The Technical Bureau is the longest established Specialist unit in An Garda Síochána.
It's development is ongoing. The Bureau comprises of nine Sections each providing
a specialist service to An Garda Síochána. They are as follows:
Within the various Specialist sections, sub-sections have been established.
The Technical Bureau is headed by a Chief Superintendent (assisted by a Superintendent) who has responsibility for overall management of the Bureau, which has a total personnel strength of approximately 200 Gardai and civilian staff. The Chief Superintendent reports in turn to the Assistant Commissioner in charge of Finance, Services & Community Relations.
Recruitment to the Bureau is made from the ranks of An Garda Síochána, with various vacancies being advertised throughout the Force. Civilian positions are normally advertised thorough the media.
Expert status is attained in the various disciplines on completion of five years training in operational work, within the Sections. During this time, members will attend courses covering their respective scientific fields - these courses normally take place in Ireland, the UK and Holland. For further personal development Experts undertake a two-year Diploma Course in Crime Scene Examination and Fingerprint Development.
Teams from the Technical Bureau including experts from Photography, Ballistics, Fingerprints and Mapping examine the scenes of all major crime throughout the State. They are highly skilled and use the best equipment and techniques available in the recovery and analysis of evidence.
Computer technology is used in all Sections in their day to day endeavors to assist in the investigation of crime. The leader in this area is AFR (Automatic Fingerprint Retrieval) System, which was installed in the Fingerprint Section in early 1996. The system has been further enhanced and is now capable of searching palm marks in addition to its primary function of searching fingermarks. The Ballistics Section acquired SICAR (Shoe Identification and Retrieval) system during year 2000. SICAR is a graphic picture database, containing shoe out-sole patterns which is regularly updated. It allows the expert to analysis, compare and evaluate and identify shoeprint detail.