The New Hampshire Association of Chiefs of Police (NHACP) has officially endorsed #TransBillNH (HB 478).
Dover Police Chief Anthony Colarusso delivered the endorsement two weeks ago during the packed Health, Human Services and Elderly Affairs (HHS) Committee meeting. Chief Colarusso made clear that both he and NHACP feel #TransBillNH is a commonsense measure that will enhance public safety and protect transgender people from violence.
WATCH Chief Colarusso’s testimony:
“This bill makes perfect sense. It will help us clarify what is discrimination or not, and we feel it will actually increase public safety, not decrease public safety.”
The outpouring of broad-based support for #TransBillNH during that hearing ultimately led the bipartisan committee to overwhelmingly recommend (by a 15–2 vote) that the full House of Representatives “ought to pass” (OTP) the bill..
But over the last several days opponents of #TransBillNH have started pushing fear-mongering “bathroom predator” myths designed to frighten and intimidate lawmakers and the public, though these scare tactics were refuted by Chief Colarusso himself during his HHS testimony.
Chief Colarusso noted that every other state in the Northeast has passed similar legislation and seen no increase in public safety incidents. Furthermore, he said, #TransBillNH would actually help police protect transgender Granite Staters, who are much more likely to be victims of violent crime.
Chief Colarusso made similar points earlier in the month when he spoke at a luncheon organized to educate lawmakers about #TransBillNH and the transgender residents and workers this law seeks to protect.
“[Transgender people are] actually disproportionately targeted for harassment and assault. However, in places where legal protections are in place, rates of violence against transgender individuals go down with no uptick in public safety incidents. Transgender equality and equal treatment for all is ultimately about building stronger communities for everyone.”
The consensus from public safety officials is that #TransBillNH is badly needed. This must be the message lawmakers hear before they vote next week—not fear-mongering misinformation from opponents of equality.