44. Deputy Shane Cassells asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of gardaí in each Garda station in County Meath as of 1 November 2017; the number of community gardaí in the division; and the number of Garda Reserve members and new recruits assigned to the division since recruitment resumed in 2014. [51660/17]
Deputy Charles Flanagan: As at 31 October 2017, the total number of gardaí stationed in County Meath was 304, of whom seven are community gardaí. There are also 16 members of the Garda Reserve operating in the county, as well as 30 Garda civilian staff attached to the division. Where appropriate, the work of local gardaí is supported by a number of Garda national units such as the National Bureau of Criminal Investigation, the armed support units, the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau and the Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau.
The Government stands committed to ensuring a strong and visible police presence throughout the country, including in County Meath, in order to maintain and strengthen community engagement, provide reassurance to citizens and deter crime. I am aware that the Deputy engages with the joint policing committee in Meath. It is the reports of these committees that inform the Garda Commissioner and his or her team as to the appropriate level of recruits for distribution in each division. Since the reopening of the Garda College in September 2014, close to 1,400 recruits have attested as members, 46 of whom were assigned to the Meath division. I look forward to attending the graduation of almost 200 newly attested, fully trained, energetic and ambitious new gardaí, all of whom will be assigned to stations across the country between now and the end of the year. Taking into account annual retirements of fewer than 300 to date in 2017, I expect the garda complement to be 13,500 at year end.