A new operating model for policing in County Cork is to be rolled out on May 21 that will see more visible and accessible frontline and back-up gardaí, with a more responsive police force.
Chief Supt Vincent O’Sullivan told a Joint Policing Committee (JPC) on Monday that it will be the biggest operational change in An Garda Síochána in its 100-year history.
Under the reforms, the current divisional structures of Cork West and Cork North, with its districts of Macroom, Mallow, Bantry, Bandon, Clonakilty, Midleton, and Fermoy, will be transformed into one Operating Model Divisional Structure for the whole county.
Cork County Division will oversee the functional areas of Cork County North West community engagement, Cork County South West community engagement, Cork County North East community engagement, crime, business services, and performance assurance.
The new model will also mean more specialist services available at a local level. Cork County will have an on-duty Inspector at all times to provide enhanced response, and there will be a dedicated Superintendent responsible for crime investigations. Cork will see an increase in the number of Inspectors and Sergeants, increasing management and supervision on the frontline.
Each division will have community engagement teams responsible for specific community policing areas, and the larger division will employ up to 900 people, “able to build more crime-fighting skills in key areas such as fraud.” Divisions will continue to see skilled Garda staff moved into roles that allow redeployments to the frontline.
The reforms took into account best practice in other international police forces, external reports into the operation of An Garda Síochána, and the views of members of the public and the Government.
“Ireland is a changing society. There is change in crimes, and it’s a changing workforce. It’s a more diverse community requiring more proactive local policing,” added Chief Supt O’Sullivan.