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 Recognized As "Legislator Of The Year" By Ohio Alliance Of Recovery Providers

 

"I am honored and humbled to receive this award today, and am grateful for the hard work of many coalitions and stakeholders who I have collaborated with on these issues," said Senator Manning. "It takes more than just one person to tackle the challenges Ohio faces, and I am fortunate to work alongside people in our community who are full of passion and caring."



 
 

Historic Congressional Redistricting Reform Plan Passes Ohio Senate With Bipartisan Support

 

COLUMBUS—State Senator Gayle Manning (R-North Ridgeville) announced that this week the Ohio Senate passed a plan to reform the process for drawing Ohio’s congressional districts with unanimous, bipartisan support. The passage of Substitute Senate Joint Resolution 5 follows weeks of negotiations between the leadership of both parties in the General Assembly and various redistricting reform coalitions.



 
 

PHOTO: Manning Honored For Efforts To Improve Addiction And Mental Health Services In Ohio

 

"I am honored to receive this award today— the goal of our work at the Statehouse is to support our local communities," said Senator Manning. "Our mental health professionals and law enforcement officials need the flexibility and training to effectively deliver critical services and carry out their missions." 



 
 

ADVISORY: Manning Welcomes Local Residents To Attend District Office Hours In Wellington

 

"Office hours are an opportunity for me to connect with constituents in the communities where they live, work and raise their families," said Manning. "Effectively serving as your voice in the Ohio Statehouse requires, most importantly, a commitment to listening and understanding your concerns."