UTAH COUNTY, Utah (ABC4) – The Utah County Sheriff’s office requires deputies to wear soft body armor while on duty, but that armor provides limited protection. That’s why Utah County Sheriff Mike Smith said his team has active shooter bags.

Each bag has a vest and a helmet. Sheriff Smith said he requires everyone on his team have one of these bags in their vehicle while patrolling. 

“Our deputies go on calls actually quite often that involve, you know, a person with a gun or some other type of weapon,” said Smith. 

That protection costs money, roughly $2,000 a bag. Smith said they needed the grant to purchase the bags back in 2014. Before that, Smith said a lot of people got out their own wallets and bought the extra protection they needed, including himself. 

Smith couldn’t say how many other law enforcement agencies have equipment like this, but he says more are making it a priority. 

“We owe it to them to give them the proper protection and keep them safe,” said Smith. 

Smith said those roughly 90 bags do have a shelf life. The plates inside the vests have to be replaced roughly every five years, which is an added expense, but Smith said it’s worth it.