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Garda Commissioner launches Regional Support Units (pilot).

Mr. Fachtna Murphy, Commissioner of An Garda Siochana, has officially announced the commencement of Garda Regional Support Units.


Mr. Fachtna Murphy, Commissioner of An Garda Siochana, has officially announced the commencement of Garda Regional Support Units, which become effective as of Wednesday, 3rd September, 2008. 

In the Policing Plan 2008 the Commissioner committed the Gardai to establishing and deploying second tier firearms response units, within the overall objective of reducing the incidence of crime and crimial behaviour. 

The Regional Support Unit (Southern Region 1) will commence operations on the 3rd September, 2008.  This is the first RSU to go ‘live’ and will initially operate on a pilot basis, subject to a rolling review. 

Ultimately, it is envisaged that a Regional Support Unit will be established in each of the five Regions outside of the Dublin Metropolitan Region. The RSU’s will be available as a dedicated resource to provide support to other Garda units engaged in frontline policing in the event of a critical incident e.g. hostage situation or firearms incident.

RSU officers have undergone training to a high level over a thirteen week period, which included instruction in critical incident response; tactical deployment; conflict resolution/negotiation techniques; deployment protocols & controls; entry methods;  tactical driving;  first aid;  the use of less lethal options & firearms and other relevant skills. 

RSU’s will patrol as regular uniform Gardaí performing the normal policing functions on a daily basis throughout the Region.  In the event an RSU being deployed to a critical incident they will change into tactical dress and will have access to firearms.  Both the tactical gear and modifications to their vehicle (including signage and lighting) when in response mode are such as to ensure that they are clearly identifiable and distinguishable from regular officers.  During regular patrolling duties, RSU’s will remain under the command of the Regional Detective Superintendent and when deployed to a critical incident responsibility will pass to a dedicated, trained Incident On Scene Commander. 

The establishment of Regional Support Units provides the Gardai with a graduated response to critical incidents, supporting frontline officers in a prompt and skilled manner and are trained & equipped to contain a situation pending arrival of other specialist or national units, if required.  In noting the commencement of the Regional Support Units the Garda Commissioner Fachtna Murphy said:  "This unit is being introduced on a pilot basis pending review and I would like to acknowledge the support of all those involved including the various Garda staff associations.  

Regional Support Units will provide tactical and firearms support for our frontline officers responding to critical incidents and will enhance the overall level and extent of service that we provide to the communities we have sworn to serve, through a multi-purpose, skilled and well equipped group of personnel". 

To mark to commencement of operations of the Regional Support Units a photo opportunity will be provided at the Garda College, Templemore at 3pm on Wednesday, 3rd September, 2008, presided over by Assistant Commissioner Nacie Rice.    

Garda Press Office

15:05hrs , 2/09/08 

Ref :1037/08  


1.  Southern Region comprises of the Garda Divisions of Cork City, Cork North, cork West, Kerry and Limerick.   2.  Details of RSU - Each RSU will have an initial basic model strength of twenty four (24) officers, including supervisors.  However, strengths can be increased on direction of the Regional Assistant Commissioner as demands dictate in each respective area.  A basic RSU patrol will consist of two or three officers in a specially adapted marked patrol car, a Volvo XC70 turbo diesel police special.   When in critical response mode, the officers will deploy in tactical dress and will have access to a range of weaponry similar to the Emergency Response Unit ranging from less lethal options through to lethal firearms