Press Releases

Thermal Station

Posted on: February 29, 2024

Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Grants

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Riverside County Sheriff-Press Release

Reporting Deputy: Sergeant Timothy White

File # N/A

Details:

On behalf of the County of Riverside, Sheriff Chad Bianco is applying for a total of $86,611 from the California State Parks Off-Highway Motor Vehicle (OHV) Recreation Division Grants & Cooperative Agreements Program funding for Law Enforcement projects. The grant will help facilitate proactive law enforcement in remote off-highway locations, reduce emergency response times, and enhance public safety for residents residing in south-eastern areas of the Coachella Valley.

In June 2022, the Thermal Station purchased two OHVs in response to an increase of extreme weather-related rescue calls for service in remote areas often inaccessible to standard patrol vehicles. Although the Sheriff’s Office utilizes its air operations division as a secondary rescue option to traditional rescue methods, OHVs present a cost-effective alternative while offering a swift response to a variety of emergency rescue scenarios.

In addition to the rescue capability OHVs provide, grant funding will aid in proactive law enforcement patrol in various off-highway riding trails and recreational areas routinely frequented by off-highway enthusiasts annually. These areas include but are not limited to: Joshua Tree National Park, the Salton Sea, Box Canyon, and Chiriaco Summit. In an effort to reduce off-highway-related incidents resulting in serious injury, Deputies assigned to OHV operations will be responsible for off-highway vehicle safety enforcement and education, while providing an overt law enforcement presence to deter unsafe off-highway practice and behavior.

“Receipt of this grant reward will greatly enhance Thermal Station’s ability to meet its public safety mission”, said Thermal Station’s commander, Captain Andy Martinez. “I want to personally thank the California State Parks Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Division Grants and Cooperative Agreements Program committee for their partnership and continuous commitment to public safety.”

This press release is to ensure the public is aware of the Riverside County Sheriff’s Office - Thermal Station’s intent to apply for OHV funding as outlined above. Any comments or questions may be directed to the Riverside County Sheriff’s Office Thermal Station, Sergeant Timothy White, at (760) 863-8990. The period for application review and public comment will be from March 5, 2024, to May 6, 2024. See the California State Parks Off-Highway Motor Vehicle website at www.ohv.parks.ca.gov.

For media inquiries regarding this incident please contact the Media Information Bureau.

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