Riverside County Sheriff's Office Seeks Funding Boost to Tackle Off-Highway Vehicle Enforcement

The Riverside County Sheriff’s Office is gearing up to enhance its efforts in off-highway vehicle (OHV) enforcement and education, eyeing a substantial grant from the California State Parks Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Division. Spearheaded by Sheriff Chad Bianco, the initiative seeks $200,168 to bolster law enforcement projects at the Lake Mathews Station, aiming to address challenges posed by illegal OHV activities in the area.

The Lake Mathews jurisdiction encompasses a vast 158 square miles of terrain, drawing OHV enthusiasts eager to explore state and federal lands. However, despite the availability of legal trails and parks, illegal OHV operation has become a significant issue, resulting in a surge of emergency calls and tension with local residents.

Over the past year, the Riverside Sheriff’s Office received 2,570 calls related to off-highway vehicles, with more than 200 calls originating from Lake Mathews alone. To combat this trend, the Lake Mathews Station aims to intensify enforcement efforts and emphasize the importance of adhering to legal riding areas.

The proposed plan includes a multifaceted approach, combining enforcement activities with community outreach and education. Deputies will not only patrol for illegal riders but also engage with the community to promote responsible OHV recreation and raise awareness of legal riding areas.

In addition to enforcement, the plan outlines dedicated training for selected personnel to effectively monitor off-highway activities. The public is invited to provide feedback during a comment period from March 5 to May 6, ensuring transparency and community input in the grant allocation process.

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For more information, concerned citizens and OHV enthusiasts can visit the California State Parks Off-Highway Motor Vehicle website or contact Sergeant Jason Gore at the Lake Mathews Station. Media inquiries are directed through the Media Information Bureau, underscoring the commitment to transparency and accountability in the enforcement initiative.

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