New Hampshire Department of Safety
The State of New Hampshire Department of Safety is a government agency of the U.S. state of New Hampshire. The Department of Safety is under the executive direction of Commissioner of Safety John J. Barthelmes. The main office of the Department of Safety is located at the James H. Hayes Safety Building in Concord.
The duties of the Department of Safety, as provided in RSA 21-P:2, are:
- Enforcing the criminal law.
- Administering and enforcing laws relative to motor vehicles and drivers.
- Assuring fire, building, and equipment safety.
- Promoting vehicle and highway safety.
- Administering and enforcing laws relative to emergency medical services.
In 1961, the Department of Safety was established by the General Court and consisted of the divisions of Motor Vehicles, State Police, and Safety Services. In 1987, the Department added the Division of Enforcement, Division of Administration, Bureau of Hearings and the Bureau of Fire Safety. On January 1, 1989, the Bureau of Common Carriers was transferred from the Department of Transportation.
On July 1, 1989, the Division of Fire Service, consisting of the Bureau of Fire Safety, the Bureau of Fire Standards and Training, and the Fire Standards and Training Commission, and became the sixth division of the department. On August 1, 1994, the Division of Fire Service was restructured into two Divisions: the Division of Fire Standards and Training and the Division of Fire Safety.
On October 1, 1996, the Division of Enforcement was eliminated and all former positions and duties were merged into the Division of State Police Bureau of Enforcement. On November 19, 1999, the Bureau of Emergency Medical Services was transferred from the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Community and Public Health and became the Division of Emergency Medical Services.
On July 1, 1999, the Division of Motor Vehicles was approved to hire its own police officers (entitled Inspectors) to reclaim the law enforcement functions that were merged over to the Division of State Police in 1996.
On July 1, 2002, the Emergency Management Agency was transferred from the Office of the Governor and became the Division of Fire Safety and Emergency Management with two Bureaus: Fire Safety and Emergency Management. Also, the Division of Emergency Medical Services merged with the Division of Fire Standards and Training, becoming the Division of Fire Standards and Training and Emergency Medical Services.
On September 4, 2003, the Bureau of Emergency Communications was transferred from the Department of Administrative Services in the Division of Fire Safety and Emergency Management. The State Fire Marshal became the Bureau Chief of Fire Safety. Also in 2003, the Division of Information Technology was abolished by the General Court when it established the state Office of Information Technology.
On January 1, 2004, the Division of State Police - Forensic Laboratory received the Department of Corrections Drug Testing Laboratory and the Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Public Health's laboratory for the testing of blood, breath, and urine to determine alcohol and controlled drug content; and State Toxicologist office.
The Department of Safety is made up of seven divisions along with their respective bureaus:
- Commissioner's Office - headed by Commissioner Barthelmes along with Assistant Commissioner of Safety Earl M. Sweeney who oversees the Bureau of Hearings, Homeland Security Grants, the Management Team, Public Information Officer and Railroad Police.
- Division of Administration - Bureau of Road Toll
- Division of Emergency Services, Communications, and Management - Bureau of Emergency Management and Bureau of Emergency Communication (911)
- Division of Fire Safety - Fire Investigations Unit, Fireworks and Modular Buildings Standards Program
- Division of Fire Standards and Training and Emergency Medical Services - Bureau of Fire Academy and Bureau of Emergency Medical Services
- Division of Motor Vehicles - Bureau of Registration, Driver Education, Bureau of Driver Licensing, Bureau of Financial Responsibility, Bureau of Title and Anti-Theft, Emissions, International Registration Plan, Motorcycle Rider Program, New Motor Vehicle Arbitration (Lemon Law), Non-US Citizen
- Division of Safety Services - Boating Education Program, Bureau of Marine Patrol
- Division of State Police
- List of law enforcement agencies in New Hampshire
- New Hampshire State Police
- New Hampshire Marine Patrol