BEND, OR -- Jamie Sawyer, the father of Kaylee Sawyer – killed in 2016 by a Central Oregon Community College public safety officer – meets with lawmakers Friday in Salem, asking that they consider Kaylee’s Law, which is also supported by the Deschutes County District attorney and Bend's Police Chief. The proposed bill specifies what community college campus officers can do, wear and drive, including banning cages that prohibit someone from escaping the back seat.
COCC officials insist the school’s campus public safety (CPS) department is not in violation of current law, as described by the D.A. In a statement sent to KBND News, COCC's Ron Paradis says several changes were made to the department after Sawyer's murder. Among others, officers no longer conduct traffic stops, arrests or private investigations. He says CPS cars now have only red emergency lights, instead of red and blue, which could be confused for police. And, Paradis says, cars are no longer outfitted with partitions, or "cages."
On Thursday, Jim Bouziane, President of the Oregon College and University Public Safety Administrators Association, issued a letter to member schools saying Kaylee's Law "does not enhance safety on higher education campuses but rather diminishes prevention and deterrence efforts, reverses many institution's efforts to create safe campuses during a period of national focus on campus safety, hampers campus public safety officers from fulfilling their institution's mission, and puts unnecessary financial burdens on institutions."