Needing More Coverage, Hassan To Consider Bill Giving Border Patrol Police Powers In Coos

May 19, 2016

Chris Jensen for NHPR

A bill that would give the Border Patrol in Coos County the same arrest powers as police is headed to Gov. Hassan’s desk.

Sen. Jeff Woodburn proposed the idea, saying police can be few and far between in Coos and often the Border Patrol is the first to arrive when there is a call for help, such as a violent, domestic dispute. But without police powers Border Patrol agents risk being sued for intervening.

The bill was later amended and added to a completely different bill - HB 1298 - sponsored by Rep Gene Chandler of Bartlett.

The Border Patrol already has such authority in Vermont  State and local police back the bill and Hassan has spoken in favor it it.

But critics say it gives the federal government too much power.