Superintendent Jim Delaney
Longford Gardaí are asking members of the public not to call into the station unless it’s absolutely necessary, as the nation faces into the battle against the coronavirus.
In an effort to prevent the spread of Covid-19, Superintendent Jim Delaney has asked that anyone wanting to renew passports or avail of similar services do so online, to limit the amount of footfall coming in and out of the station.
Everyday policing will not be halted, though, with gardaí eager to assure the local community that they are still carrying out their usual duties as much as possible.
“Obviously, there are people who do have other obligations as part of their bail signing on conditions but for now we are trying to carry out as much as remotely as possible,” Supt Delaney explained.
“We would be asking people to be mindful of that and not to visit the station.”
Supt Delaney said he would look at the possibility of reviewing rank and file members’ face to face interactions with the general public as things progress but insisted that checkpoints, patrols and other strategically employed measures would not be affected.
While the Covid-19 virus is spreading across the country at an increasing speed, gardaí nationally are ramping up efforts to assist the community, with high visibility at supermarkets and other areas where social distancing is being monitored.
A number of trainee gardaí from Templemore will be joining the ranks, and An Garda Síochána is in the process of hiring 210 more vehicles to provide additional mobility to members nationwide to provide increased community engagement.
Here in Longford, 11 trainee gardaí will be added to the ranks, with seven taking up their new roles on Monday, and four more joining the following Monday.
"The challenge will be to get these back when they’re fully trained in. I suppose that’s where our public reps come in and our newly elected TD will come in," said Supt Delaney.
Longford Garda Station will be introducing new shift patterns and gardaí are aiming to assist at supermarkets and other locations where social distancing should be observed.
“We will be putting on extra visibility for reassurance around commercial and shopping areas,” said Supt Delaney.
“It's about public reassurance, traffic management and what we are asking for is co-operation from the wider community and local businesses.”
Gardaí in Longford will also be creating a vulnerable persons register and community police will be checking with NGOs to ensure the safety and support of people who are at risk.
An Garda Síochána continue to urge families, neighbours and community groups to engage with people in line with ‘social distancing’ guidelines.
As an organisation, Gardaí across the country are being asked to actively identify those persons most in need, particularly those with limited local family or social support. In these cases An Garda Síochána will assist.
Any person with concerns for themselves or for a neighbour should contact their local Garda station, Contact details, including email contact, for all Garda stations can be found on the Garda website or in any phonebook.