As a mother, grandmother, and lifelong teacher, I can think of nothing more horrifying than hearing that someone I care about is missing or has been kidnapped. In these life or death situations, it is imperative that we ensure that every available tool is at the disposal of our law enforcement personnel to ensure the safe return of our loved ones. It is for this reason that I sponsored legislation to put more data in the hands of our protectors during the times that they need it most.

Earlier this year, I heard the story of Kelsey Smith. Kelsey was a Kansas teenager who was abducted and murdered in the summer of 2007. During the days following her disappearance, her family and law enforcement continuously worked to obtain Kelsey’s cell phone records with the hope that the phone’s GPS feature would lead to her whereabouts. However, legal concerns kept the provider from turning those records over for several days. When the information was finally provided to police, Kelsey’s body was located within 30 minutes.

While cell phone records may not have actually saved Kelsey Smith, this case brought to light a fuzzy area of state law that may leave cell phone providers guessing when records are requested, even if it is in an emergency situation. To correct this problem, Senator Brown and I joined together to author Senate Bill 5, which makes clear that law enforcement can access cell phone records for any individual if it is believed that the person is in immediate danger and the records may help bring them to safety.

This is a truly unique piece of legislation that has quickly brought together Republicans and Democrats as well as law enforcement and civil rights groups. During their testimony, the Ohio Fraternal Order of Police stated that “getting call location information without delay can quite literally be the difference between life and death.”

Having passed the Senate with overwhelming, bipartisan support, it is clear that my colleagues in the Ohio Senate agree that when someone’s life is at risk, we should trust the judgment of our law enforcement and provide them with every resource possible to see our friends, loved ones, and neighbors return unharmed. I look forward to seeing this bill through the Ohio House of Representatives and to the Governor’s desk to improve the safety of all Ohioans.

Featured Posts

PHOTO: Manning Joins Governor For Signing Of Bill To Strengthen Ohio's Protection Order Laws


"There are loopholes in the current law that this legislation helps to eliminate, in order to protect victims of domestic violence, making it clear, that if a protection order is deliberately violated, the violator could be prosecuted," said Senator Manning, who jointly sponsored Senate Bill 7. 


Bill Improving Mental Health Board Efficiency, Strengthening Response To Local Needs Heads To Governor


"Our mental health professionals need flexibility during crises in order to effectively deliver critical services and carry out their missions," said Senator Manning. 


REMINDER: Manning Welcomes Local Residents To Attend District Office Hours In Amherst


COLUMBUS—State Senator Gayle Manning (R-North Ridgeville) is welcoming area residents to join her during district office hours on Monday, November 27, 2017 in Amherst, Ohio.


A Veterans Day Salute To Our Service Members


The brave men and women who have served in our Armed Forces are always deserving of thanks. We owe them gratitude every day, every month, and every year. This Veterans Day, I want to take this opportunity to pay special tribute to veterans in Ohio and across the country.