EDITORIAL: September 2018 is a big month for An Garda Síochána. This is the month we welcome our new Commissioner, Mr. Drew Harris, and the GRA is very happy to so do. In doing so, we would like to take this opportunity to also thank Acting Commissioner Dónall Ó Cualáin for his continued service over the last year.
When Mr. Harris’s appointment was announced, the GRA was especially pleased to note that he was both a police officer and one with proven senior operational and management experience on the island of Ireland. Mr. Harris has worked very closely with An Garda Síochána over many years and so is likely to better understand policing issues as they present themselves across the country.
The issues that need to be addressed by the new Commissioner are, of course, well known following report after report in recent years. From IT systems, recruitment, supervision, equipment and training down to the current garda uniform which is not fit for purpose; all stakeholders, are fully aware of what needs to be done.
More specifically however, if Mr. Harris can speed the process up for a new uniform for the Frontline that encapsulates not just look but safety and comfort for our members, this will be hugely appreciated by Frontline gardaí. Couple this with the roll out of both Body Cameras and Tasers, as well as occupational supports for our members’ mental well-being and our new Commissioner will have achieved more in his first year, than many of his predecessors have in their full term.
Government must now provide Mr. Harris and his team with all the financial support to ensure that these critical changes outlined are made without delay. Then and only then, will we truly have an organisation that enjoys as much public trust and support, as does its Frontline officers.
Mr. Harris, we look forward to working with you to achieve the best we can for our Frontline officers and the public we serve knowing that you will work with us in ensuring this will occur during your tenure.
For full and in-depth coverage, see the current printed edition of Garda Review.