The head of the AGSI says the Garda Commissioner is more interested in the corporate image of the force than its members.
Mid-ranking gardaí say they feel unsafe policing in stab-vests and are calling for bullet-proof vests as standard.
At the annual conference of the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors, AGSI President Tim Galvin says they’re disappointed that Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan hasn’t fought for more resources:
"We feel she's not standing up for the people on the front line. She hasn't come out and said 'we don't have enough resources.' We have said on numerous occasions, she hasn't come out in support of us and that's why I think she's more interested in the corporate image, not in the members of the force."
They’re also calling for bullet-proof vests for front-line gardaí. Vice President Antoinette Cunningham says it’s a sad reflection of policing today:
"You have criminals who are openly shooting each other in the regency hotel in Dublin. You have increased crime levels. You've a gang warfare going on in the city and you have front line uniform people expected to go to these incidents wearing nothing more than a stab-vest."
AGSI represents around 2,000 mid level gardaí. A recent survey found that 86 percent of them said their morale is low, or very low.