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Police Reform Bill Passes N.H. Senate, But After Key Data Collection Proposal Is Stripped Out

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The New Hampshire Senate has given its unanimous backing to a bill that would implement some recommendations from Gov. Chris Sununu's commission on police accountability and transparency. But the final bill removes a requirement that police departments in the state collect racial information about people they arrest, search or stop. It also scrapped adding racial identifiers to driver's licenses.

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According the architect of that change, Londonderry Republican Sen. Sharon Carson, more data on police interactions with the public isn't needed.

"Why do we have to do this?” said during the Senate debate Thursday. “I have not heard a compelling reason why."

Democrats, like Sen. Jay Kahn of Keene, argued that data collection was deemed critical by the Sununu-appointed reform committee.

"They felt this need to be done,” Kahn said. “They put this into the original bill which was drafted by law enforcement."

The bill, which among other things creates a fund for help pay for bodycams for local police, and requires disclosure of agreements between school districts and school resource officers, now moves to the House.

Josh has worked at NHPR since 2000.

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