Civilian staff set to man Cork garda control room

Civilian staff set to man Cork garda control room
 Garda Sandra Conroy pictured recently in Anglesea Street's control room. It will soon be manned by civilian staff. Pic; Larry Cummins

THE control room in Anglesea Street garda station will be fully manned by civilian staff in the coming weeks.

Training of the new staff is due to get underway as part of a programme which will free up gardaí from administration for operational policing. Chief Superintendent Barry McPolin said the control room currently handles 999 calls for Cork’s three garda divisions, as well as the Kerry division. It will shortly also handle calls for Limerick, making it a regional control room for the Southern region. The region takes in Cork, Kerry and Limerick.

Chief Supt McPolin said the Anglesea Street model will be based on a similar one operating in Harcourt Square in Dublin. He explained that the civilians will initially handle calls coming into the control room.

“Over the next 18 months to two years, they will be handling the call dispatches as well,” he said.

He added that 12 gardaí have been reassigned to operational duties from administration in the last 12 months. Seven more will be similarly redeployed shortly, with a further seven to be taken out of administration after that tranche.

The measures are being done to free up gardaí under the Modernisation and Renewal Programme (2016-2021). Also among the changes being rolled out across the country is a pilot programme getting underway in Cork, Dublin South Central, Galway and Mayo.

The 12-month pilot will mean that all serious crime investigation will be centralised in Anglesea Street station, while community engagement policing will be directed locally on the northside and southside by two superintendents.

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