(The Center Square) – New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu’s road map to implementing the recommendations of the New Hampshire Commission on Law Enforcement Accountability, Community and Transparency includes a long list of executive orders the governor says he plans to issue in the next two weeks.
The commission was established by an executive order from Sununu in June, shortly after George Floyd died when a Minneapolis police officer kneeled on his neck. Forty-eight recommendations, divided into training, community relations and reporting and investigation of police misconduct, are included in the commission’s report issued last month.
Some of the orders may require a funding request to the New Hampshire Legislature, according to information released by Sununu. They include:
• A database that includes full records of a police officer’s career and an learning platform to standardize law enforcement training.
• A reevaluation of training for part-time law enforcement.
• The establishment of a Public Integrity Unit in the New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office.
• A requirement that state police use body or dash cameras. Legislation will be needed to mandate it for local police departments.
• Mandated training for school resource officers.
• Funding to increase minority hiring efforts.
• Funding for mental health training involving the well-being of police officers.
The governor also plans to issue executive orders requiring additional training for law enforcement officers, including bias and ethics training. Another order will require new officers to be vetted for past incidents of bias to protected groups, including social media posts.
Attorney General Gordon MacDonald is crafting other recommendations that require legislation, Sununu said.
Money to fund the recommendations can come from the federal government or state revenues, the governor said in a news conference.
“And already, we see our revenues coming in better than we anticipated over the past few months,” Sununu said. “So, there could be opportunity there if our budget hole isn't quite as big.”
Sununu said he expects the recommendation will receive bipartisan report from lawmakers.
“As I have long said, New Hampshire has some of the best law enforcement in the country, but there is always room to improve, grow, and adapt,” the governor said in a statement. “These issues are incredibly important and should not be political. And, as I have long said, cost will not be a barrier to implementation.”
The committee is chaired by MacDonald and includes representatives from human rights groups, mental health advocates, law enforcement and the public. The committee recommended to remain intact until after the next legislative session so it can meet to evaluate the progress on its recommendations.