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Last updated March 5, 2020
No knock warrants
New Hampshire has not yet enacted a law eliminating the use of no-knock warrants.
New Hampshire has not yet enacted a law ending its participation in programs that facilitate the transfer of military weapons from the federal government to police departments. Rep. J.R. Hoell introduced House Bill 1431 in 2018 to "prohibit police from acquiring any military equipped, vehicle or military grade hardware that is not readily available on the open commercial market. This would include armored personnel carriers, Title II weapons, unmanned aerial vehicles, or unmanned ground vehicles." However, it died in committee.
Military style training
In an executive order issued in October 2020, Gov. Christopher Sununu (R) mandated that officers receive implicit bias and de-escalation training. However, this training does not address the militaristic style of policing.
New Hampshire has not yet enacted a law requiring the recording and cataloging of SWAT team use.
Civil asset forfeiture
New Hampshire has not yet enacted a law ending civil asset forfeiture. The state has incredibly detailed and strict seizure and forfeiture laws. Most personal property and assets can be seized if they are connected to a suspected crime. The burden of proof remains on the citizen as well. Though the state did institute new reporting requirements in 2018, they did not address the process of asset forfeiture.
New Hampshire has not yet enacted a law ending quotas for low-level arrests.
Cost of misconduct
New Hampshire has not yet enacted a law requiring police departments (not state general funds) to cover the cost of misconduct.
New Hampshire has not yet enacted a law decriminalizing minor offenses that do not threaten public safety such as spitting and loitering.
Objective justification for stops
New Hampshire has not yet enacted a law requiring officers to establish objective justification for making a stop (i.e. not simply for furtive movement, suspicious activity, or matching a generalized description).
Reporting stop details
New Hampshire requires officers to make detailed reporting of each stop by including race, gender, use of force, and presence of a firearm.
Pending Legislation: To institutionalize these reporting requirements, lawmakers in January 2021 introduced HB 620, which requires departments to collect and annually publish demographic data on police altercations.
Reckless civil rights violation
New Hampshire has not yet enacted a law which eliminates the requirement that an officer must "willfully" deprive another's rights in order to be prosecuted.
Gov. Sununu's October executive order directed the Attorney General to create a Public Integrity Unit within the NH DOJ to "promote a uniform approach to the investigation and prosecution of alleged criminal conduct" of cops and other government officials. However, this order does not explicitly give the Public Integrity Unit the power to initiative and oversee those investigations.
New Hampshire has not yet enacted a law ending qualified immunity.
Mental health response
New Hampshire has not yet enacted a law creating and funding a mental health task force available to respond to crisis calls (in lieu of police). Locally, Manchester, the largest city in the state, has established a Mental Health Center’s Mobile Crisis Response Team which sends out police officer and mental health professionals to deal with those in crisis.
Pending Legislation: Governor Sununu endorsed all 48 of The New Hampshire Law Enforcement Accountability and Transparency Commission in Sept. 2020. One of these recommendations encouraged legislators to implement a statewide mobile-crisis response teams to decrease police response to mental health crisis.
Education, Housing, Community Health Resources
It is important to note that policing does not address the roots of social disadvantage and barriers to (economic) opportunity that often lead to crime. Nor should police be burdened with that responsibility.
Without access to quality resources in healthcare, education, and housing, our cities, neighborhoods, and families will continue to suffer. We should instead reassess the budgets of the state government and reinvest in the services that matter most.
Of note, Gov. Sununu's October executive order directed all police departments to "establish and dedicate a team to focus on community policing and engagement."
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