As a member of the N.H. House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee, we have been involved with developing laws to govern policing in New Hampshire. One of the foci of our committee is policing standards and protocols. We are concerned who can be licensed as a police officer. Our oversight of the N.H. Police and Standards Academy is an important aspect of this work. Long before we heard of George Floyd, we have been working on public safety.
Our committee and the N.H. House have passed bills earlier this year concerning police practices. One bill (House Bill 1174) will require police cadets to pass psychological testing. Some New Hampshire police departments already require this testing. Other departments cannot afford the testing. Our committee chair found a funding source to pay for all cadets to have the testing while they are in training.
Another bill (HB 1217) is modeled on existing law that requires medical personnel to report suspicious injuries. The bill requires police officers to report criminal activity of fellow officers under penalty of law. Hopefully this law would help police officers to police themselves and promote public safety.
The last bill (HB 1257) would set up a study committee to consider citizen involvement in the investigation of a police shooting. Due to COVID-19 and the shortened legislation period, bills with study committees are being tabled. I consider this study committee is important. I hope that the N.H. Senate agrees. It is now up to the Senate.
All of these bills have been passed by our committee and the House.
22 Woodbury St.
(This writer represents Cheshire District 5 in the N.H. House.)