"Kaylee's Law" Would Change Security Requirements on Private Personnel Campuses


Kaylee Sawyer (photo courtesy of Redmond Police)

SALEM, Ore –

One bill enjoys bipartisan support in the Legislative Assembly of Oregon because it plans to make radical changes to the way campus security officers hired by Private agents are hired and operate during patrols.

"The safety of our students and their protection are paramount," said state senator Tim Knopp, one of the bill's main sponsors. "It's too late to save Kaylee, but we want to honor her memory by protecting all other students in the best possible way."

Kaylee Sawyer was assassinated in July 2016. Edwin Lara avoided the death penalty by pleading guilty to having killed her. Investigators say that he attempted to sexually assault her before intentionally toppling her with her campus security car.

Knopp says that if "Kaylee's Law" had been in effect at the time, Sawyer might never have taken Lara's vehicle.

"Essentially, she said, she was in a safe place with someone you trust," said Senator Knopp. "It turned out that this trusted person had a perverse intention and eventually murdered him and managed to put her in the back of what looked like a police car because she thought that it was a safe place. "

Under Senate Bill 576, private campus security officers would not have flashing red and blue lights on their vehicles. The big front bumpers, like the one Lara had on her car, would also not be allowed.

These safety officer vehicles should also be equipped with GPS tracking technology and a surveillance camera so that colleges and universities can better track them.

The changes apply only to privately recruited security officers. Campus police, such as Portland State University, would not be affected by the bill.

Knopp says that he does not know if this could have a ripple effect by forcing more community colleges and universities to remove security guards recruited by the private sector for the benefit of their own park. .

"They may have a police force or security agency on campus, but what they can not – according to this bill – is a campus security agency that acts as a police force without the responsibility that lies with the police force, "said Knopp.