NEFAC Argues for Open Law Enforcement Certification Proceedings

Senate Bill 471 Would Prevent Future Hearings From Unnecessary Secrecy

Justin Silverman | 774.244.2365 |

Note: NEFAC followed up this testimony with supplemental comments on Feb. 10, addressing the concerns of the New Hampshire Chiefs of Police. Read that letter here.


The New England First Amendment Coalition recently argued in support of New Hampshire legislation that would require law enforcement certification proceedings to be public.

House Bill 471 would grant the public access to police certification hearings, providing a level of transparency necessary to keep law enforcement officers accountable to the communities they serve.

“The public’s interest in police misconduct is always at an extremely high level,” wrote NEFAC’s Gregory V. Sullivan on behalf of the coalition and the Union Leader Corp on Feb. 6.

“An individual officer’s expectation of privacy regarding the performance of his or her official duties cannot reasonably be expected to outweigh the presumption of openness mandated by constitutional and statutory law,” Sullivan wrote.


NEFAC is the leading advocate for First Amendment freedoms and open government in New England. It fights to protect press rights and promote transparency throughout the six-state region.

To help keep law enforcement officers accountable, for example, NEFAC recently testified in opposition to a New Hampshire bill that would keep secret certain police misconduct records, recommended additional transparency measures in New Hampshire and in Connecticut, advocated for the release of use-of-force policies, demanded more oversight of police in Vermont, and publicly discussed the role of transparency in policing the police.

Learn more about how NEFAC is helping to keep law enforcement officers accountable here.

NEFAC was formed in 2006 to advance and protect the Five Freedoms of the First Amendment, including the principle of the public’s right to know. We’re a broad-based organization of people who believe in the power of an informed democratic society. Our members include lawyers, journalists, historians, academics and private citizens.

Our coalition is funded through contributions made by those who value the First Amendment and who strive to keep government accountable. Please make a donation here.

Major Supporters of NEFAC include Hearst Connecticut Media Group, Paul and Ann Sagan, The Boston Globe, WBUR, Boston University and the Robertson Foundation.