Garda band members to be redeployed to the frontline

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Members of the Garda band are among a group of specialist, usually non-frontline, gardaí who have been deployed to public duties in a bid by senior Garda management to maintain the surge in personnel required for the Covid-19 policing operation.

As the Irish Times reports, Garda Headquarters at the Phoenix Park in Dublin confirmed a range of measures in recent days aimed at enforcing the current Level 5 Covid-19 restrictions as the Government and health services try to manage the record increase in cases.

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Garda sources said the pandemic had affected the Garda, with some personnel contracting the virus or being forced to isolate because they were close contacts of others who tested positive for Covid-19.

In a bid to mitigate the contagious nature of the UK and South African strains of the virus Garda units have been broken up into smaller teams or bubbles.

While the Garda force has so far coped with the pandemic, a no-notice decision was taken by Garda Commissioner Drew Harris on Friday to redeploy 76 personnel across the Garda on to frontline duties with immediate effect.

Garda rank

Those Garda members – of inspector, sergeant and garda rank – were informed on Friday they were being redeployed to frontline duties from Monday, January 11th, until at least the end of the month.

The group includes 25 members of the Garda band, all of whom are rank and file gardaí, expect one inspector.

Others being redeployed include members of the Roads Policing Unit, Garda Economic Crime Bureau, human resources, and other sections and specialist units.

Personnel from the Garda College at Templemore in Co Tipperary, have also been redeployed to frontline duties and the college closed while gardaí, and Garda reservists, in training have been attested and deployed on to the streets to bolster the effort.

This week, the Garda again began operating checkpoints nationwide to ensure people were not leaving home without a reasonable excusing or exercising outdoors any farther than 5km from home.

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