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Yucca Valley Police Department

The Yucca Valley Police Department Law Enforcement grant asks for money for two LE officers, yet the grant says " Yucca Valley does not offer designated Off Highway Vehicle (OHV) roads or trails within town limit."  This makes it very dificult to recommend giving them grant money.  Also stated in the grant "TheTown of  Yucca Valley Police Department  and  the Morongo Basin Station provides police patrol  services  to approximately 5200 square miles (over three million acres) of the Mojave Desert."  This seems like an incredible task for a small town police department to take on.  At Item 4, section 3, the grant form asks "Describe the Applicant’s formal or informal cooperation with other law enforcement agencies:" to which is answered "Informal cooperative agreements exist between the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department, ..."  I would expect that if a small city police department was going to provide patrol to 5200 square miles, they would have more than an informal coorperative agreement with the sheriff of that county.  If funding of this grant is to be considered at all, it should fall in line behind all the cities, counties and agencies that provide actual OHV opportunity. [Ed Stovin, CORVA - 4/1/12]

Re: Letter in support of the grant application by the Town of Yucca Valley Police Department/San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department Morongo Basin Station

Community ORV Watch is a grassroots organization of residents and businesses dedicated to protecting private and public lands from off-road vehicle (ORV) abuse in the Morongo Basin. We have worked with the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department to protect private property and the quality of life in our communities. We have grown from a small group of neighbors to over 500 members due, in part, to the extent of the ORV problem in the Southern California desert region and our grass roots organizing efforts.

We are writing to express our enthusiastic support for the application by the Sheriff's Department for an OHMVR grant. Due to the efforts of Captain Donny Miller, Sgt. James Porter, Sgt. Rick Collins and deputies with the Sheriff's ORV Law Enforcement Team, the Morongo Basin has experienced increased enforcement of laws pertaining to ORV activities.

We meet regularly with the Sheriff's Department and San Bernardino County Code Enforcement (CE) who work overtime to protect our community from unmanaged and illegal ORV activities. Sheriff's department officers work cooperatively with their counterparts in CE and with federal rangers through multi-agency meetings. We have found the Sheriff's department staff to be professional and accessible. They respond to our inquiries promptly and are always available for public meetings.

On major holiday weekends, the Sheriff's department has been over-whelmed in areas where ORVs congregate to engage in illegal activities. Not all complaints from residents can be addressed due to limited funding and the prioritization of other calls for service. With additional support, the Sheriff's department can expand its capacity to respond to the particular challenges associated with ORV trespass and damage to businesses and private property.

We have found that public education must go hand-in-hand with enforcement. The Sheriff's department's plans to educate the public through outreach to the schools and local ORV vendors, distribution of ORV brochures, the deployment of roadside electronic message boards directing riders to designated ORV areas, and Public Service Announcements on local radio. All of these efforts will make a significant contribution to public safety and the protection of private property and public lands.

The Sheriff's department needs the tools to apprehend ORV riders who will take off cross-country at the sight of a police cruiser. It is important that Sheriff's deputies can have sufficient back-up when approaching groups of ORV riders.

We believe that the Sheriff's department will maximize the grant funds to improve our quality of life, increase the public safety and reduce conflicts between ORV riders and residents. Please feel free to contact us with any questions regarding this recommendation. [Brahm Elmendorp, Victoria Fuller, Mark Heuston, Phil Klasky, Eve Vykydal, Terry Weiner - 3/7/12]