Coast Guard and New Hampshire Enter Into Partnership to Protect State Waterways

BOSTON – Rear Adm. Timothy Sullivan, Commander, First Coast Guard District, and New Hampshire Governor John Lynch Friday will formalize an important maritime security partnership at a signing ceremony to be held at 2 p.m. Tuesday at the State House Governor and Council Chambers, Concord, NH.

The partnership, known as a Memorandum of Agreement, allows Coast Guard law enforcement crews and New Hampshire law enforcement officers to better work together to ensure the safety and security of New Hampshire’s waters and waterfront facilities.

Under the terms of the agreement, New Hampshire Marine Patrol officers, working with the Coast Guard, have the authority to stop and board vessels and take enforcement action against persons violating Federal safety and security zones created by the Coast Guard.

“A fundamental duty of state government is to protect the safety of our citizens. In these times, we must do all we can to ensure the safety of our waters, ports and harbors. This memorandum of agreement will reinforce the already strong working relationship between our state Marine Patrol officers and the Coast Guard and provide a new level of cooperation,” Gov. Lynch said.

“Securing our Nation’s maritime domain requires us to reach across traditional agency boundaries,” said Rear Adm. Tim Sullivan, Commander, First Coast Guard District. “Leading maritime homeland security, the Coast Guard must closely cooperate with our law enforcement partners at the federal, state and local level. This agreement further strengthens the already close ties we have with New Hampshire’s law enforcement community, and helps us better ensure this State’s and our Nation’s safety and security.”

While Coast Guard and New Hampshire law enforcement officers have a long-standing, cooperative relationship including combined operations to secure the transit of LPG tankers into Portsmouth, countless waterside fireworks displays, and joint security patrols of critical maritime infrastructure in Portsmouth and Seabrook, this agreement allows for more effective use of enforcement resources by giving state officers similar enforcement authority on the water as currently possessed by the Coast Guard.

The Memorandum of Agreement incorporates recent changes to Federal laws specifically targeted at strengthening the ability for state enforcement officers to assist the Coast Guard. In the past, if a New Hampshire Marine Patrol officer encountered a violation of a Federal security zone, that officer would need to call the Coast Guard before enforcement action could be taken. State officers subject to this agreement will now be able to take immediate action.

Source: USCG D1 Public Affairs

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