Beecher Falls, N.H. – On January 19, 2017, the New Hampshire Commissioner of Public Safety, John J. Barthelmes, swore in Border Patrol agents from the Beecher Falls Station as New Hampshire Peace Officers.
This was the final step in the implementation of New Hampshire House Bill 1298 which, after the successful completion of training, gives Border Patrol agents state police authority in Coos County, New Hampshire.
“This law reduces liability, strengthens our relationships with our state and local partners, and helps better serve the communities where we live and work,” said Swanton Sector Chief Patrol Agent John C. Pfeifer.
Coos County is a remote and sparsely populated area of New Hampshire where many towns do not have municipal police forces and it can take up to an hour for a state or county police officer to respond to a call for service. Often a Border Patrol agent performing regular patrol duties might be closer, but until last Thursday, they did not have authority to enforce state laws.
House Bill 1298 gives Border Patrol agents the authority to provide immediate assistance to a person who has suffered or is threatened with serious bodily harm and to make felony and misdemeanor arrests in Coos County. The law also grants Border Patrol agents the same immunity from liability that a state or municipal law enforcement officer has under New Hampshire State Law.
Governor Hassan signed House Bill 1298 into law on June 20, 2016 and became effective on January 1, 2017. Senator Jeanie Forrester, Sheriff Gerald Marcou, Colonel Kevin Jordan and Colonel Robert Quinn were instrumental in the passage of the bill.
Border Patrol agents completed the training developed by the New Hampshire State Police Standards and Training Council in December and were officially sworn in at the Troop F New Hampshire State Police Barracks in Twin Mountain, New Hampshire.
The Swanton Sector is responsible for securing the land border between ports of entry in Vermont, New Hampshire and northeastern New York. The coordination with assistance of citizens is invaluable to the Border Patrol's border security mission and we welcome community members' help to keep our nation’s borders safe. Please report suspicious activity at 1-800-689-3362.
For more on Customs and Border Protection’s mission at our nation’s ports of entry with CBP officers and along U.S. borders with Border Patrol agents, please visit the Border Security section of the CBP website.