Garda Síochána Reserve
The Garda Síochána Reserve is the volunteer reserve section of the Garda Síochána - the police force of Ireland. It was created in 2006 and the first 36 Reserves graduated on 15 December 2006 at the Garda College, in Templemore.
The Garda Síochána Act 2005 provides for the establishment of a Garda Reserve, consisting of approx 1,000 persons or 10% of the regular force, to assist in performing its functions. Its purpose is to supplement the work of members of the Garda Síochána. The first 900 recruits to the Reserve were expected to be in place by September 2006. 1030 Reserve members have been deployed to date (February 2013).
The Reserve will carry out duties defined by the Garda Commissioner and sanctioned by the Minister for Justice and Equality.
The Garda Reserve is intended to be a source of local strength and knowledge. Reserve members will be given full powers and duties, however these powers have been restricted and will be rolled out at the discretion of the commissioner.
Reserve members will receive training in Irish law, self-defence, restraint, human rights, Garda procedures and discipline. Reserve members are required to work under the supervision of regular members of the Force. A Garda Reserve has no set amount of time to work, but in order to gain expenses, they are required to work a minimum of 208 hours per year, with minimum tour durations of 4 hours.
Duties of a Reservist including station duty (other than care & custody of detained persons), staffing communications rooms, foot patrol, static security duty, event policing, preserving crime scenes, court attendance (as witnesses), assisting at road traffic checkpoints, collisions, fires, etc.
Reserve Gardaí members dress in the same uniform as regular members, the distinguishing mark of a reserve member is the letters GR on the shoulder number of the reserve member. Reserves are permitted limited access to the PULSE system. Members will not be deployed in plain clothes or carry firearms.
Duties and powers assigned to Reserve Gardaí will be commensurate to their training and will primarily involve legislation relating to road traffic, public order, drugs, theft & burglary.
The powers of Reserve Gardaí will be restricted and amended at the discretion of the commissioner in accordance with Section 15 of the Garda Síochána Act 2005. Since 28 May 2007 the powers have encompassed limited Road Traffic Act powers and Section 4 of the Criminal Law Act 1997.
There are also additional powers announced by Alan Shatter, the current Minister of Justice, which will include powers to deal with public order offences and the seizure of vehicles in accordance with Section 41 of the Road Traffic Act 1961, these will be done through a phased basis, expected to be implemented at year end of 2012, although no exact date is confirmed yet .
- "First Garda Reserve members graduate". RTÉ News (RTÉ). 15 December 2006. Retrieved 2007-05-26.
- Irish Statute Book, Acts of the Oireachtas, Garda Síochána Act 2005, Section 15