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City seeks help from State for OHV enforcement

Off-highway vehicles are pictured, Sunday, April 10, 2016 in the Glade Run Recreation Area in Farmington.

The New Mexico Department of Game and Fish appropriated $15,000 to help the Carlsbad Police Department increase patrols for off-highway vehicles (OHV) within the city limits, Police Chief Shane Skinner said.

The City Council approved a grant agreement Tuesday night for funds from the Department of Game and Fish OHV program. Skinner said the state agency is accepting grant applications for OHV specific law enforcement and education patrols.

Skinner said the police department averages around six pictures a week from the public regarding OHV’s operating in the Carlsbad City Limits.

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“The OHV Grant Program provides overtime funding to local law enforcement agencies for enforcement patrols related to OHVs and OHV safety. Along with enforcement, the program also encourages and supports educational and outreach efforts to help mitigate off-highway vehicle crashes and injuries,” Skinner wrote in a memo to City Council.

A grant application to the State said the community experienced heavy traffic with OHV’s riding on public roadways.

“They’re driving out on Canal (Street). With this grant we have identified some problem areas that we plan to enforce,” Skinner said during Tuesday night’s meeting.

From left:Eddy County Sheriff Mark Cage, Carlsbad Police Chief Shane Skinner and Ward 2 Carlsbad City Councilor JJ Chavez attend a memorial ceremony for slain New Mexico State Police officer Darion Jarrott on Feb. 27, 2021 in Carlsbad.

“(The) Carlsbad Police Department receives numerous reports almost every other day in reference to OHVs driving recklessly and without proper safety equipment. In the last four years Carlsbad Police Dispatch has received over 400 calls in reference to OHVs,” read part of the City’s grant application.

Per the application, in 2020 there were 18 reports of stolen OHVs within the city limits of Carlsbad. The city had two calls in 2021 for stolen OHV’s.