By NANCY WEST, InDepthNH.org
CONCORD – Gov. Chris Sununu’s new Commission on Law Enforcement Accountability, Community, and Transparency will hold an organizational meeting via teleconference on Monday at 1 p.m., but it is still unknown exactly who will serve on it or how the two public members will be selected.
Members of the public may listen to the teleconference Monday, according to Sununu’s news release, but it doesn’t say if there is a way to contact commission members, who they are beyond those identified by title in his original news release, or how the two public members will be chosen.
Sununu’s spokesman didn’t respond to questions Saturday, nor did the Joint Information Center.
On Saturday in front of the State House about 100 people gathered for a Support Police rally.
Mark Morrison from the NH Police Association and who works for the Londonderry Police Department, spoke to the crowd about the challenges officers face every day and being required to make split second decisions. He also acknowledged the disgust officers have with the death of George Floyd, said Jeffrey Hastings, who was reporting for InDepthNH.org and other news outlets.
Floyd’s death at the hands of Minneapolis police has sparked outrage around the world prompting many demonstrations, including in New Hampshire in recent weeks.
“New Hampshire finds itself in a pivotal moment that demands prompt action to initiate important conversations and develop recommendations for reform,” said Sununu in the release announcing the commission.
“The state has an obligation to participate in the national conversation and engage in self-examination to identify any opportunities to improve the state of our law enforcement and the relationship between law enforcement and the communities they serve, and I would like to thank the members of this commission for agreeing to serve,” Sununu said.
To listen to the organizational meeting Monday, June 22, follow the directions in Sununu’s news release:
Call-in: 1-800-356-8278 or 1-857-444-0744
Enter one of the following 6 digit conference codes:
When prompted, clearly state your first and last name as well as if you are a member of the public or which organization/agency you represent.
Any member of the public having difficulty accessing the telephonic public meeting should contact the Department of Justice at (603) 271-1202.
Sununu’s original release identified the following representatives to the commission, but on Thursday said he is adding a member of Black Lives Matter and a member of the defense bar.
The members of the commission will consist of the following:
The Attorney General, or designee, who shall chair the Commission
The Commissioner of the Department of Safety, or designee
The Executive Director of the New Hampshire Commission for Human Rights
The Director of the Police Standards and Training Council
The Chair of the Governor’s Advisory Council on Diversity and Inclusion
The President of the Manchester, NH NAACP
A current justice of the New Hampshire Superior or Circuit Court, appointed by and serving at the pleasure of the Governor
A representative of the New Hampshire Police Association, appointed by and serving at the pleasure of the Governor
The President of the New Hampshire Association of Chiefs of Police
The Executive Director of the New Hampshire Chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness
A representative from the New Hampshire ACLU, appointed by and serving at the pleasure of the Governor
Two members of the public, appointed by and serving at the pleasure of the Governor
According to the news release, the commission will do the following:
The Commission will engage all interested and relevant public, private, and community stakeholders and develop recommendations for reforms that the Commission deems necessary to enhance transparency, accountability, and community relations in law enforcement. To fulfill this charge, the Commission will examine the following:
Training curriculum, procedures and policies developed by State Police, local police departments, and the Police Standards and Training Council, and potential options for improving the same to better address certain areas which may include, but are not limited to, (i) de-escalation, (ii) use of deadly and non-deadly force force, and (iii) diversity training;
State and local procedures related to the reporting and investigation of police misconduct, and potential reforms which may include, but are not limited to, development of a uniform statewide system for the reporting, investigation, and punishment of police misconduct;
The current state of relationships between law enforcement and the communities they serve, and potential steps that can be taken to enhance these relationships; and
Any other subject matter which the Commission deems relevant to the overall mission of enhancing transparency, accountability, and community relations in law enforcement.
The Commission will have 45 days to submit a report containing its recommendations to the Governor, the Speaker of the House, and the President of the Senate. The Commission’s report will be posted publicly on the Governor’s Office website.
Please note that this meeting will be audio recorded. The recordings will be available following the conclusion of the meeting at: https://www.governor.nh.gov/accountability
Pursuant to the State of Emergency declared by the Governor as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the requirement that a quorum of a public body be physically is waived. Therefore, in accordance with Emergency Order #12, Section 3, Commission members will be participating in the meeting remotely via teleconference.
NOTE: An earlier press release announcing formation of the Commission by Governor Sununu can be found here.