New Hampshire HB 1682 was introduced by Rep. David Welch (R – Rockingham13) on 1/5/2022, followed by a public hearing on 1/14/2022. The House Committee on Criminal Justice and Public Safety voted that the bill “ought to pass with amendment” and has been referred to the House Finance Committee for further review.
On the Surface It Sounds Great: Hold Police Accountable for Their Actions
The idea of this bill is to establish a committee that’s considered “independent” and separate from local police jurisdictions in order to ensure police officers are held accountable for their actions (or inactions.) According to Rep. David Welch, the aim of the bill is “to establish a single, neutral, and independent statewide entity to receive complaints alleging misconduct regarding all sworn and elected law enforcement officers.” – HB 1682 public hearing, 1/14/2022 – watch here
As outlined in the bill, officers could potentially face the new Conduct Review Committee for a number of reasons, including: if they’ve been convicted of committing a felony, any sentence of incarceration, excessive use of force, driving while intoxicated, moral turpitude (dishonesty, deceit, theft), acts of omission, lying in a police report or criminal proceeding, falsification of records, tampering with or falsifying evidence, racist conduct or statements, etc.
This all sounds great, because of course law enforcement officers should be held accountable for their actions! Which makes me wonder, why aren’t they now?
Policing the Police With Police
There’s already an established Police Standards and Training Council that handles internal reviews in New Hampshire. The new Law Enforcement Conduct Review Committeewould fall under that umbrella, dealing exclusively with misconduct reviews. In recent years the public’s interest in holding police accountable has skyrocketed. Perhaps there are so many cases of police misconduct in the state that they can no longer handle the workload or process them quickly enough.
Since the new Conduct Review Committee would fall under the already established Standards Council, the governor would (again) be appointing its members. The current Police Standards and Training Council consists of mainly a bunch of police officers appointed by Governor Sununu. Since it is the governor who will be appointing members here again, I’m not sure this bill will be as effective as it looks. A politician hand-picking members within the context of “maintaining absolute objectivity” is a farce.
The Law Enforcement Conduct Review Committee would consist of:
Four law enforcement officers appointed by the governor
Three public members with no familial associations to a police officer, lawyer, or judge
1. Keene personal injury lawer disbarred.
2. New startup charter schools denied funding.
3. Gary Johnson endorses the FreeStateProject.
4. Arsenic in the rice.
5. Yes We Can indefinitely detain you.
6. Protests continue over the “Innocence of Muslims” video.
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Hello Fellow Free Keeners! Ian brought to my attention that I have neglected to post the Shire TV episodes on FreeKeene.com. Here are the episodes 3 – 7 from Aug – early Sept! I hope you enjoy! Please feel free to send any comments or suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org!
We expanded to 4 pages with this issue. It is looking like the Free Keene Press will be putting out an independent quarterly publication for the Keene area starting with a release slated for the autumnal equinox. Keep an eye on freekeene.com for more information!
Thanks to BJ Wurts for the great letter about his trip to Keene.
The Free Keene Press is going to be looking to expand the amount of pages we have to fill. The next edition will be four pages instead of one. This means I am going to need more Keene-centric content and could use some help with that task. Currently I am paying for the printing costs out of pocket, with the cost going from $70 to $200, I will also need help paying for the printing costs. I am open to the idea of running some ads and pricing is negotiable.
What I am looking for as far as content is:
Articles in general
Photographs with caption or brief context description
Press releases for events around Keene
In terms of the articles I would like to see:
City Council watch type report
Events around the Keene area like Pumpkin Fest
Social needs and services and a critique thereof, both public and private
Important Cheshire county news stories
And much more of course. I plan on keeping an open mind as to what gets printed. You can submit an item for consideration by sending an email to email@example.com.
And just to clarify things: By submitting you give the Free Keene Press permission to reprint and edit your item as we see fit. You will not be compensated. You will be credited and if your item is edited a note will be made. Please limit profanity. More than likely if an edit is made it will be for length.
If you have questions please feel free to email the above address.