Sen. Weaver files ‘Kelsey Smith Act’ to help locate kidnap victims
Mike Seals - January 6, 2021 10:51 am
OKLAHOMA CITY – State Sen. Darrell Weaver has filed legislation to require cell phone companies to provide phone location information to law enforcement in emergency situations, such as an abduction. Senate Bill 272, the “Kelsey Smith Act,” is named for an 18-year-old from Kansas who was abducted from a store parking lot in 2007 and found murdered four days later.
Weaver said law enforcement had been unable to get the cell phone records to locate Kelsey until it was too late. Since her death, twenty-six states have enacted legislation to help law enforcement quickly access cell phone location information in emergencies.
“Kelsey’s mother actually reached out to me about filing a similar bill here in Oklahoma,” said Weaver, R-Moore. “What I’ve learned is that cell providers here actually work well with law enforcement, but by putting this into law, we’ll have a consistent approach throughout the state and provide civil and criminal liability protection for companies who are acting in good faith by working with law enforcement in these emergency situations.”
The legislation would only apply to emergency situations involving risk of death or serious physical harm.
“I spent my career in law enforcement, and I can tell you when you are talking about an abduction, every minute counts. It’s literally a matter of life or death,” Weaver said. “I am hopeful that when the 2021 session begins next month, my fellow members will join me in approving this legislation and getting it to the governor’s desk to be signed into law.”
For more information, contact Sen. Darrell Weaver at 405-521-5569 or email [email protected].