'I wouldn't allow my dog work as a garda' - Serving officer's warning not to join force
A few weeks ago I was asked by a family friend to speak to their daughter about what it's like being a guard.
She had just finished her Leaving Cert and was looking to join the force. I did the same thing before I headed for Templemore as I'm sure many of my colleagues did before they joined the job.
What the mother didn't expect was my reply which was simply, don't do it, I wouldn't allow my dog work as a guard in today's world.
As you would expect there was a look of shock on the mother's face. Don't join the guards wasn't the answer she was expecting from me.
I went on to explain to both the mother and daughter that I would never ever advise anyone to join An Garda Síochána.
Why? Well it's as simple as this, gardaí on the ground are being used to suit whatever agenda is popular on any given week.
Gardaí go out on a daily basis not knowing if they're going to making it home in one piece. The level of respect that was garnered and nurtured by the senior men on regular units and community policing units is now gone out the window.
It seems it's a badge of honour amongst young people today to be able to say that they assaulted a guard, they got a charge sheet or they rammed a Garda car.
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They just don't care about the impact their actions have on a guard's life both on duty and off duty.
I would love if offenders who assaulted a garda had to sit in a room and hear about the impact of their actions.
Then there's the do-gooders out there who see a guard, whip out their mobile phones and record what they do. If the officer does something they don't like, this person edits the recording to make the guard look bad put it online and make a complaint to GSOC.
Why would I advise anyone to put themselves in the kind of situation where they are stressed about a rubbish GSOC investigation. Anyone who has had the pleasure of being investigated by GSOC will tell you what a worrying and stressful time that is.
Let's not forget, like the young lad who gets a badge of honour for assaulting a guard, in my opinion it's the same for GSOC. It's a badge of honour to say they successfully prosecuted a guard.
The job isn't what it used to be. Members no longer enjoy coming to work, the craic is no longer there.
In certain divisions you're a pariah if you have an interest in doing your job. You're frowned upon for upsetting the apple cart and are subject to a dressing down from your Superintendent. If I knew then what I know now then I wouldn't have joined An Garda Síochána.
Needless to say my friend's daughter no longer wants to join the force.