For Oral Answer on : 25/05/2023
Question Number(s): 29 Question Reference(s): 25235/23
Asked by: David Stanton T.D.
To ask the Minister for Justice if a target exists for the number of persons to be recruited into the Garda Reserve; when recruiting will commence; the budget for same; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
Established in 2006, the Garda Reserve represents a real opportunity for anyone wishing to support policing and give something back to their communities. The Reserve reinforces An Garda Síochána’s essential community links, and provides capacity to draw on additional resources to assist in policing.
I would like to acknowledge the important contribution made by all members of the Reserve who volunteer their time for the community’s benefit.
The Government’s target is to bring the Garda Reserve up to a strength of 2,000, but it must be emphasised that recruitment is a matter for the Garda Commissioner, and that the Public Appointments Service will run the recruitment campaign for the Reserve on behalf of the Commissioner.
As part of the Government’s plan to modernise and strengthen An Garda Síochána, A Policing Service for our Future, the Garda Commissioner has developed a Garda Reserve Strategy 2021-2025, which provides a roadmap for the development of this important service.
The Strategy published in October 2021 is informed by an internal review of the Reserve, and sets out key commitments including recruitment, training and development, deployment, governance and evaluation.
The Garda Commissioner has established an Implementation Group and Oversight Committee to ensure the Strategy delivers on its objectives, and I look forward to working with him to increase the number of members of the Reserve and in realising its full potential as a resource to policing and in providing a pathway to full-time membership of An Garda Síochána, including from minority communities.
A priority is a new recruitment campaign, which I understand will be held later this year or early next year, following which new reservists will be appointed.
The campaign will target a broad and inclusive range of candidates, in keeping with the Reserve’s role as a visible form of community engagement. My Department is currently engaging with An Garda Síochána on revisions to the regulations governing the Reserve ahead of the commencement of this recruitment process.
I am advised by the Garda authorities that the budget allocated to the Garda Reserve for 2023 is €1.395 million.