After the implementation of New Hampshire House Bill 1298 earlier this month, U.S. Border Patrol officers stationed in Coos County now have state police authority after a training period.
The bill now gives Border Patrol agents the authority to provide immediate assistance to a person who has experienced or is threatened with grievous bodily harm and to make felony and misdemeanor arrests throughout the county. In addition, the law grants Border Patrol officers the same immunity from liability that state or municipal police officers receive under state law.
Coos County is a remote area of New Hampshire, with many towns lacking a municipal police force. In some instances, it can take up to an hour for any state or county police officers to respond to a call for service while many Border Patrol officers sat nearby.
“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 John C. Pfeifer, chief patrol agent for the Swanton Sector.
Border Patrol agents will now be required to complete the training course developed by the New Hampshire State Police Standards and Training Council.
The Swanton Sector Border Patrol is responsible for securing the land border between ports of entry in Vermont, New Hampshire and northeastern New York.