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Commissioner Harris 2019

Title: Garda Commissioner

Native Of: Belfast, County Antrim

Appointed: September 2018

Career Highlights: Commissioner Drew Harris had 34 years policing experience with the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) before joining An Garda Síochána. In his current role as Commissioner of An Garda Síochána he has responsibility for both Policing and State Security for Ireland. An Garda Síochána is comprised of approximately 18,000 personnel, which includes 14,000 sworn Garda members, approximately 400 Reserve Garda members, and over 3,300 Garda Staff working in administration and support roles.

As Commissioner, he oversaw An Garda Síochána’s highly praised policing response to the COVID-19 national emergency, which had a strong focus on maintaining the organisation’s ethos of policing by consent.

As part of the Government’s policing reform programme, organisationally, Commissioner Harris has increased welfare and mental health services for Garda personnel; introduced new technology and operational supports for front-line Gardaí; ensured over 800 Gardaí have returned to front-line duties from administrative functions; grown the number of Garda staff by close to 700, and is delivering the most significant change to the organisation’s structure in its 101-year history to provide a more localised service to communities.

Operationally, he has expanded policing services focused on protecting the most vulnerable in society, particularly victims of domestic and sexual abuse; grown An Garda Síochána’s international liaison network to combat organised crime here and abroad; increased specialist armed support units, and introduced drug units in every Garda Division to tackle street-level dealing.

He has also gained Government approval for a significant increase in the Garda annual budget resulting in the largest fleet in the organisation’s history, new and refurbished stations and offices, and major investment in ICT and data analysis. 

Before joining An Garda Síochána, he was Deputy Chief Constable of the PSNI where he was specifically responsible for performance and change management.

In 2002, he completed a two-year secondment in the rank of Superintendent to Her Majesty's Inspector of Constabulary, Scotland.

He is married to Jane and they have four grown children.

He was awarded an (OBE) in 2010 and a King’s Police Medal (KPM) in 2019.


- BA (Hons) Degree in Politics and Economics, Open University (1997)

- Masters in Criminology, University of Cambridge (2007)

- Strategic Command Course (2004)

- Leadership in International Counter Terrorism Course (2006)

- FBI’s National Executive Institute programme for senior law enforcement officers (2010)