More dogs in training to join gardaĆ­ on the beat fighting day-to-day crime

Irish Mirror   27/05/2023 08:04

A pack of new Garda dogs are to be brought into the force and trained especially to help regular gardai in the battle against crime.

The Irish Mirror understands that up to 12 more dogs are set to be recruited, adding to the 26 that are already in the national unit.

And it has also been confirmed to the Mirror that these dogs will have the latest tech to help them in their duties, including body-worn cameras, or ‘doggy cams’ as a source described them.

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The cameras can be extremely small and discreet, allowing them to be hidden in the collars of the Garda dogs.

Justice Minister, Simon Harris, told the Mirror that the new plan to boost the team of highly-trained dogs will be done on “a gradual basis.”

One of the reasons for this is that special legislation is required to allow dogs be used for surveillance in this way.

The new law will be part of the Garda Siochana Recording Devices Bill 2022 which is currently winding its way through the Dail.

The use of dogs as police is becoming more common in jurisdictions all over the world.

It is well-known that their sniffing skills are second to none when it comes to detecting hidden drugs and/or explosives.

But they are also particularly useful in search and rescue operations, as often a dog can go places a human cannot go.

And with the help of cameras on collars, it can help rescue workers at a more safe base.

The specially-trained dog unit can also do surveillance work, with the added advantage that nobody will really suspect that a dog is spying on them.

Mr Harris said: “I am advised that the Garda Dog Unit is based at Kilmainham Garda Station, in the Dublin Metropolitan Region, and has a national remit.

“I am also advised that there are currently 26 Dogs attached to the Garda Dog Unit.

“I am informed that plans to expand the Garda Dog Unit nationally have been approved by the Garda Executive.

“I am further informed that implementation of this plan will be on a gradual basis and subject to suitable dogs being identified.

“I am also advised that no definitive timeline for the procurement of additional dogs has been established.

“I am further advised that the Garda Dog Unit are seeking to identify and develop supply partnerships that will deliver the requisite number of suitable dogs on a more consistent basis than is being achieved under existing mechanisms.

“The outcome of this process will enable the development of more definitive time-frames surrounding the integration of new Garda dogs into service.”

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