The Mayor of Letterkenny is concerned about the impact that proposed closures of rural Garda stations in the county will have on policing in Letterkenny.
Cllr. Gerry McMonagle is also concerned about the impacts of retirements on the force in the town and in particular the loss of experienced gardaí from the community policing unit.
He is set to raise concerns about the numbers of gardaí in the town at this week’s meeting of the Letterkenny Joint Policing Committee.
Up to 29 Garda stations in the county are understood to have been earmarked for possible closure under budget cuts .
Cllr. McMonagle is concerned that the closure of Garda stations in the Letterkenny area will divert resources from an already stretched force operating in the town.
He said retirements have left the town’s community policing unit almost non-existent and have stripped the force of a huge amount of experience and local knowledge. Cllr. McMonagle said he is also concerned about whether older Garda vehicles can be replaced.
Cllr. McMonagle met Chief Superintendent of the Donegal Division, Terry McGinn, last week. He said he know wants to raise more local concerns at the Joint Policing Committee.
“What if the Garda station in Churchill is closed? Where does the car come from to cover that area? We have basically lost the community policing unit because the people who have gone have not been replaced. When someone is retiring we are losing a lot of local knowledge. All that experience and knowledge is gone and the new gardaí are going to have to start building relationships.”