Armed Gardaí Elite Lock And Load

The new elite armed gardaí force go operational as of Wednesday, to tackle Ireland's growing gun crime problems.

The Regional Support Unit (RSU) is a specialist team, trained to provide instant back up for frontline gardaí, and will have their own specialist vehicles and uniforms.

The first deployment will be a 24 strong squad, and four more are expected to follow.

This southern unit covering Cork City, Cork North, Cork West, Kerry and Limerick will initially operate as a pilot and be continually reviewed.

Each hand picked RSU officer has undergone 13 weeks of training, including negotiation techniques, tactical driving, first aid and the use of firearms and less lethal weapons, such as beanbag weapons.

Garda Commissioner Fachtna Murphy said: "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."

The specialist force was part of a commitment to dealing with firearm crime pledged in the Gardaí’s 2008 Policing Plan.


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