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Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department

  We write to confirm our support for the continued grant funding of the LASD Off Road Enforcement Team.

Given the geography of our semi-rural area, standard law enforcement patrol coverage is not sufficient. Our semi-rural area is an attraction for those who do not respect laws or have concern for the safety of our predominantly equestrian community.

We have observed illegal riders actually trailer in from other areas to ride illegally in our area. We are an attraction to illegal riders from the San Fernando Valley and surrounding metropolitan communities within Los Angeles County. It is unfair to ask our semi-rural community to bear the brunt of illegal riding activities without continued support from this grant.

Your team has and continues to assist us and our neighbors with incidents involving illegal riding, trespassing as well as safety issues. We have found you and your team to be very responsive and active in our area. This level of service and safety is not possible from a standard law enforcement vehicle.

We cannot urge more strongly in favor of continued financial grant support and expansion for the LASD Off Road Enforcement Team whose support is much needed for our communities safety and peace. Karen & Colin O'Reilly - 3/4/15

  I would appreciate approval for a grant for the Palmdale Sheriff  Off Highway Enforcement Team.  Riding off road looks like a lot of fun, but too many are making their own trails rather than sticking with the ruts already carved in the desert and foothills.  In an anthropology class I learned that it takes ten years for an area to repair the damage from one shovelful of dirt being overturned.  We cannot allow our rural areas to continually be wrecked by destructive riders. Marie Callahan - 3/4/15

  I would like to express my support for the Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation (OHMVR) Division as a new home owner in the area I have seen this division on patrol, and have seen them enforcing the laws of this state and it makes me feel much safer knowing that we have this division patrolling in the rural areas that I live in. Furthermore please note that future grant money for this division will ensure me and my community that the Sheriff’s will be out patrolling the rural areas on major holidays when the risk of people setting off fireworks and/or drinking and driving in a very high fire danger area, and this is of grave concern to me as a home owner living in an area that fell victim to the Powerhouse Fire.

 I thank you very much for your time regarding this matter, and hope that you will take under consideration the importance of this division and as a former first responder during Katrina in the state of Mississippi this division will save us money by enforcing the laws of this great state. Rudy Garcia - 3/4/15

  This message serves to confirm my absolute support for my wife's comments plus your dedicated work.

Without your effort the area would dissolve into a free for all for the City Dwellers who would destroy much of the fauna and flora, landscape and make the place unattractive for residential living. Colin O'Reilly - 3/5/15

  Attached is my Letter of Support for LASD's OHV Unit in Palmdale. Thank you for the consideration and support for Law Enforcement. Marcy Calnan, J.D., M.Ed. - 3/5/15

  How about add more Motors on the street so do I don't have to listen to dirt bike riders, riding non-street legal dirt bikes up and down residential streets all the time.  If the Sheriff's want to add motorcycles put the Deputies on a street bike and focus on drivers who speed, drink and drive and better yet are texting all the time while driving.  The money used for the off road task force can be better spent elsewhere. Chuck Mosa - 3/5/15

  I oppose the grant.
How about adding more Motors Deputies on the street so do we don't have to listen to dirt bike riders, riding non-street legal dirt bikes up and down residential streets all the time. This isn’t happening in rural areas, it’s happening in downtown Palmdale, right off of Palmdale Blvd and Division.   If the Sheriff's want to add motorcycles put the Deputies on a street bike and focus on drivers who speed, drink and drive and better yet citing drivers who are texting all the time while driving.  The money used for the off road task force can be better spent elsewhere; resulting in  reduction of fatalities, arresting citizens driving under the influence,  people speeding, driving recklessly on city streets, and drivers texting and not complying with hands off device while driving.   Much better return on investment for monies allocated to the community and higher visibility for the Deputies on the street.  The CHP have deployed several special enforcement units on HWY 14….use their model.  Speed, drinking and driving, and texting kill.  I haven’t heard of that happening on a dirt bike. Chuck Mosa - 3/5/15

  I have read the grant and I am in complete agreement with the Palmdale Sheriff Station receiving a grant for the OHMVR Division. I have been a resident of the Antelope Valley for over 50 years and love the beauty of the desert. Anything that the sheriffs can do to protect the flora and fauna of this unique area is beneficial now and to future generations.

The education aspect of the grant is important because many people do not, or do not care about knowing where proper places to ride are located. I appreciate the fact that more education is shared than tickets. I hope that this grant will help preserve the natural habitat by not allowing scarring of hills and land by motorcyclists. Years ago, poppies covered many hills in the southern Palmdale area near the 14 freeway, now those hills are scarred and the poppies don't grow there. We have had some great rain this year and I am hopeful the flowers will make a come-back, but if riders don't respect that, the come-back will be short lived, not to mention the increase chances of fire when the summer months are upon us.

Since our area is so unique, it is important that we have available officers to respond to emergencies in areas that are unreachable by cars and such.

I am not against biking, there's an off-road bike in my garage right now.

I have read the comments in the AV Times and the negative responses seem to be negative towards sheriffs in general. Please ignore these comments coming from people that want to do whatever they want without any responsibility for their actions. Thank you, Lorinda Dreiling - 3/5/15

  I appreciate the sheriff's department and their dedication of service to my community. However, the dirt bike squad is a misuse of tax payer dollars. The dirt bike and off-road communities, which I belong to, are largely composed of law abiding respectful families and individuals.

In the years past my family and friends have been repeatedly ticketed and harassed for riding our dirt bikes on our own private property in Charlie Canyon. Several of our family friends also own property in Charlie Canyon and have typed permission slips, granting access to their property for off-road use, and given these slips to myself and others deemed responsible. These letters are often ignored by dirt bike squad sheriffs and a ticket is still given to the "offender" who was riding with a spark arrester and all CA DOT required safety gear.

We are cautious of the other people using the canyon such as mountain bikers, hikers and hunters (most of which do not have a permission slip and are trespassing). The trespasses are forgiven because the area is beautiful and should be enjoyed by all respectful sportsmen. Those of us who ride dirt bikes are the only ones receiving trespassing tickets from the dirt bike squad. No mountain bikers, hikers, or hunters have been ticketed. I do not approve of more funding going toward the dirt bike squad which harasses and singles out a group of people causing no harm. Please do not approve the grant for the sheriff dirt bike squad. Our money would be better spent improving sheriff cars, training facilities and pay than on keeping law abiding citizens off their dirt bikes. Our children can play video games or be afforded the chance to play outside and be active in off-road sports close to home. Which would you prefer?  Jennifer Preach - 3/5/15

  I have reviewed the 2015 grant application for the LASD OHV enforcement team.  I totally agree with the request and hope it will be fully funded for another year.
I live on the far west side of Juniper Hills (5 miles south of Littlerock, CA) in a very rural area.  Motorcycle dirt bikes trespassing on private property have been a problem here for decades.  When the Palmdale LASD enforcement team began actively patrolling Juniper Hills in 2009, the illegal incursions dropped dramatically.  However, some of the undeveloped areas near my house and in the adjacent Angeles National Forest (ANF) are still a problem.  Of particular concern is the Alimony Ridge trail in the ANF, the Pollia jeep trail (1/2 miles southwest of 96th St. East and Cima Mesa road), and the west fork of the Brainard canyon trail.  I recently (February 2015) inspected all 3 of these trails and saw lots of fresh dirt bike tracks proving the problem has not gone away.  The OHV enforcement team is aware of these illegal riding areas but the incursions are random and it comes down to catching the violators at the right time and place.

The LASD OHV enforcement team has done a great job in reducing this problem.  If we lose their service I am sure the illegal dirt bike riders will quickly return to their old ways of total disrespect for private and public property and destruction of the environment. John Parsons - 3/6/15

I’m definitely in favor of this grant request.  This year’s weather will create a greater-than-usual fire danger.  Irresponsible off-roading will increase the danger.  Increased enforcement and education will save lives, prevent property damage, and save money in the long run. Larry Levin - 3/67/15

  I am an 18 year resident of Agua Dulce.  I enthusiastically support the work that the Palmdale OHV Team is doing in my community and would appreciate more funds be allocated to the Task Force.  We need more officers to educate and stop the bad behavior of disrespectful off road riders.

I have seen Agua Dulce grow around me with new residents thinking because they are in a rural area, they can do whatever they want with no respect for other people’s property or enjoyment of life.  Agua Dulce has always been a quiet and close knit town where practically everyone knows each other.  Unfortunately that is now gone and we are encountering more and more unwanted behavior.

I encounter people on dirt bikes, ATVs and golf carts on private roads, County public roads and private property on a daily basis.  These vehicles are not registered and often are being driven by unlicensed drivers.  This is a big concern as the property owners are completely liable if someone gets injured on their property.  People are not taught the laws of the road and they are not respectful of others.  They have no idea how much noise and dust they make when riding.  One cannot open their windows or sit outside and enjoy the quiet of their property anymore.

Not many of these riders/drivers know the rule that they must yield the way to hikers and horses.  They think it is funny when a horse reacts with fear when they approach them.  While horse owners try to acclimate their horses to anything they may encounter on the trail, there is no prediction for how they will react in each encounter.

I appreciate everything the Task Force is doing now.  I know they need more help in order to get this situation under control.  Please consider additional funding for this team. Thank you, Dawn Kimball - 3/8/15

  I live near John Parsons and agree with his comments. The patrols definitely make a difference in the frequency of illegal riders. We had a very serious incident in the past where riders had actually deliberately rode "donuts" around my wife standing in the front of our home. We have not had an incident like that since the patrols. There still have been riders on the nearby trails on private property. Right now, there are fresh dirt bike tracks on the trail just south of me. The problem has not gone away completely. We definitely need the patrols to continue and increase frequency, if possible. Martin and Karen Ostler - 3/9/15

  The rural communities of Los Angeles County have been inundated with off road vehicles which tear up private property.  In my area the off roaders come from the neighboring county of San Bernardino.  They cross the state highway 138 and travel our dirt roads sometimes 3 dirt bikes across and head onto private property.  They do this because they know they won’t be caught.  With the off road enforcement team that our Sheriff department has we have a chance to stop these people.  These off roaders are dangerous and destroy property, the Sheriff department needs the grant to continue their enforcement!!! Sharon Figula - 3/12/15

  I am in full favor of the request for funding that Sgt. Acton has made. I am a beneficiary of the program and was having problems with off road vehicles going near my house and disrupting my peace, as well as them participating in illegal activities. Since Sgt. Acton has visited, all activities have ceased and made Agua Dulce a better place.
Please approve! Sgt. Acton and his team deserve it and it makes a huge difference to the community. I am ever thankful! Thank you, Julia Rhys - 3/17/15

  First I would like to thank you for all your time & efforts in keeping our homes, families, animals & land, safe & clean! We try very hard to be good caregivers & that's one reason why you & your team is so very important all of us here on Briggs Road! We need your support to preserve the land just the way it is. With fire season approaching it's vitally important that we keep our area free from motorcycles or anything else that is a threat. We moved up here specifically for the beauty, the tranquility and the quiet. With your help nature will be able to continue on it's track without any harm. Thanks again,  Mr & Mrs. Helton & Family - 3/18/15

  The city of Santa Clarita has just spent 1.91 million dollars for 173.54 acres it intends to use as “open space”. The city of Santa Clarita has purchased over 9,000 acres of “open space” land. “Open space” land in the city of Santa Clarita is only open to foot traffic and horse traffic. The city of Santa Clarita has not provided any off road opportunities. Even though as the LA County Sheriff’s state in this grant request, “The Santa Clarita Valley has one of the highest number of registered OHV's per capita in the State of California”. The Sheriff’s also state in their grant request, “much of the community borders hills and open space areas that are attractive to OHV enthusiasts”. As grant request indicates, there are locations suitable for off road recreation. OHMVR funds should not be provided to communities that do not provide OHV opportunities. If city of Santa Clarita has the funds (1.91 million dollars) to purchase “open space” land, then the city of Santa Clarita should pay for their own law enforcement detail and not raid OHMVR funds yet again. The Off Road community deserves to have OHMVR funds spent where there are Off Road opportunities. Charles Varner - 4/3/15