For instance if Gardaí go to deal with a call in a minority house. If someone can accompany them that speaks the language and has standing in that community. The Gardaí’s job will be a lot easier. This is only one reason for this. Other reasons are that a reserve force could relieve the Gardaí from tasks such as issuing passports, handling radio systems and other tasks that don’t require the training the Gardaí receive in Templemore. This could allow more Gardaí do be deployed in proper tasks such as being on the beat.
However this can not be the solution to the lack of Gardai this does not reduce the need for more fully trained Gardaí being produced from Templemore. Fianna Fail promised 2000 new Gardai this cannot be used to fulfil this promise.
The persons that are allowed to join this force have to be well vetted not just to see if they are not criminals but also they will not abuse their power. Such as pulling the guy in the office they don’t like for speeding when he has not been.
But there are many questions to be answered. Here is the top 5 I can think of.
1. If these people don’t have the same training as Gardaí should they have the same powers of arrest.?
2. In the new Justice bill the right to on the spot fining is to be given to the Gardai should this be also given to reserve Gardai.?
3. Would the fining system then be open to abuse.? Bribing and the like
4. Should they be allowed to go on the beat and have the same authority as a Garda.?
5. Will the IRA attempt to infiltrate it. ?
These things need to be investigated fully before implementation. Neither can it be used as community policing. Small villages need a fully trained presence. Now more then ever. Villages are suffering from the same drug and crimes that cities are. As seen by the Nally case people living in the country are living in fear. They are going to become vigilantes as there is no police force to protect them. The creation of a reserve force may give this activity validity. But will it make these groups refrain from working outside legal means? The Nally case is a tragedy for both parties. The cause of this was that Mr Nally did not feel safe in his own home. He did not feel that if he dialled 999 he would be safe. If he went to his local Garda station it would be empty. (like mine in a town of about 1000) Thus he took the law into his own hands. This will not be the last case. Mr McDowell needs to act and stop pussyfooting around. We need more fully trained Gardai in training now. A reserve force while a good idea is a minor part in what is needed.
But the biggest question is in an apathetic country like Ireland. Would anyone be bothered to join a volunteer non-paying Garda force.