The arrival of 11 new gardaí in Cork City will lead to a more “boots on the ground” approach to policing, Chief Superintendent Barry McPolin has said.
He made the comment as he welcomed 11 probationer gardaí who passed out from the Garda College, Templemore last Friday to the Cork City Garda Division. An additional garda has also been transferred to the division. They have been assigned to Gurranabraher, Anglesea Street, and Togher Garda Stations.
“This is a welcomed addition to our resources here in the city and will add to us being able to provide the best possible service to the community,” he said.
The arrival of the new gardaí follows sustained calls for increased Garda manpower in the city.
Last October, the Irish Examiner highlighted a surge in open drug-taking on the city’s streets, prompting calls from the city’s business leaders for more Garda resources.
Weeks later, the Garda Representative Association claimed that the division was short 125 frontline gardaí.
Earlier this month, Supt McPolin told the Cork City Joint Policing Committee that the
new gardaí would help deliver plans for targeted high-visibility evening foot and mountain bike patrols in the city.
Now he says a dedicated city centre-based high-visibility unit of uniformed members will soon be introduced to augment and support existing frontline units.
Their remit will be primarily to target persons involved in assaults, drugs, theft, and general antisocial behaviour, in line with the national strategy Operation Soteria, he said.
“This will reinforce An Garda Síochána’s commitment to enhance public safety in Cork City, working in tandem with the communities and other partners such as the city centre traders and businesses,” he said.
“The additional resources will also allow gardaí in Cork to increase the strengths of the Divisional Drugs Unit and Detective Branch Units. In general, we will start to see more boots on the ground and more high-visibility patrols.”
Since the start of the year, 24 new gardaí have been assigned to the Cork City Garda Division through the arrival of transfers and new probationer gardaí from Templemore.