad that some of my closest friends betrayed me.

“The inmates started breaking out and they threatened us that they were going to kill all of us.”

Despite the chaos, he managed to keep his calm and kept reminding the inmates that none of them was above the law.

PCO Panapasa said the inmates were aggressive and shouted out to the prison officers that they would be killed that day.

However, they managed to contain the inmates and calm the situation.

PCO Panapasa also served on peacekeeping duties in Sinai and Lebanon.

“I served at least three times in Lebanon and once in Sinai whilst with the Republic of Fiji Military Forces.

“Most of my teenage life was spent in peace keeping duties overseas and it had taught me a lot that has helped me come this far,” he said.

He thanked his wife for standing in and looking after their children while he was in the call of duty.

“I want to thank my family for their full support and everyone behind me throughout the 26 years as a Corrections Officer,” PCO Panapasa said.

He advised young Correction officers to invest in education.

“As Correction Officers, we should try to discipline ourselves first if we wanted to discipline inmates-this is how I carry myself,” PCO Panapasa said.

Edited by Caroline Ratucadra

Feedback:  arieta.vakasukawaqa@fijisun.com.fj

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