THREE districts of the Cork City garda division are to reinstate their drugs units, thanks to increased resources and staff numbers, says Chief Superintendent Barry McPolin.
Togher, Mayfield, and Gurranabraher will all have drug units that will work in tandem with the divisional drug unit, which operates from Anglesea Station.
“The divisional drugs unit and the district drugs unit, in particular, over the past three to four years, have been reduced in numbers, because of the fact that our personnel numbers are down,” Chief Supt McPolin said.
“We are reconstituting the district drugs unit in Togher, Mayfield, and Gurranabraher and they will be linked in with the divisional drugs unit at Anglesea Street.”
Chief Supt McPolin said the units would increase the policing of drugs.
“If you devote dedicated staff to a particular specialist area, you would expect that there would be an increase in the level of proactive activity, in relation to dealing with the drugs problem that we have in Cork.”
The units will be manned by frontline gardaí on six-month placements, who will learn new skills and techniques, before returning to their post on the beat. “These won’t be permanent members attached to these units. There will be possibly a six-months rotation period, so that there will be uniformed members from the units who will have a chance to build up their level of expertise and skills in that particular area and bring them back, then, into the frontline policing arena.
“It is a training regime, also, as well as an upskilling and, most importantly, we are dealing with the serious issue of combating the scourge of drugs that are in our society.”
Chief Supt McPolin said the new units will help protect the public.
“It goes directly to the protection, safety, and security of communities we are serving, so it is perhaps another layer of dealing with serious issues that are in the community and drugs is one of them.”
As well as working with the divisional drug unit, the gardaí will also be working with the HSE, Cork City Council, and voluntary agencies.
“We also will be working very closely, at a strategic level, with our partners in the HSE and in the voluntary agencies and with Cork City Council, in relation to a number of initiatives that are currently in place here in Cork city.”