New Hampshire State Rep. Tom Alciere (Source: Alciere's Web site)
PoliceOne Staff Report (NASHUA, N.H.) -- Police groups from across the Untied States are demanding that a newly elected New Hampshire lawmaker resign for saying he finds nothing wrong with killing cops.
Despite being labeled as a "hate mongering lunatic," a "leper" and a "disgrace" by police and fellow lawmakers, newly elected Republican State Rep. Tom Alciere has not apologized for the pro cop-killing comments and is refusing demands for him to resign from office.
"I think he's repugnant," said Nashua Deputy Chief Tim Hefferan, from which Alciere was elected to a two-year term. "He's real brave sitting behind a computer spewing out this kind of stuff but now he's in the limelight and being questioned to his face."
Hefferan said that Alciere's views are well known to officers in this city of approximately 85,000 residents. Over the years, Alciere has written numerous letters to newspapers complaining about cops. Despite his radical views, he was elected to the New Hampshire legislature by 55 votes, Hefferan said.
General theme: "cops are the enemy"
"The general theme (of the letters to the editor) has been that the 'cops are the enemy, kill the cops but I'm too chicken to do it so somebody else has to do it,' " Hefferan said.
The nationwide outrage began building on Jan. 1 when Alciere, in an interview with the Valley News of Lebanon, was quoted as saying that likes it when someone kills a police officer.
"It's unfortunate that cops do make it necessary (to kill them) when they're waging a war on drugs, and I view cops as enemy officers," Alciere told the newspaper.
Did TV made him say it?
Alciere believes that when police cross the line and commit misconduct, citizens have the right to use force to defend themselves: "Whatever is necessary is necessary," he was quoted as saying. He said that his anger with cops stems from reading and watching television about police misconduct.
The rookie Republican lawmaker, who had run for the legislature on three previous occasions but lost, also has stated that he has frequently posted his cop-killing views on Internet chat sites over the years, including one that said: "Nobody will ever be safe until the last cop is dead."
But Alciere is standing by his comments and refusing to either apologize or resign.
Web site waffling?
In separate statements posted on his Web site, Alciere first said that his anti cop rhetoric is having a "positive" effect but later said the story has been taken way out of proportion.
"One positive thing that will come out of this is a lively discussion of just how the government and its cops should be prevented from violating the rights of the people," Alciere wrote. "Folks with good, positive suggestions are invited to share them with the State representatives and State senator for the district wherein they reside. Maybe something positive will come out of your efforts."
On his Web site, Alciere said he is proposing legislation to repeal all drug laws, the minimum drinking age and even requiring children to go to school.
Alciere appeared on a local radio talk show Thursday afternoon, fielding calls and answering questions about his comments.
"I am not going to resign because I have proposals to put forth," Alciere said.
He told listeners that if he resigned it would "send the wrong message" to the millions of people following the story and that he had both positive and negative feedback after his views where publicized.
Also advocated domestic violence
During the show, Alciere also admitted that he once wrote that a man has the right to hit a woman, particularly if she keeps nagging him. He also said people will vote for anyone who "smiles and waves" at them and that he once used an online screen name, "allcopssuck," to provoke police.
But Alciere's fellow lawmakers don't see his views as positive or don't want to hear talk of comments blown out of proportion.
They want him out of the legislature.
At Representative Hall at the State Capital in Concord Wednesday, Alciere held a press conference to explain his views, but was interrupted and verbally attacked by lawmakers. House leaders demanded that he resign. One lawmaker called him a "disgrace." Another said that what Alciere represents brings "shame on the officers."
Governor is "stunned"
Even Gov. Jeanne Shaheen quickly jumped into the fray, saying she was "stunned and dismayed" by the comments and calling Alciere's views extremist.
"I am confident that he will find little sympathy for his extremist views in the New Hampshire legislature or among the citizens of our state," Shaheen said in the prepared statement.
LEOs condemn his comments
Condemnation of Alciere's comments came from police both locally and nationally.
Gilbert Gallegos, national president of the Fraternal Order of Police, called on Alciere to be "ostracized" by his fellow lawmakers and the state to use any legal means to force him out of office because he "advocates the murder" of police officers.
Back in the Granite State, Meredith Police Chief John Curran, who started the New Hampshire Law Enforcement Officer Memorial to honor officers killed in the line of duty, said that Alciere's comments dishonor the 37 slain officers who's names are engraved on the Memorial.
"He's a leper," said Curran, who has three sons who are police officers. "He's created an island for himself. If I say anything bad about him it will be feeding his ego. But the big thing to remember is that we are bigger than he is."
Meanwhile, a group called Concerns of Police Survivors (COPS), a Missouri based organization that represents families of officers killed in the line of duty, said it was starting a nationwide letter-writing campaign in an attempt to force Alciere to resign.
Hefferan said he has received calls from police departments from across the United States asking what they can do to get Alciere out of office.
New Hampshire has no recall procedure in its state laws to oust a lawmaker, state officials said.
LEO e-mail from as far away as Belgium
Bruce Twyon, a New Hampshire State Trooper and president of the union for troopers, said that he has received e-mail from police officers and residents from as far away as Belgium and the Netherlands voicing support for the police and asking if there is anything they can do to get Alciere out of office.
The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund reports that since 1794, more than 15,000 law enforcement officers have been killed in the line of duty. A total of 1,596 law enforcement officers died in the line of duty during the last 10 years.
The deadliest decade was the 1970s when a total of 2,215 officers died, or 222 each year. That figure has dropped dramatically in the 1990's to 160 per year, the NLEMF stated.
But, apparently, these deaths don't bother Alciere.
Alciere has stated that Gordon Perry, who murdered Epsom, N.H., Police Officer Jeremy Charron in 1997, had the right to kill the officer because Charron had asked him for identification.
Alciere also reportedly once wrote a unpublished letter in 1997 siding with a man who killed two New Hampshire state troopers, saying that the killer, Carl Drega, was "an otherwise innocent cop-killer taking out enemy officers in battle."
Following the shootings of the two State Troopers in Colebrook in August 1997, Drega shot and killed two other persons -- a part-time judge and a newspaper editor.
He then fled to Vermont were he was killed in a gun battle with police after wounding four other law enforcement officers.
Alciere's Web site is http://tomalciere.com/
His e-mail address is: TomAlciere@TomAlciere.com
To write to him: Rep. Tom Alciere, Room 303, Legislative Office Building, Concord NH 03301
While Alciere's Web page lists his office phone number as 603-271-3317, a state capitol receptionist said today that 603-271-3403 is Alciere's legislative office number. He is at that office two days a week. For the remaining days he does take calls at his home telephone, 603-886-1333, she said.