THE Cork City Garda Division is to get 24 probationer gardaí for the month of December.
They’ll be in place on a temporary basis to work on Operation Open City, which involves high visibility road policing duties over the busy Christmas period.
The probationers, which are due to graduate from Templemore Training College this week, will then be reallocated from January 2 to their permanent training stations in divisions outside Cork City.
It’s understood the Garda Commissioner will also allocate eight probationer gardaí to training stations within the Cork City Division on a permanent basis from the class passing out next week. Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan outlined the details when responding to questions from Cork Labour Deputy Seán Sherlock in the Dáil.
Mr Sherlock raised reports that only two gardaí were on patrol in Cork city on one Saturday night in March.
Mr Flanagan denied this was the case.
“I have been assured that on the night in question, significantly more than two Gardaí were on duty and available to patrol the city,” he said. At the end of October this year, there were 700 gardaí assigned to the Cork City Division, supported by 95 Garda staff and 33 Garda reserves.
According to the Justice Minister, 49 gardaí have been assigned to the Cork City Division since the end of 2015.
“The increase in Garda staff numbers from 59 to 95 (equivalent to an increase of 61%) over the same period means that as well as new gardaí assigned to the Division, additional gardaí can be redeployed from administrative to operational policing duties, where their training and policing expertise can be used to best effect,” Minister Flanagan said.
“Taken together, it can be expected that the increase in both Garda members and staff numbers represents a real increase in operational policing hours within the Cork City Division.
“The next intake of probationer gardaí will be attested on November 29, and transfer to their training stations on December 2. I have been informed that it is the intention of the Commissioner to allocate eight probationer Gardaí to training stations within the Cork City Division on a permanent basis,” the minister added.