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Congressman Kevin Yoder

Representing the 3rd District of Kansas

After Five Years, Kelsey Smith Act Passes House Committee

Jul 30, 2014
Press Release
Legislation removes barriers to help law enforcement save lives faster

Breaking: After Five Years, Kelsey Smith Act Passes House Committee

Legislation removes barriers to help law enforcement save lives faster

Washington, D.C. – Kansas 3rd District Congressman Kevin Yoder today praised the work of the House Energy and Commerce Committee for passing H.R. 1575, the Kelsey Smith Act, out of committee. Representative Yoder introduced the Kelsey Smith Act in 2013, and the bill will now move forward for possible consideration by the full House of Representatives. Although the bill was first introduced in 2009, the Kelsey Smith Act has never been passed out of a full House Committee until today, a major step forward in the legislative process.

“Today we are one step closer to making the Kelsey Smith Act the federal standard, greatly improving the chances of locating loved ones who have gone missing or who have been abducted. When every second matters, the Kelsey Smith Act means lives will be saved, and law enforcement will shave precious time off their response to missing persons by working hand in hand with telecommunications companies,” stated Congressman Kevin Yoder. “I thank Kelsey Smith’s parents, Greg and Missey, for their steadfast resolve in advocating for this legislation. And I thank my House colleagues in the Energy and Commerce Committee for their work in passing this bill and moving it forward.”

“We continue to be amazed at how our daughter Kelsey is still making a difference. It is humbling that one eighteen year old girl has impacted the nation in a way that will save lives. We would like to thank Congressman Yoder for his efforts, the wireless providers for their cooperation, and the committee for passing the bill. This is a great day,” said Kansas State Senator Greg Smith.

On June 2, 2007, Kelsey Smith an 18 year old graduate of Shawnee Mission West High School, after shopping at an Overland Park department store was abducted, raped, and murdered. Her car was found in a nearby parking lot. A search for her began immediately. There were many difficulties in law enforcement being able to locate her cell phone location information. Once that was released and the cell coordinates narrowed, Kelsey was found in about 45 minutes.

The Kelsey Smith Act would help law enforcement and telecommunication officials work together quickly in cases of emergency to the locate cell phones of missing persons. Passing the Kelsey Smith Act will codify federal legislation that is already law in sixteen states, including Kansas. Companion legislation has been introduced in the U.S. Senate by Kansas Senators Jerry Moran and Pat Roberts.