People of various nationalities, skill sets, ages and backgrounds are being urged to join the Garda Reserve as part of a fresh recruitment drive launched yesterday, Thursday, March 23.
An Garda Síochána is appealing for new applicants to its popular Reserve programme as the organisation seeks to diversify its ranks further under its Modernisation and Renewal Programme.
The application process to fill new Reserve places opened yesterday. It will run for three weeks. People from 18 to 60 can apply. The aim is to recruit 300 Reserves in 2017.
This recruitment drive follows a Government commitment to increase the strength of the Garda Reserve to 2,000 by 2021.
Garda Reservists are voluntary members of the police service. The programme affords members of the public an opportunity to develop hands-on policing experience in their locality. Tasks involve dealing with public order incidents, high-visibility patrolling, traffic management, attending major events, carrying out administrative duties, and providing general support to full-time Garda members.
‘Give Something Back’ is the theme of the three-week recruitment campaign with people interested in volunteering to work in their local community being encouraged to apply.
New figures show that the Reserve programme is being used by many as a stepping stone to a full-time career in the Gardaí. Since 2006, more than 200 Garda Reservists have gone on to pursue full-time careers in the organisation, including 110 since last year alone.
Other key facts about the current Reserves intake include:
• The current strength of the Garda Reserve is 663
• 182 are women, 481 are men
• The average age of a female Reserve is 36, compared to 40 for male Reserves
• 20 different nationalities are represented including people who are Iranian, Polish, Nigerian, Italian, Lithuanian, Albanian, Indian and Chinese
• Backgrounds vary from fitness instructors to firemen to bank clerks
"The Garda Reserve is an integral element of An Garda Síochána, connecting directly with communities across the country, a central ethos of the organisation” said Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan.
"Being a Garda Reserve is an incredibly rewarding experience. It provides opportunities to learn new skills, gain front-line policing experience and give back to the local community, while also being part of a great team. It is great that figures showing a substantial number of our Reserves over the years have decided to pursue full-time careers as Gardaí. This is a testament to the positive experience they had while volunteering for our organisation and proves that being a Reserve gives you a real taste of what life is like for our hard-working Garda members.”
"While some people view the Garda Reserve as a career stepping stone, the vast majority of those who join up do so because they simply want to volunteer. They may be at a stage of their lives where they want to give something back to their communities and the Garda Reserve is a natural place to reach that goal because of the community-focused nature of our work," the Commissioner added.
Anyone interested in applying to the Garda Reserves should visit www.publicjobs.ie. The closing date is April 13th 2017.