Seacoast Online: Mike Gallagher: Law enforcement stands with Sen. Hassan because she stands for us

Tuesday, October 18, 2022

I served for 29 years with the Seabrook Police Department, retiring as chief in 2018. When I retired after years of service to my country and my community, I decided to leave public life. But when I learned that Sen. Maggie Hassan was being disparaged and criticized despite her sterling record of support for law enforcement, I felt compelled to stand up and speak the truth. I can say unequivocally and from personal experience that Sen. Hassan has always stood by us and prioritized public safety — both as governor and as senator.

The first time I met Sen. Hassan was at the dedication of the Fisherman’s Memorial at Harborside Park in Seabrook. I was not chief at the time, so I was there on duty standing with the crowd. Sen. Hassan made it a point to come over to me and introduce herself, with genuine interest in my work and how I was doing. Small interactions like this are indications of character and integrity, and I was impressed. Later, when I became chief and spoke at a community forum on the scourge of opioid addiction, Sen. Hassan carried herself with such empathy and compassion that made it clear she understood the heartbreak this crisis has wrought. She listened so intently, and spoke with mothers and fathers who lost children to opioid addiction, as a mother herself. That is the kind of understanding and character that drives change and improves our communities.

It’s not just these personal interactions that make Sen. Hassan an exceptional public servant. She has the record to back it up. She’s worked across party lines to deliver more state troopers, more police officers nationwide, and enhanced penalties for fentanyl traffickers. With her as our governor, New Hampshire’s crime rates dropped. In the Senate, she has voted to increase funding for police every year, and she stands up against members of her own party in order to back law enforcement. Sen. Hassan also fought to expand mental health services for first responders — something that many officers are struggling with in silence because of stigma. I myself did it for 29 years, so I’m personally grateful to Sen, Hassan for prioritizing this issue.

It’s not just her strong record of combating crime and standing with law enforcement that stands out. In a time of increasing partisanship and divide, Sen. Hassan’s commitment to delivering results by reaching across the aisle shines. We are weaker as a nation with division, and I fear that disinformation and propaganda are sowing serious doubts in our institutions and democracy. I proudly served this country for 33 years, and I assure you that I am not a radical socialist and neither is Maggie Hassan. More than ever, we need committed public servants like Sen. Hassan who will strengthen our democracy — not undermine the results of free and fair elections — representing the Granite State and uniting our country.

In New England, you often hear phrases like “Stick with what you know,” and “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.” Sen. Hassan has consistently fought for what is best for the people of New Hampshire. She does not seek a spotlight. She does not try to be outrageous in her comments to gain attention. She goes to Washington and gets the job done for New Hampshire. Being a police officer for so many years, I’ve learned to read people. When I look at Sen. Hassan, I see a person of character and resolve to bring the positive change we need.

Mike Gallagher retired in 2018 as chief of the Seabrook Police Department.


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