Last month I was kindly invited to Templemore by Superintendent Pat McCabe to address the Garda driving instructors. I spoke to them on my experience and our tragedy. I outlined the events leading up to our crash and how cctv footage from that day showed that Marek RIP had driven 12 circuits along Hamelin Way that day without doing anything wrong. The only difference in the last circuit was police presence.
I explained that I respect that not every Suicidal person can be saved but that I do believe that training in suicide awareness in the college and across the force is hugely important. I told them that I was delighted to learn from Superintendent McCabe that the new BA in policing students now undertake Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) and that I hope that this training will be rolled out across the force.
I said that in addition to this training I think it is of huge importance that when they are instructing Garda drivers that they address the suicidal driver and the impact that Garda drivers can have on others. Stressing the sad reality that cars can be used as a lethal weapon, I explained that I would like to see the principal of least intrusion adopted in this scenario.
Personally, I honestly believe that this training in suicide awareness and addressing the suicidal driver is as much to help the poor Garda / Police Officer as indeed the suicidal person they may encounter.
The fact that I was kindly invited by Superintendent McCabe to speak with the Garda driver trainers is an extremely positive development in the campaign, of which I am most grateful, and I do hope that I will continue to have an input with Superintendent McCabe and his great training team on this hugely important issue.