The Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform, Mr. Michael McDowell, T.D., has announced that the Government approved two  further appointments to the three-member Garda Síochána Inspectorate. Ms. Kathleen O'Toole, former Police Commissioner of the City of Boston, was appointed as Chief Inspector on 17 May, 2006.

The two new Inspectors, who will take up their appointments by 4 September, are:

The Minister said "I am delighted that the  selection process for the Garda Inspectorate has succeeded in bringing together  three highly accomplished policing experts who have headed their respective  police forces.  They have provided competent and stable leadership for  their forces in very challenging times and personally led them through major  change programmes.  I am confident that, as a team, they will play a most  important role in ensuring that the Garda Síochána operates at a level of  efficiency and effectiveness that is in keeping with best international  practice."    

Mr. Olson and Ms. Boniface have been chosen following a competition held by the Public  Appointments Service which drew a total of 67 high calibre national and international candidates for the two posts. Those candidates were short-listed to 10 people who were then called for interview.   

With the team now complete, the Minister has made an Order under the Garda Síochána Act 2005 establishing the Garda Síochána Inspectorate  as a statutory body with effect from today's date.


Work Programme 

The initial work of  the Inspectorate will be to carry out an operational and administrative  assessment of the Garda Síochána focusing on three specific areas: 

The purpose of the review is to identify strengths and  weaknesses of the Garda Síochána and to recommend areas for closer examination  and improvement.  The review will be conducted at policy and operational  levels.  At policy level, the Inspectorate will review Garda strategic  direction in the three specific areas being assessed.  At operational  level, the Inspectorate will consider how current Garda systems at Divisional  and local levels are contributing to effective police services to the public and  how those services can be improved in line with best practice. 

During the assessment, the Garda Inspectorate will consult  widely with representatives of the Department of Justice, Equality and Law  Reform, Garda management, representative associations as well as members of the  public.

The Minister has asked for an interim report  from the Inspectorate no later than January 2007 and a final report by May 2007. 

Parallel with work on the assessment, in light of  the report of the Barr Tribunal the Minister has asked the Chief Inspector to  review Garda procedures and practices for dealing with incidents like that at Abbeylara.  Ms. O'Toole is currently studying a copy of the Tribunal report and has already contacted the Garda Commissioner about arrangements for the review.   The Inspectorate will benchmark current Garda procedures against best international police  practices, taking due account of issues such as use of less lethal force and  will make whatever recommendations it considers appropriate in light of its; review.

28 July 2006.




Objective of the Inspectorate

Part 5  of the Garda Síochána Act 2005 makes provision for the establishment of the Garda Síochána Inspectorate. Section 117 of the Act provides that 

          'The objective of the  Inspectorate is to ensure that the resources available to the Garda Síochána are used so as to achieve and maintain the highest levels of efficiency and effectiveness in its operation and administration, as measured by reference to  the best standards of comparable police services'.

The Inspectorate consists of three members appointed by the Government.  In accordance with section 115 of the 2005 Act, at least one of the  members must be a woman and one must be a man. That section also provides  that a person shall not be appointed as a member of the Inspectorate unless it appears to the Government that the person is suitable for the appointment by  reason of:

'(a)  his or her service as a  senior officer or retired such officer in the police service of another state,  or

(b)  having otherwise obtained such  relevant experience, qualifications, training or expertise as, in the opinion of  the Government, is or are appropriate having regard, in particular, to the  functions of the Inspectorate.'



Under section 117 of the Garda Síochána Act 2005, the functions of the Garda Síochána Inspectorate are:

in furtherance of its objective to carry out,  at the request or with the consent of the Minister, inspections or inquiries in  relation to any particular aspects of the operation and administration of the Garda Síochána, to submit to the Minister -

(i) a report on those inspections or inquiries,  and 

(ii) if required by the Minister, a report on the operation and administration of the Garda Síochána during a specified period and on any significant developments in that regard during that period,


to provide advice to the Minister with regard to best  policing practice.

The Garda Síochána Inspectorate does not have a role in the investigation of complaints about the  conduct of members of the Garda Síochána. Responsibility for such  complaints currently rests with the Garda Síochána Complaints Board and will  transfer, in due course, to the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission.   


Chief Inspector of the Garda Inspectorate

Kathleen M. O'Toole was appointed  Chief Inspector of the Garda Síochána Inspectorate on 16 May 2006.  Prior  to that, she held the position of Boston Police Commissioner from February 2004.   The Boston Police Department, the oldest municipal policy agency in the  United States, consists of nearly 3,000 personnel, with an annual budget of over  $250 million.  It is the largest municipal police force in the New England  region and the 14th largest in the US.

Ms. O'Toole  has spent more than twenty-five years in the public safety arena.  She rose  through the ranks of the Boston, Metropolitan, and State Police organisations,  including the position as Lieutenant Colonel of Massachusetts State Police from  1992 to 1994.  From 1994 to 1998 she served as Massachusetts Secretary of  Public Safety and in that capacity was responsible for twenty agencies, more  than ten thousand employees and an annual operating budget exceeding $1  billion.

In 1998, Ms. O'Toole was selected to serve  on the Independent Commission on Policing in Northern Ireland (The Patten  Commission) which developed a new framework for policing and security in the  North.

In 1999, she chaired the Boston Fire  Department Review Commission which proposed sweeping recommendations for  reform.

During her career, Ms. O'Toole has also held  senior positions at Digital Equipment, Boston College and GPC/O'Neill and  Associates.  In addition, she provided services to the US Department of  Justice Civil Rights Division as an expert witness on "profiling" cases.   She was also President and founder of O'Toole Associates LLC, an  international consulting firm with offices in Boston and Dublin. 

As Police Commissioner, Kathleen O'Toole was active in the  international police community as a member of the International Association of  Chiefs of Police (IACP), the IACP's Committee on Terrorism, the Police Executive  Research Forum and the FBI National Executive Institute Associates. 

Kathleen O'Toole is a graduate of Boston College and the  New England School of Law.  She was admitted to the Massachusetts Bar in  1982.  She is married with one daughter.


Member of the Garda Síochána Inspectorate

Robert Olson served three  3-year terms as Chief of Police of the City of Minneapolis from 1995 to 2004.   Minneapolis is the largest city in Minnesota and the hub of the 16th  largest metropolitan area in the United States.  The Minneapolis Police  Department comprised 1,200 personnel and had a total budget of more than $100m.   

Robert Olson previously served as Police  Commissioner for the City of Yonkers, the fourth largest city in New York State,  bordering New York City (1990-1995) and prior to that as Chief of Police for the  City of Corpus Christi, Texas (1987-1989).  In all, Robert Olson has  thirty-eight years experience as a police officer holding command positions in  uniform, detective and technical services.

In his  three positions as Chief of Police, Robert Olson has spearheaded significant  police reform programmes.  During his tenure in Minneapolis he launched the  CODEFOR (Computer Optimised Deployment - Focus ion Results) strategy  contributing to a 40% reduction in crime over a six-year period.  As Police  Chief, he has also been responsible for the development of community policing  and has taken diverse initiatives in the areas of performance management,  organisational reform and police discipline.  

Since his retirement in 2004 as Chief of Police in Minneapolis, Robert  Olson has worked as a Public Safety Consultant and is a recognised consultant on  law enforcement issues at national level in the United States.  From  January 2005 to April 2006 he was Chief of Party for a community policing  project in Jamaica run by the United States Agency for International Development  (USAID).  

Robert Olson holds an MSc in  Criminal Justice and BSc in Criminal Justice from University of Nebraska.   He is also a graduate of the FBI National Executive Institute and the  Senior Management Institute for Police.  He has lectured and presented on  most areas of law enforcement, management and administration at conferences and  colleges across the US.  He has co-authored a book on community policing,  published numerous articles and served as adjunct instructor at three  universities.  

Robert Olson is a Past  President of the US Police Executive Research Forum and a member of a number of  national and international police associations.           

Member of the Garda Síochána Inspectorate

Gwen Boniface was the first woman  to be appointed Police Commissioner of the Ontario Provincial Police in 1998. Ontario is the most populous Province in Canada and is second largest in  area.  The Ontario Provincial Police has a total of over 7,000 members and  an annual budget of $780m.  It serves 3.5 million of Ontario's  citizens.

As Police Commissioner, Gwen Boniface led  the Ontario Provincial Police through significant police restructuring and  change management.  She instituted new financial accountability structures,  emphasising individual and unit fiscal responsibility.  She also instituted  international staff exchange programmes and projects.   

Prior to being appointed Police Commissioner, Gwen Boniface  served as Regional Commander for Western Ontario from 1996 to 1998 with a  command staff of 1,000 and a budget of $72m.  During this time she  re-organised four police Districts into a unitary regional structure and managed  all attendant human resources and technological change.  Prior to that she  was Commander of the Organisational Development Bureau of the Ontario Provincial  Police with responsibility for corporate development, human resource policy,  audit implementation processes and creation of a Learning Strategy to underpin  organisational change.  

Gwen Boniface holds a  Bachelor of Arts degree from York University (1982) and Bachelor of Laws from  Osgoode Hall (1988).  She was called to the Ontario Bar in 1990 and served  as a Commissioner on the Law Commission of Canada (1997 - 2002).  In 1997 she was adjunct professor at University of Western Ontario Law School. Gwen Boniface also holds an honours diploma in Law Enforcement from Humber  College (1976).

Currently Gwen Boniface is a member  of the Board of Directors and Executive Committee of the International  Association of Police Chiefs and serves as General Chair of the Association's  State and Provincial Division. She is a Past President (2001-2003) of the  Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police.

Gwen  Boniface was invested in to the Order of Ontario in 2001 for her work with the  First Nations communities. Her career as a Superintendent and Inspector with the  Ontario Provincial Police involved responsibility for development and  administration of the First Nations Policing programme in 74 First Nations  Territories.

Outside of policing, Gwen Boniface has  served in an advisory capacity to the New Brunswick Task Force on Sexual  Harassment (1996).  She was Director of Child Find Ontario (1989 - 1991) and during her early career was a volunteer with Yellow Brick House, a shelter  for victims of family violence.