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Poll: Is it time to arm An Garda Síochána?
This poll is closed.
Yes - Criminals are too far ahead as it is.
80.00%
16 80.00%
No - DDU and RSU are enough.
10.00%
2 10.00%
Other - Please explain in forum.
10.00%
2 10.00%
Total 20 vote(s) 100%
* You voted for this item. [Show Results]

That time again - Should AGS become armed?
#1
In light of recent tragedies is it time that one of a handful of unarmed police services in the world revoke that decision?

I'll come out and say yes. It's better to have a piece of equipment that, even if it's only there as a deterrent to those who think that, because they have a gun in their possession; that they have one up on most gardaí and can threaten/rob/assault anyone they wish as the uniform guard can only stand and watch.

Now with my bias out of the way I want to address a few of the usual arguments I hear -

i) I wouldn't trust some colleagues with a rubber duck nevermind a firearm - that's not your decision. The training systems in place in Australia and Canada ensure that whoever gets access to a firearm has the appropriate training and understanding of the responsibility associated with such a piece of equipment.

ii) We can't get hands on in a public order situation with a firearm on our belts - if this is the case how do the PSNI and practically every other police force in Western Europe manage to cope with similar scenarios?

iii) Why not give us tasers instead? - this is like suggesting your baton and spray will protect you when someone draws a firearm on you.

iv) Given the recent tragedy a firearm wouldn't have helped the officer in question - not going into this one as we won't know the entire scenario for quite some time. That aside I don't think any piece of equipment would have helped to any great degree in this horrific scenario. On the other hand many say that had two gardaí been at the scene they both would have died. Even if we boosted resources and have two gardaí attend all calls in the future there is no point unless both have access to a firearm - this may help contribute to preventing another tragedy in the future.

and the classic v) If we arm up the criminals will arm up too - unfortunately the organised criminals have been armed for years. It's only now in recent years that the thugs have gotten their hands on them and aren't afraid to use it against the uniform.

I for one do not want to be standing in a house, on a roadside or in a premises and see some armed thug have one over me by simply having a knife pointed at either myself or an innocent party - never mind a firearm! The police should be able to stop these things from happening and when they do - be able to put an end to it. 

After standing in a line with thousands of my colleagues witnessing the consequences of a lack of modernisation in AGS I've become staunchly on the side of equipping us appropriately. There's an element who are not afraid of the consequences of our justice system. This wasn't the case when judges didn't hesitate to sentence these thugs to death - now they know they'll be fed, found and released in next to no time.

Moral authority is gone and sadly will never come back.

My opinion - Better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.

yay or nay?
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#2
I'll come out and say yes. It's better to have a piece of equipment that, even if it's only there as a deterrent to those who think that assaulting a garda or threaten/rob/assault a member of the public is an easy option as the uniform guard can only stand and watch.

Could you justify the use of a gun in those scenarios? 

I think taser for all and a proper increase in armed units.
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#3
(18-10-2015, 12:49 AM)foreign Wrote: I'll come out and say yes. It's better to have a piece of equipment that, even if it's only there as a deterrent to those who think that assaulting a garda or threaten/rob/assault a member of the public is an easy option as the uniform guard can only stand and watch.

Could you justify the use of a gun in those scenarios? 

I think taser for all and a proper increase in armed units.

Sorry you've got me on that one. I should have been far more specific and refer to those scenarios where a firearm or other lethal weapon is produced. Post updated!
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#4
A police service should always be proactive, intelligence lead and prepared for what is required so that they can stay ahead of the criminal. We have criminals in Ireland now extremely well armed and unlike before they are happily  and willing to kill for little or nothing. 

To meet and manage that change in society and understanding the role of the force then the force should be armed. 

It may mean that in order to get the job done we need more and permanent armed units in every district, if this doesn't work then all should be armed. 

It should be a proportionate response to a changing role and not really a question of should the service be armed. The question really should be will being armed mean the job is done and lives are saved and protected.
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#5
I wouldn't have a problem being armed but don't think we need it just yet. As I said, we need a significant increase in dedicated armed units, not DDU who could be in with a detention or enquiries into a serious incident which happens now. 

If we do go down the arming route it's going to take a huge investment to implement. The cost of the firearms, ammunition, cleaning kits, holsters etc is one thing. We would need a new firearms course developed as the current one is not suitable. I won't go into why here in the Public Area.
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#6
(18-10-2015, 11:48 AM)foreign Wrote: If we do go down the arming route it's going to take a huge investment to implement. The cost of the firearms, ammunition, cleaning kits, holsters etc is one thing. We would need a new firearms course developed as the current one is not suitable.


Would it though? pretty much all police forces manage to do it for smaller budgets than we have. Again I would point to Hungary as an example. 

The biggest issue isnt cash as far as I can see, its public perception and time. Who wants to be the Commissioner and Minister that arms the Guards? They see it as admitting that you have lost the battle rather than an acceptance that were losing already and an effort to win. Second, training. We all know how proactive this job is when it comes to keeping our training updated. I was beginning to think I would never get to do policework with all the courses and refreshers I was being sent on!  106
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#7
(18-10-2015, 12:54 PM)Administrator Wrote: with all the courses and refreshers I was being sent on!  106

This is one major reason why I'm growing tired of the job. 

They can't even get -that- right.
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#8
Armed us pure and simple. What is it in this country that terrifies us into making a decision. Yes it is easy for me to say it, I'm not the commissioner or minister. Yet when the civic guard was formed it was armed. The real reason had nothing to do it moral authority it had to do with money. A fledging state with a new car smell, no money and left in ruins.

For some reason we have a romantic view of the fathers and mothers of this country. Yes they had noble views but at the end of the day money rules the world.
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This post has been repped by: jmcd432 (3),

#9
The question regarding arming us is imo this simple: will it make us more effective? To put it bluntly I do not think so. To tackle modern crime we need to be more proactive, better lead and lead from the front, with supervisors free to police and not chained to pulse and mind numbingly useless paperwork. In last few years our paperwork has mushroomed to such an extent I answered a reminder recently with following: "the reply this reminder refers to as having not been received is the second page, directly after the reminder". Morale is lower than a snakes belly, motivation is lacking. Training is non existent. There is no pursuit policy(apart from block Garda if it goes wrong, ignore good work if it goes right!) we do not need arming, we need the reassurance of real time access to armed backup and we need to be issued with taser. Being armed did not save the late Jerry McCabe or the late Adrian Donohue and from the information to hand it would appear that the late Tony Golden wouldn't have had a chance to draw a firearm to defend himself either. What is needed is ongoing investment with 24/7 armed backup accessible to local units and a commitment to yearly recruitment to avoid the scenarios of bulk retirements of recent years.

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#10
I agree with you but I also think we have ourselves to blame too for some of it. We allowed this culture to develop in the job. We all moan and give out but when it comes to it we let ourselves down so bad. We adopt the attitude sure it will do too.

Sure I laugh we get baton spray training. Told to get pal at arms length. What's the first thing the mule does is hands in the pocket and up beside him.
He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster.

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