What would law enforcement look like in the Republic of New Hampshire?
A friend of mine asked me that question on the day of the historic hearing on CACR32, the legislation that would place the question of independence on the ballot if passed by the legislature. She supports liberty and state independence, but she was seriously concerned that we may not have any police if we cut ties with DC.
The answer to the question is quite simple: When New Hampshire secedes, law enforcement will operate exactly as it does now. Actually, it will have a few minor changes. And all of them would make policing in New Hampshire much more pleasant for the officers and the citizens.
For those who are not yet aware, the New Hampshire state police are funded by state taxes, and local police are primarily funded by local (town and city) taxes, with some grants by the state government. Leaving the union would not affect this basic funding mechanism. A minuscule portion of the money used for police operations in New Hampshire does come from DC, though.
In 2017, the DOJ sent $500,000 in taxpayer money from DC to New Hampshire police departments, reportedly to help them hire more officers.
In 2019, the DHS sent $75,000 in taxpayer money from DC to the Portsmouth Police Department so that they could buy surveillance drones. “Some of the drones will have a powerful 30X zoom camera, which will allow a drone to surveil a place without the suspect knowing it’s there, and a thermal imaging camera that will allow police to easily locate suspects in some cases.”, as reported by Patch.com. The Portsmouth Police Department now has eight drones. Do you think that we could survive without being surveilled by government drones? I believe that we would thrive without them.
In 2014, the DHS sent $258,000 in taxpayer money from DC to the Concord Police Department to buy a BEARcat, a military-style tank-vehicle hybrid. Do you think that we could survive without being terrorized by government military vehicles? I believe that we would thrive without them.
All sobriety checkpoints conducted by police in New Hampshire are funded by ‘federal highway funds’, according to the state government’s website. Do you think that we could survive without being violated by illegal and due-process-violating sobriety checkpoints that will necessarily presume all drivers to be drunk until they prove that they are sober? I believe that we would thrive without them.
Once New Hampshire severs ties with DC, it would be very unlikely for New Hampshire’s cops to work in joint operations with federal agents, such as the CBP, ICE, FBI, ATF, and all other federal agencies. Over the past few years, local and state cops have worked on joint efforts with federal law enforcement to conduct:
- Due-process-violating immigration checkpoints in the middle of the state
- Due-process-violating asset forfeiture (stealing property from innocent Granite Staters without convicting them of any crime)
- A massive raid on ‘the crypto six’, a group of Keene residents charged with various federal crimes related to using crypto-currency. The innocent individuals are currently being punished in various ways , despite not being convicted yet. They are facing decades in prison if convicted of all the crimes they are being charged with. None of the charges involve any crimes in which there were any actual victims.
Do you believe that we could survive without federal agents working with local and state cops to accomplish the above tasks? I am sure that we would thrive without them.
Another change would allow police officers to be held accountable for violating civil rights of citizens. Currently, a federal doctrine called ‘qualified immunity’ makes it impossible to sue police officers for violating your civil rights unless you can prove that they knew that they were violating a civil right that was previously established by a court case with the exact same set of circumstances as your case. The federal government created the doctrine of ‘qualified immunity’ and then extended the protection to state and local government officials. Once we leave the union, this doctrine will no longer protect police from being held accountable in court.
Once we leave the union, federal drug laws would not apply. The DEA would never again break into someone’s home to search for drugs. The war on drugs would likely end immediately or gradually within a few years after secession.
In the broader sense, nearly every violation of due process has roots in DC. Much like asset forfeiture, eminent domain (the government taking your property for ‘public use’) is a federal doctrine that DC politicians extended to state and municipal governments. Without ties to DC, both of those forms of legalized theft by police disappear.
Additionally, police officers in New Hampshire would become much happier, which benefits them, their families, and their communities. In addition to being relieved from no longer being required to participate in a tyrannical system, every cop would save around 25% of their income due to the abolition of the income tax. Considering that all other federal taxes (including the 21% tax on businesses) and regulations would no longer exist, every person in society would be much more prosperous.
In summary, nothing would change about our law enforcement operations in New Hampshire – except that it would become substantially better, less tyrannical, and more accountable. I could live with that.
All jails and prisons within New Hampshire will continue to operate after secession exactly as they did when we were part of the union. There is a medium-security federal prison and a minimum-security federal prison camp in Berlin, New Hampshire. Only 587 total federal prisoners reside in them, according to PrisonerResource.com. It is impossible to predict exactly what the state police and/or attorney general would negotiate with DC, but these prisoners would likely be transferred to other federal prisons or to other state prisons. None of those scenarios would be terribly difficult or unusual. The only part of the transition that may not be extremely quick and easy might be the state of New Hampshire’s government formally buying the federal prison property from the federal government. Assuming the property is owned by DC, this sale may cost New Hampshire some money. Exactly how negotiations would go or what they would entail is anybody’s guess. The state and local penitentiaries would continue to operate as they did before the split.
Within New Hampshire, there are federal, state, and county courts. The state and county courts would continue to operate as they always have. The federal courts would no longer operate within the borders of New Hampshire. The state government would likely buy the federal court buildings from the federal government. The justice systems within New Hampshire would continue to prosecute crimes as before. The federal government, courts, and agents would no longer have any jurisdiction within New Hampshire. This would mean that federal crimes would no longer exist. Unless prohibited by state law, Granite Staters would be able to smoke cannabis while buying suppressors for their machine guns using their favorite cryptocurrency, if that’s what they desired.
Fire, water, trash, and other utilities
A surprising number of people have expressed concern about how fire departments and other municipal systems would function once New Hampshire leaves the union. This is such a simple answer that we cannot dedicate a whole chapter to answering it. Even more so than law enforcement, fire departments will remain almost completely unchanged. The only potential changes may involve fewer federal regulations, allowing firefighters more flexibility and freedom. However, most fire departments would likely continue to adhere to national and international firefighting standards, because they are regulated by non-governmental associations that credential fire departments, and because they keep the firefighters and their communities safe. There may be some small losses from occasional federal grants. The biggest change will likely be the elimination of the federal income tax, which would allow the average firefighter in New Hampshire to keep an extra 20-30 percent of their income. Municipal systems such as garbage collection, water & sewer maintenance, and many others would likely remain even more unchanged than fire departments.