As the Deputy will be aware, the Garda Commissioner is responsible by law for the management and administration of An Garda Síochána, including personnel matters and deployment of resources. As Minister, I have no responsibility for these matters. I am assured, however, that Garda management keeps the distribution of resources under continual review in the context of crime trends and policing priorities, to ensure their optimum use.
The Operational Support Unit is a national service. National units support the work of all Garda Divisions across the country and are consequently not broken down by Division.
Operational Support Services consists of units that provide specialist support to Gardaí throughout the country. The units include the Mounted Support Unit, the Air Support Unit, the Dog Unit and the Water Unit.
An Garda Síochána has been allocated an unprecedented budget of €1.952 billion for 2021. This level of funding is enabling sustained, ongoing recruitment of Garda members and staff. As a result, Garda numbers are now approximately 14,600 Garda members and over 3,000 Garda staff nationwide. Budget 2021 will allow for the recruitment of up to 620 new Gardaí and an extra 500 Garda staff.