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  • Special constables

    In Ireland we do not have special constables or part-time cops however it is planned to recruit these under the new garda Siochana Bill 2004 (now Act 2005). Accordingly the Gardai is now facing major changes as foreign nationals will, for the first time, be allowed enter into training and we will have specials.

    I know that soem forces in the UK and US have part-time officers and I also know the the B Specials were in use in Northern Ireland but were removed due to their disasterous abuse of power.

    Whats the opinions on specials in the US and UK? Also loike to hear opinions from specials.

  • #2
    Hi AnGardaSiochana

    I am a Special Constabel currently serving in Leeds UK. if you follow the link below it links to a online Diary I have on the T'internet about being a Special Constable and after you have read it drop me a line.

    Comment


    • #3
      Special Constables aka Reserve Police Officers

      Australia does not have unpaid volunteer police officers and for as long as we have strong Police Associations/Unions in Australia, we never will.

      I fully support the comments made my Frank Booth in the following Thread.

      Only SWORN OFFICERS (and retired) post here, and only about law enforcement topics. Forum monitored for compliance

      Comment


      • #4
        Reserve officers expand manpower, and frequently become full time officers. I know the unions don't always like them, but here in the Western US, we are "Right to Work" states, where you cannot be compelled to join the union.
        Reserves out here also have all the same training as full time officers.
        When you need help, it's better to have a reserve than no help at all.
        "A man who has nothing which he cares about more than he does about his personal safety is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the existing of better men than himself."
        John Stuart Mill

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by atrades
          Hi AnGardaSiochana

          I am a Special Constabel currently serving in Leeds UK. if you follow the link below it links to a online Diary I have on the T'internet about being a Special Constable and after you have read it drop me a line.

          http://www.policespecials.com/forum/...howtopic=22788
          To be honest the fact that you have an online journal about being a cop kinda proves John's point. Your in it for the kicks and to brag. Maybe you dont see it that way but thats what it looks like. Would you do your fulltime job for free? I dont think so.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by AnGardaSiochana
            To be honest the fact that you have an online journal about being a cop kinda proves John's point. Your in it for the kicks and to brag. Maybe you dont see it that way but thats what it looks like. Would you do your fulltime job for free? I dont think so.
            Many people have online journals, I don't see the immediate link between your comments and him having a journal. In terms of doing jobs for free:

            Firstly, jobs like the police, EMT work, fire etc.. are services to the city/humanity and as such people doing this for pay or not are supposed to be doing it for this reason as well. A job like an IT tech is less altruistic in general.

            Secondly, would I do certain fulltime jobs for free? Yes, and have done so and would be willing to do many others. I have done everything from: teaching (at high school), first aid instruction, paramedic volunteer, police reservist, IT consulting, SCUBA instruction, rugby (sport) coaching, bushfire volunteer etc.. for free. I however put less value in capitalism than most people I know not that I am communist by any means. I would be glad there are people out there whose sole goal in life is not to line their pockets..

            Comment


            • #7
              Oh please

              Well Buzz, first congrats. How does one survive without sleep?

              What your describing are hobbies and pastimes not careers. Passing on a skill because you enjoy doing so is not the same as a full time career. You cannot compare them.

              I am merely trying to gauge how well specials work considering I will be working with them in the future.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by AnGardaSiochana
                Well Buzz, first congrats. How does one survive without sleep?

                What your describing are hobbies and pastimes not careers. Passing on a skill because you enjoy doing so is not the same as a full time career. You cannot compare them.

                I am merely trying to gauge how well specials work considering I will be working with them in the future.
                Ta, I've done 4 days without sleep before Obviously they can not be fulltime careers as they all cost money to do and with no money coming in there would be an obvious problem. My actual income comes from IT consulting but the hours and times I have worked on some of those were no different from people who do them as fulltime jobs at stages..

                It all depends on the standards required of your "specials." If the standards are the same or higher then they should be of the same caliber or higher. Our reservist average performance far exceeds that of the permanent force here but then again it takes years of fighting the system just to join so only the most motivated survive. You're always welcome to pop into SA and work with us for a shift or two to have a look

                Comment


                • #9
                  I cant help it

                  It would appear that full timers dont have a particular problem with specials however they do seem to have a problem with specials considering themselves equal to the full-timers.

                  I dunno, on the one hand if your trained and wearing the uniform with me then fairs fair but who takes prisoners? You wont always be around for court, etc. Whos the boss? I presume the fulltimes are senior to specials? I know thats the case in the UK.


                  Its a life for me not a hobby so I cant help but look at specials as I do the military reserves, boys playing at cops and robbers.

                  However, I suppopse individual specials and their attitude will decide more than their title. We take trainees on patrl with us but we dont look down on them, we view them as us when we started.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by AnGardaSiochana
                    It would appear that full timers dont have a particular problem with specials however they do seem to have a problem with specials considering themselves equal to the full-timers.

                    I dunno, on the one hand if your trained and wearing the uniform with me then fairs fair but who takes prisoners? You wont always be around for court, etc. Whos the boss? I presume the fulltimes are senior to specials? I know thats the case in the UK.


                    Its a life for me not a hobby so I cant help but look at specials as I do the military reserves, boys playing at cops and robbers.

                    However, I suppopse individual specials and their attitude will decide more than their title. We take trainees on patrl with us but we dont look down on them, we view them as us when we started.
                    I am still trying to fuelly understand the rivalry. If some "part time" computer whizz kid or whatever wanted to help me out for free and knew what he was doing I would gladly take him on without a seconds hesitation or name calling.. We do this in various areas of our office with various students etc.. who normally do not request any money and they are treated as complete equals (although new of course..).

                    If we get a court summons, we go to court.. You take time off work and you go. Failing to go is a criminal offence and you will likely find yourself with a warrant of arrest issued in your name, not a good thing.. In terms of seniority. The uniforms, ranks, etc.. are all the same between the two. There is no way of seeing a difference except if he tells you. Ranks are respected irrespective of whether paid or not.

                    Cops and robbers? Hmm, last I checked the bullets were as real for the permanents as the reservists. The reservits tend to actually take everything alot more seriously in everything from approach procedures to wearing bulletproofs + plates all the time. The permanents often view it as a waste of time, uncomfortable or overkill..

                    Obviously if they give attitude then they deserve whatever treatment you give them whether reserves or permanent. Just be careful not to prejudge anyone. As I said, you are welcome to work with us anytime as well as the permanents and you can decide

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by BuzzLightyear
                      I am still trying to fuelly understand the rivalry. If some "part time" computer whizz kid or whatever wanted to help me out for free and knew what he was doing I would gladly take him on without a seconds hesitation or name calling.. We do this in various areas of our office with various students etc.. who normally do not request any money and they are treated as complete equals (although new of course..).

                      If we get a court summons, we go to court.. You take time off work and you go. Failing to go is a criminal offence and you will likely find yourself with a warrant of arrest issued in your name, not a good thing.. In terms of seniority. The uniforms, ranks, etc.. are all the same between the two. There is no way of seeing a difference except if he tells you. Ranks are respected irrespective of whether paid or not.

                      Cops and robbers? Hmm, last I checked the bullets were as real for the permanents as the reservists. The reservits tend to actually take everything alot more seriously in everything from approach procedures to wearing bulletproofs + plates all the time. The permanents often view it as a waste of time, uncomfortable or overkill..

                      Obviously if they give attitude then they deserve whatever treatment you give them whether reserves or permanent. Just be careful not to prejudge anyone. As I said, you are welcome to work with us anytime as well as the permanents and you can decide
                      From what im reading here and in the other topic it appears that the Specials consider themselves higher. Thats twice if not 3 times that you have claimed to have a better attitude or be more professional. The difference between your job and LE is that LE is a vocation, it is a lifestyle not just a job and onwards from that it becomes a straight view of Occupation V hobbie.

                      I gotta be honest, if we get reserves and one is partnered with me, Im the boss and thats that. I mean, Im the professional cop.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Most depts. have reserves. For the most part, I respect our reserves for working for free. However, I honestly dont trust them as much as a full time copper. LE is a field where you have to continuously do the job to get proficient. Even though the reserves are eager to help out or get involved, their officer safety or tactics aren't as good. I notice my skills deteriorate if I'm away from work for an extended amount of time. Any cop will tell you that.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          An Garda Siochana,

                          You need to lighten up dude...it really is just a job. Stop hanging around with mules on your off days. Get some friends who do not have anything to do with police work. Honestly, you'll be the better person and the better policeman for it. You'll burn yourself out quickly if you view your job as a "lifestyle" or a "vocation." Don't become one of the bitter and twisted oul codgers that are in every district. The brown envelope on Weds afternoon is what it is all about at the end of the day.

                          As a matter of fact there were part-time police in Ireland. An Taca Siochana was a part-time force during WW2 and in the time shortly after. It was eventually absorbed into An Garda Siochana and in the post war period some of the high ranking posts in the full time force were filled with former part-timers. I'm not sure if they were volunteers or whether thay were actually paid. There's not a lot of info out there about them.

                          Special Constables in the UK are all unpaid. The attitude of the full timers to them varies from force to force and from individual officer to individual officer. Good and bad in every batch I suppose. From what I know, in most UK forces the duties that Specials can perform are limited, even though they have full "police powers" while working.

                          In the US it is a little different. Because the policing system is more fragmented than what you are used to, every village, town, city, county, state, etc will have its own police force, the use of part-timers can be quite common. From an economic view, it is the only way that some of these smaller forces can keep bodies on patrol. Standards will vary from state to state and from force to force. Some are volunteers, some are paid. Some will go through exactly the same training as a full time officer. Some will have limited police powers and duties, others have exactly the same powers and responsibilites as full timers, except they just work part-time hours. LAPD has reserve officers !!!

                          I really don't think the volunteer Garda Reserve will ever get off the ground in Ireland. The GRA is a powerful lobbyist, but has put their foot in their mouths over the last few years on silly issues and came off looking like begrudging idiots. The Irish public has the perception that crime is rampant and the GRA may shoot themselves in the foot if they are seen to be blocking any strategy to get a handle on it. However, for now I think they will keep the whole Garda Reserve thing from being implemented.

                          If it eventually is implemented,I think it is a mistake to make this part-time scheme a volunteer organisation. There is no reason not to pay these guys, and by paying them the force can enforce rules and regulations and penalize those who can't/won't meet them by taking money away from them. It's hard to discipline a volunteer. If the state is willing to train these guys to a decent standard (that will hold up in court) there is no reason why they can't go on the beat. Taking prisoners and making court wil be an issue, and one that needs to be addressed at a level far above the GS. In fact, the whole criminal justice system in Ireland needs to be overhauled.

                          In most US depts, and I think in the UK now, they have uniformed non-sworn personnel who perform a lot of the non policing duties on the force, front desk, comms, prisoner and custody assignments, maintenance, etc. It seems to work out well. Are the new proposed Reservists going to be limited to similar duties?

                          Anyway, just a few thoughts from this former member. It's good to see some Gardai finally moving into the computer era. In my day they would drop dead at the thoughts of sitting in front of a PC !!!

                          Oh yeah, on more thing...about military reserves. Don't confuse real military reserves with the FCA !!! Most countries in the world have real reserve forces that do real missions. Lots of TA (UK Reserves) in the Middle East. Likewise with the US, National Guard units, etc. Israel relies heavily on them to secure itself from the terrorist threat. Just a small point.

                          Stay safe, and stay out of Morans !!!


                          Later.
                          Christ, you know it ain't easy...

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Strummer
                            An Garda Siochana,

                            You need to lighten up dude......................................

                            Stay safe, and stay out of Morans !!!


                            Later.
                            Good Post Strummer, maybe An Garda needs to spend more time in Morans.

                            Cheers.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              John,
                              If theres one thing we dont need to be told its to enjoy a 2 at 2 now and again or a Super Sunday in Molloys. Somethings never change

                              I actually dont pal with mules that often believe it or not but you know how it is, my mates are 9 to 5 so Im scratching a lot during the day, especially the midweek.

                              The FCA, yeah shouldnt blame all for that shower but arent the TA and Nationals still called 'weekend warriers'? Dunno about US but in the UK a fair few have gone gun beserk in the past.

                              I also didnt know about the reserves in the past. The Gardai, more secretive than the bloody secret service and SAS combined.

                              IM just trying to figure this reserve thing out, its gonna happen and I welcome it because Joe Public will get a better idea of what we do (besides buckshee and nods) which will be a good thing. Should have Cops or Streetcrime UK here maybe. Im not in favour of them being an equal to myself, seriously, do you think they will get the same training? Templemores not great but we did learn.

                              Comment

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