SB385 (2012) Detail

Relative to police investigations of motor vehicle accidents involving police officers.


SB 385 – AS INTRODUCED

2012 SESSION

12-2941

09/10

SENATE BILL 385

AN ACT relative to police investigations of motor vehicle accidents involving police officers.

SPONSORS: Sen. White, Dist 9; Sen. Groen, Dist 6; Rep. Manuse, Rock 5; Rep. Hawkins, HillsĀ 18

COMMITTEE: Judiciary

ANALYSIS

This bill requires motor vehicle accidents involving a police officer employed by any police department in any jurisdiction in the state to be investigated by a different police department than the department employing the police officer involved in the accident.

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Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.

Matter removed from current law appears [in brackets and struckthrough.]

Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.

12-2941

09/10

STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Twelve

AN ACT relative to police investigations of motor vehicle accidents involving police officers.

Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:

1 Statement of Purpose. This act requires motor vehicle accidents involving a police officer employed by any police department in any jurisdiction in the state to be investigated by a different police department than the police department employing the police officer involved in the accident in order to ensure the independence and objectivity of the investigation as well as the public perception of independence and objectivity of the investigation.

2 New Section; Police Investigations of Accidents Involving Police Officers. Amend RSA 264 by inserting after section 25-a the following new section:

264:25-b Police Investigations of Accidents Involving Police Officers.

I. In this section:

(a) “Police officer” means any law enforcement officer with the power of arrest, including auxiliary, intermittent, special, full-time, part-time, or reserve police officers, or sheriffs and their deputies who are employed by a city, town, village district, county, or precinct within the state of New Hampshire; police officers employed by the university system of New Hampshire; and any state law enforcement officer employed by the state of New Hampshire who has power of arrest as determined by state law.

(b) “Police department” means the employer of a police officer whether or not the employer is officially known as a police department, an agency, or some other term.

II. In any reportable motor vehicle accident as defined in RSA 264:26, II, when a police officer is involved as a party in the accident, it shall be unlawful for a police officer employed by the same police department as the police officer involved in the accident to conduct an investigation and file a report of accident as required by RSA 264:26, and a police officer employed by a different police department than the police department employing the police officer involved in the accident shall file a report of accident as required by RSA 264:26, and:

(a) A police officer involved in an accident shall immediately be considered off-duty for the purposes of the accident investigation and shall follow the same procedures required by any driver of a vehicle in RSA 264:25;

(b) If the police officer involved in the accident is reasonably able, he or she shall within a reasonable time cause a uniformed police officer from a different police department with jurisdiction to arrive on the scene and conduct an investigation of the accident and file a report of accident as required by RSA 264:26; and

(c) If a uniformed police officer arriving on the scene is employed by the same police department as the police officer involved in the accident, the uniformed police officer employed by the same police department shall within a reasonable time cause a uniformed police officer from a different police department with jurisdiction to arrive on the scene and conduct an investigation of the accident and file a report of accident as required by RSA 264:26, if such police officer is not already on the scene.

3 Jurisdiction of Police Employees. Amend RSA 106-B:15 to read as follows:

106-B:15 Jurisdiction of Police Employees. Police employees have jurisdiction on all turnpikes, toll roads and interstate highways and nothing in this section shall be construed to limit the authority of local police officers. A police employee shall not act within the limits of a town having a population of more than 3,000 or of any city, except when he or she witnesses a crime, or is in pursuit of a law violator or suspected violator, or when in search of a person wanted for a crime committed outside its limits, or when in search of a witness of such crime, or when traveling through such town or city, or when acting as an agent of the director of motor vehicles enforcing rules pertaining to driver licenses, registrations and the inspection of motor vehicles, or when requested to act by an official of another law enforcement agency, or as provided in RSA 264:25-b, or when ordered by the governor. No criminal case shall be abated, quashed, or dismissed and no evidence in a criminal case shall be suppressed or excluded because a police employee has failed to comply with the jurisdictional limits of this section, provided, that the police employee had a good faith belief that he or she had authority to act when he or she acted.

4 Effective Date. This act shall take effect upon its passage.

Links

SB385 at GenCourtMobile

Action Dates

Date Body Type

Bill Text Revisions

SB385 Revision: 23454 Date: Jan. 24, 2012, midnight

Docket