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Ridgecrest Police Department

 Considering the Ridgecrest Police Departments (RCPD) grant request, number G09-03-46-L01.  I would like to interject some constructive comments regarding this grant request.  I hope this helps to clear up any questions that some people may have and to improve the quality of the grant; getting the best bang for our buck.  The grant as a whole is well written; also, I want to thank the RCPD for keeping the community safe and having an interest in policing protecting the vast amount of private property along the outskirts of the city.  In starting out, is having verbal agreement with the Bureau Land Management (BLM) and the Kern County Sheriff sufficient?  Better yet, will you have a written memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the BLM written up?  If so, this can highly improve justification for Off Highway Vehicle (OHV) enforcement outside city boundaries using city police; especially, when the RCPD needs to leave the city of Ridgecrest and ride after the irresponsible perpetrators that ride through private lands and onto BLM administered lands.  Next, in having a MOU with the BLM’s Ridgecrest Field Office will ensure that, our RCPD is legally protected when policing any OHV violations on BLM administered lands.  Moreover, will RCPD be enforcing and citing “with discretion”, all OHV laws on BLM administered lands; such as, environmental protection and vegetation destruction issues, off route illegal riding, and not just traffic violations that occur within the city?  Nevertheless, my hope is that all three agencies will work together to help protect the environment and to keep BLM administered lands open for OHV opportunities.  As far as the training for ATV/Dual Sport riding I highly support, but; on the other hand, I see no officer training for environmental protection or awareness, and what routes are open or not, and what kinds of sensitive habitat (like the desert tortoise ) to look out for and dangerous mines that exists in the local area.  Also, is the city of Ridgecrest planning to design a legal route of travel; such as, one route in and another one back out (i.g. Cal City) to BLM administered lands.   This would allow OHV families with their green sticker vehicles to travel round trip (at 25 miles or less) and to have nice lunch and get gas.  In addition, in order to host the Grand Prix in Ridgecrest, the riders “are allowed to ride on closed city streets and empty desert lots inside the city.”  So using that as an example, Ridgecrest could allow and design reasonable travel to the Albertsons/ Wal-Mart shopping center and/or riding to the dirt lot across from the Alta One credit union, to access Ridgecrest Motorcycle Center and Sierra Lanes bowling alley bringing extra revenue into the city.  In closing, a MOU will be a stamp of approval in policing illegal activity on public lands and (to stay off the hiking trails in the Rademacher Hills area) especially in the Rademacher Hills; furthermore, when needing to leave city limits to police the north and west ends of their boundaries.  I do support this grant if the above concerns are met; otherwise, if BLM lands are not protected with this grant money too,  it will hinder the overall process in keeping BLM lands open.  I think the more help for BLM lands the better. [Ridgecrest Citizen - 4/3/10]

 Law enforcement for $151,000   This is a welcome to have Ridgecrest Police department participate  but I have to  worry that we are getting ahead of ourselves here.   Ridgecrest is one of those cities that has public land all around it and it has some fantastic trails coming close to town, but not to town.   The Narrative states that it will assist BLM and KCSO, and perhaps there should be some kind of agreement that the Ridgecrest Police do more of the surround areas of BLM , outside of the Ridgecrest City limits, thus relieving KSCO  to concentrate in other areas.  This grant wants to take a big jump with 4 x 4 truck,  trailer, 2 quads, 2 motorcycles and all riding gear in other words it is outfitting it self for 4 riders.  Is this realistic?   It also talks about GPS units,  these go from $450 dollars to $3000 each, to have a GPS to see a location, you do not need a $1400 GPS unit.  The key is what you load on it and a lower cost unit can do that just fine.
Sound meet, that is a very delegate instrument, you need special training and calibration each year on this, has that been taken into account. 
Truck, exactly how often will this be used, same goes for the 2 motorcycles, quad and trailer.   The worry I have is that we purchase all this equipment and it just sits there. 
I support the Ridgecrest Police and appreciate them coming to meetings , we just need to make sure we are not going way over board and have equipment sit around.   Some true measured expectations should be developed. [Ed Waldheim "OHV activist for access to public lands for all" - 4/4/10]

 Every single Law Enforcement grant should have a commitment and focus to catch the "Willfully Ignorant" visitor.  We see every day folks doing what ever they want and they feel immune  because it is their feeling "there is no one around to catch me"    That has to change.  Yes, we have Green Sticker Violations, sound violations, and other normal day to day violations that by now should be all in compliance.  It is the "Willfully Ignorant " that does not abide by the rules of the areas they ride in, i.e. "Stay on Designated Trails " "Respect Private Property"   "Know the rules of area you are riding in "  be it Forest Service, BLM, City and County.  All of us can put pressure on the "Willfully Ignorant" but it is Law Enforcement that needs to focus their talent to those that want to ruin it for everyone.  We can not let them rule our destiny or how we are being portrait in the eyes of the public and government elected officials.   
The other area of grave concern is our children, we need to make sure that all children 16 and under on Quads have the proper certification. We need to make sure that they are properly dressed to ride, no tank tops, tennis shoes and short pants.   Parents need to be told of their responsibility in the strongest possible manner, ticket.  

Thank you all for working this very difficult issue.   [Ed Waldheim "OHV activist for access to  public lands for all" - 3/28/10]

 The proposed request appears solid, well written and most importantly reasonable.
The moneys requested for equipment and training materials would be a boon to not only the RPD but those who come from out of town in groves. 
This grant would benefit far more people than I could possibly imagine. 
Safety for all is priceless. [Mrs. Frank L. Roberto - 3/5/10]