Some 50 gardaí to return to front line duty, says deputy commissioner
Recruits told number of new gardaí exceeding number leaving for first time since 2009
Garda recruit Aoife Siggins from Coolock, Co Dublin, takes part in the passing out ceremony at the Garda Síochána College in Templemore, Co Tipperary, on Thursday. Photograph: Don Moloney/Press 22
More gardaí are to be transferred from administrative duties to front line policing in the next few months. Deputy Garda Commissioner John Twomey said the recruitment of new civilian staff, who are expected to work in human resources, finance, administration and other areas, “will release a number of guards out onto the street”.
Speaking at a passing out ceremony for recruits at the Garda Síochána College in Templemore, Co Tipperary, he said “in the region of 50” gardaí will be able to leave station duties in the next few months to take up front line policing.
“We have no desire or interest,” he said, “in keeping any members of An Garda Síochána at duties other than out on the front line, preventing crime and detecting it when it happens.”
He said the number of recruits was exceeding the number leaving and retiring for the first time since 2009. A total of 840 gardaí had passed out of the Garda college since recruitment resumed just over a year ago, with another 800 to be taken on this year.
Garda management is hoping to recruit 800 gardaí every year to increase the total strength to 15,000. The number fell from about 14,500 in 2009 to 12,800 last year but trainee intakes and graduations have increased it to 13,000 at the moment.
“It’s a long-term plan to ensure there’s an equal spread in all areas, the length and breadth of Ireland, to ensure every areas sees the increase in numbers . . . Every community will feel the benefits of the new recruitment campaign,” the deputy commissioner said.
Garda Commissioner Nóirin O’Sullivan told the new gardaí the trust gained by the force from the community over the years “cannot be, and should not be, taken for granted” in their careers.
She said the force’s values of service with honesty, accountability, respect, professionalism, and empathy were informed by the “moral authority” which was its guiding principle.
This moral authority also informed the code of ethics recently developed for the Garda by the Policing Authority.
“Both our values and the code of ethics are grounded in the reality that we cannot do our job without the assistance, support or trust of the public we serve. This trust cannot be, and should not be, taken for granted in your new careers.”
She urged the new gardaí to treat everyone they met as they would like to be treated themselves, with respect, empathy, impartiality, and dignity.
“To quote from the leadership section of the code of Ethics, ‘I will aim to behave in a manner which brings credit to An Garda Síochána and myself, and also promote public confidence in policing,’” she said.