U.S. Senators Pat Roberts and Jerry Moran today introduced the Kelsey Smith Act to aid law enforcement's response to emergencies when a person's life is threatened.
On June 2, 2007, 18-year-old Kelsey Smith was abducted in broad daylight from an Overland Park, Kansas department store and murdered. The abduction was captured on the store's security camera leaving little doubt of the emergency nature of the circumstances. Four days after she disappeared, authorities were able to locate Kelsey's body after her wireless provider released the "ping" or "call location" information from her cell phone. Providing this information as fast as possible is critical to ensure law enforcement officials can rescue victims in imminent danger of death or serious physical harm.
The legislation Senator Roberts and Senator Moran introduced today will require wireless communication providers to provide call location information to the requesting law enforcement agencies only when responding to a call for emergency services or in an emergency situation that involves the risk of death or serious physical harm.
Senator Roberts and Senator Moran released the following statements after introducing the Kelsey Smith Act into the 113th Congress:
"Protecting the lives of our children is the paramount concern for any parent," Sen. Roberts said. "The Kelsey Smith Act is commonsense legislation that makes it easier for law enforcement to find our children if the nightmare of abduction ever becomes a reality. Because the fear of legal liability is a legitimate concern our bill provides industry and law enforcement with the necessary tools to work together to do everything they can do find a loved one in danger, while at the same time ensuring that all citizens' Fourth Amendment rights are protected. I look forward to broad, bipartisan, bicameral support of the Kelsey Smith Act."
"Kelsey Smith's abduction sent shockwaves through her community, our state and the nation," Sen. Moran said. "The Kelsey Smith Act will make certain first responders have the tools they need to help prevent tragedies like this from happening in the future."
Senators Roberts and Moran were joined by Congressman Kevin Yoder and Congresswoman Jenkins who introduced the House companion bill.