New Longford JPC chair Cllr Seamus Butler in resources plea

Meet the candidate: Longford Municipal District Seamus Butler (Fianna Fáil)

Meet the candidate: Longford Municipal District Seamus Butler (Fianna Fáil)

The head of the body charged with providing a public forum for the promotion of law and order across Co Longford has a new chairperson at its helm in the shape of Fianna Fáíl Cllr Seamus Butler.

The long serving and well respected local politician was elected chairperson of Longford’s Joint Policing Committee (JPC) on Monday in what was the group’s first meeting since May’s local elections.

And the local businessman, who succeeded predecessor, Cllr Gerry Warnock, wasted little time in outlining a number of targets he wants to see addressed over the lifetime of the next council.

In line with the statutory guidelines set down for JPC’s at local authority level to operate under, Cllr Butler said the main overriding mantra of the organisation was that of community safety.

Read more: "The Escobars of Ireland" Cllr Butler slams feuding families in Longford

In calling for a review of the committee’s strategic plan which runs until 2022, the Longford based councillor said there was an onus also on the committee to reach out to the wider public.

“I believe we should have two public meetings a year, one in Longford and another around the county,” he said.

“It’s very much part of the guidelines (of JPC’s) and we should be out there having conversations in a controlled environment, not a free for all or anything like that but at the same time we have to listen to communities around the county.”

He also took time to usher praise on the decision taken by garda chiefs locally to draft in members of the Armed Support Unit on the back of a spate of violent public order incidents.

“To bring in the Armed Support Unit was a great plus,” he told those present.

“I think the timing was impeccable and it brought a huge reduction in these sort of incidents.”

In a further move to strengthen the hand of gardaí in the ongoing and continued fight against feud related activity, Cllr Butler also revealed he had recently penned a letter to Assistant Commissioner Ann Marie McHahon.

“The reason I did that was to make the request that we are sufficiently resourced so we can have constant and permanent foot patrols in Longford town.

“I think there is no substitute to foot patrols. It gives security and the psychology of safety it provides cannot be understated.”

Read also: Time to stand up to ‘ruthless’ Longford criminals

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