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:
- Mr Robert Olson, former Chief of Police for the City of Minneapolis, USA and
- Ms Gwen Boniface, who currently serves as Commissioner of the Ontario Provincial Police, Canada.
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.
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:
- Crime reduction and public safety strategies;
- Resource allocation, including deployment of Garda and civilian personnel;
- Police technology systems.
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.
NOTE FOR EDITORS
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.