A new policing model is being drawn up by the garda authorities and will be rolled out in the new year, writes Tom Brady in today’s Irish Independent.
It will streamline and modernise crime investigations, leading to greater accountability within the force, and place more emphasis on the victims.
Specialist units will be overhauled and in some cases realigned or amalgamated to eliminate the current overlapping of responsibilities.
And a bigger focus will be put on crime prevention strategies. These will be implemented in tandem with the investigative measures.
The core of the plan was outlined by Garda Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan at a two-day meeting with her senior advisers at the Garda College in Templemore, Co Tipperary.
The meeting heard that the finer details of the policing plan were not yet ready to be publicly unveiled.
But its overall thrust has been agreed and will be put into action in the coming weeks.
It will incorporate recommendations from a series of reports by the Garda Inspectorate and these have already been studied in depth by working groups of senior officers.
The meeting was attended by the force’s assistant commissioners and civilian directors of sections.
The conference heard that it would be necessary to have “a full management team” in place early in 2015 to ensure that the new model was implemented speedily and effectively.
At the moment, the two crucial posts for deputy commissioner remain unfilled – one has been vacant since August last year.
The garda authorities are now pressing for the new Policing Authority to ensure that those appointments are made quickly.
A raft of promotions to the ranks of chief superintendent and superintendent are expected to be announced in the next few weeks, after Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald briefed her Cabinet colleagues on the outcome of the competitions.
It is expected that about six chiefs and 24 superintendent promotions will be sanctioned.
A third batch of 100 recruits will be taken into Templemore next month and the addition of 370 new vehicles to the garda fleet will be seen on the roads from the end of this year.
A review of national units and sections of the force’s headquarters in the Phoenix Park is aimed at optimising available resources.
Irish Independent, 22nd December 2014