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319 new Garda recruits rushed to frontline duties

20 Mar 2020 / policing Print

319 new Garda recruits rushed to frontline duties

The Garda Commissioner has made an operational decision to attest 319 Garda trainees from two separate intake classes earlier than scheduled.

Garda trainees generally complete 32 weeks of training at the Garda Training College, Templemore.

Brief ceremony

Justice and Equality minister Charlie Flanagan this morning welcomed 319 new members following a brief ceremony.

The new cohort will bring the number of sworn Gardaí to the highest ever, over 14,750.

The new cohort will be full Gardaí with full powers and will go to normal units teamed with more senior officers.

It is anticipated that they will, in many cases, initially assist with the community engagement being undertaken as part of the COVID-19 response.

Availability

The 319 new Gardaí will be deployed to Garda stations nationally to maximise the operational availability of An Garda Síochána and its ability to support other vital services in response to COVID-19. 

Minister Flanagan also praised the 124 members who are redeploying from their duties in the College to frontline policing. 

No families attended this morning’s brief ceremony during which strict social distancing was observed.

Minister Flanagan commended the determination and resilience of the new recruits.

“Your experienced colleagues and supervisors will be on hand to guide you. The Government will not be found wanting in our financial support to the organisation.  And I urge you to take strength too from the certainty that the community supports you,” Minister Flanagan said.

Commitment

He thanked them for their commitment to family, to community and to country.

“Your early deployment will make a real and positive impact – in deterring crime, supporting other vital public services and reinforcing public confidence in their Garda Síochána.”

The Commissioner has confirmed that the Garda members attesting early at today’s ceremony will return to the college when circumstances allow them to complete their formal training. 

Allocation

Government has allocated approximately €1.88 billion to the Garda Vote for 2020, which represents an increase of 7% on last year’s allocation.

Capital investment of €116.5 million is facilitating  investment in ICT, the Garda fleet and the Garda estate.

The Gardaí have also hired 210 extra community support vehicles.

Since the reopening of the Garda College in 2014, approximately 3,525 recruits have attested and been assigned to operational policing duties nationwide.

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