SALEM, Ore. — The Oregon House of Representatives has approved a bill that would limit the authority of campus security officers, often called "Kaylee's Law." The bill came about following the 2016 murder of 23-year-old Kaylee Sawyer in Bend by a campus safety officer.
“It was an honor to carry Kaylee’s Law on the floor today and while I am heartbroken by the events that led to the creation of this legislation, I am hopeful that the steps my colleagues in the House and Senate have taken will prevent a tragedy like this from occurring in the future,” said Rep. Cheri Helt (R-Bend). “I would like to especially thank Kaylee’s parents, Jaime and Crystal, for their courage and strength to create this legislation and move it through the legislature.”
Lawmakers intend Senate Bill 576 to more clearly define what campus security officers are authorized to do, differentiating them from police officers. It mandates that the appearance of uniforms and vehicles for safety officers look distinct from law enforcement, removes their power to "stop and frisk," and requires nationwide background checks, among other measures.
In July of 2016, 34-year-old Edwin Enoc Lara, a campus safety officer at Central Oregon Comunity College in Bend, was on duty when he assaulted and murdered Sawyer before going on the run. Lara was eventually tracked down to an area not far from Yreka in Northern California — committing a string of additional crimes along the way.
The bill now heads to Governor Brown's desk for her signature.