Layton SWAT teams to get new masks

Jul 8 2011 - 11:30am

LAYTON -- Layton Police Department's special weapons and tactics team will soon have new protective masks that will be more up-to-date than the ones currently in use.

Layton's police department will soon receive $20,052 thanks to a federal Justice Assistance Grant, and will use a portion of that money to purchase FM-53 protective masks for its SWAT teams.

"The equipment we have now is fairly old and does not allow for as clear field of vision as possible," said Layton Police Chief Terry Keefe.

Keefe also said that the current masks do not allow for good communication between the officers. Fixing those two aspects of the masks will affect the way SWAT officers handle certain situations.

"When you have better vision and better communication, you can make a better decision," Keefe said

The money comes from the 2011 Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant, and Keefe said Layton has received money from this grant for the past several years.

According to federal law, Layton is required to share some of that grant money with Davis County. Layton will give the county $2,005, equal to 10 percent of the grant. According to the agreement between Layton and Davis County, the county will use the money to purchase two 55-inch LCD flat screen monitors for county attorneys' in-court presentations.

The way Layton and Davis County plan on using the JAG money fits in with the grant's parameters, which are to provide personnel, equipment, training, technical assistance, and information systems to law enforcement. The anticipated result is more widespread apprehension, prosecution, adjudication, detention, and rehabilitation of offenders who violate state and local laws. Grants also may be used to provide assistance, other than compensation, to victims of these offenders.

"It is a huge benefit to the community to protect it with the best equipment possible," said Layton Mayor Steve Curtis. "I'm glad we have this kind of opportunity available to us and glad we can utilize the opportunity to get better at what we do."

Keefe said that due to federal budget cuts he does not foresee the grant being around much longer.

"The amount of funds available has decreased," Keefe said. "The amount we got this year is less than last year, and last year the amount was less than the year before."

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