Public Safety Bill Gets Strong Bipartisan Support

(April 26) – A bill to help law enforcement locate people believed to be in danger of imminent harm passed the House today by a vote of 52 to eight.

HB13-1308, sponsored by Reps. Daniel Kagan (D-Cherry Hills Village) and Bob Gardner (R-Colorado Springs), allows a law enforcement agency to direct a cellular service provider to provide location information without a court order. The law enforcement agency must have probable cause to believe that an emergency situation exists and the time required to obtain a search warrant or other court order would exacerbate the risk of death or serious bodily injury. Additionally, the bill requires that law enforcement seek a court order after the event demonstrating that the information was acquired legally to prevent abuse.

“This bill really will save lives and save people from serious bodily injury,” Rep. Kagan said. “I am proud of the bipartisan cooperation from all stakeholders on this bill who have made efforts to ensure privacy while also promoting the public safety of all Coloradans.”

The bill is modeled after other legislation that was in response to the Kelsey Smith case. Smith was abducted, raped and killed in Kansas in 2007, and it took four days for the cell phone carrier to release the location of her cell phone because the law wasn’t clear as to whether the company could release that information. Within 45 minutes of the company releasing her cellular location information, Smith’s body was found.

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