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Davis County creates new public-order unit

Davis County Sheriff Mobile Emergency Vehicle. Photo credit: Erik Bornemeier

DAVIS COUNTY, Utah– Every police agency in Davis County will participate in a new public-order unit, led by the county sheriff’s office. Sheriff Kelly Sparks said the unit would respond to riots or demonstrations that get out of control. The Davis County Commission approved agreements with the cities involved at its meeting this week.

Sparks said he doesn’t expect to see incidents requiring the unit to be deployed often, but the team will be ready if needed.

“We’ve had maybe one or two over the past five or six years, but we also want to make sure we’re prepared if we have one,” Sparks said.

Each agency would train one to four officers to work with the public-order unit, as well as equipping officers with helmets, shields, special radios and other gear.

Sparks said they want to ensure people who want to protest peacefully can do so without interference.

“Folks with good intentions go to these protests, but then violence or disorder gets animated by a few in the crowd, and it creates a public-safety issue,” he said.

Officers from Davis County were called to assist with incidents of civil disorder in Salt Lake City last year.