I will reproduce some individual agency reports on this blog but you can read or download a copy of it here.
first up, my personal favorite: Kern County Sheriff
Dear Ms. Vasquez:
I have reviewed map for the proposed project and found it is located in the Sheriffs East Area Substations response area. Sheriffs Deputies from the Tehachapi Substation would be responsible to handle any calls for service at the location as well as any proactive preventative patrols. The Tehachapi Substation currently has one Sergeant, two Senior Deputies, and six Deputies to handle patrol duties for their area of responsibility, which is approximately 572 square miles in size. The proposed project is in an area known as Old West Ranch / Blackburn Canyon near the southeast boundary of the Tehachapi substation response area.
I believe this proposal will have a significant impact on law enforcement services in the Tehachapi area for the following reasons:
1) Our past experience here with the presence of kennels housing large numbers of dogs in the mountainous areas south of Tehachapi has resulted in an increased number of noise complaints requiring a law enforcement response for each complaint. This is primarily due to the terrain, which reflects noise to a greater degree, and by the lack of other noise, which would serve to mask the sound of barking. When Kimi Peck, a known animal hoarder lived in the Water Canyon Road area, noise complaints were a common occurrence. When Peck moved out of the area, noise complaints dropped to zero.2) Old West Ranch is in a semi-remote area south east of the City of Tehachapi. There are no paved roads in the area and radio and cell phone signals there can be weak or intermittent. Due to the remote location and the high number of absentee land owners, squatting by unknown persons, some with criminal records is a common problem. There is also a steady presence there of people hostile to law enforcement and to society at large. All these factors combined lead to a standard practice of sending two Deputies to calls in Old West Ranch, except for some "cold" report calls. A typical response time for calls there is about twenty minutes. The average time to handle a call there, along with driving time leaving the area equates to about two man-hours per call if two Deputies respond. A response to Old West Ranch can also quickly deplete resources from Tehachapi Substation.3) The applicant, Tia Tones is the subject of an ongoing television reality program on the Animal Planet television network titled, "Pit Bulls and Parolees." The premise of the series is that parolees help care for and rehabilitate neglected and abused dogs, leading to the eventual improvement in both the dog and the parolee and the dog being adopted by a caring family. That endeavor is commendable. However, my 24 years of law enforcement experience has shown me that the presence of parolees in a given area puts that area at high risk for increase in crime. An Adult Institutions Outcome Evaluation Report published in October of2010 by the Office of Research at the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation puts the rate of convicted felons returning to prison from Kern County at 71.7%. As stated in reason #2, an increase in crime would result in two Deputies (more if it is a crime of violence) having to respond to Old West Ranch for each occurrence.4) I have spoken with an agent from California State Parole and have learned that no parolees who are on supervised parole will be permitted to work with Tia Torres at her rescue compound due to suspicious activity at her prior rescue compound in Los Angeles County. Since State Parole agents are not allowed to do routine patrol to look for violations, the job of spotting parole violators there would fall on the shoulders of local law enforcement. Again, two Deputies would be tied up at the Old West Ranch location if a supervised parolee was located there. As of 2/16/2011 that prohibition is still in effect.5) The rule preventing supervised parolees from associating with Tia Tones does not apply to convicted felons who are currently being released from California State prisons due to the current fiscal crisis. These felons are on "Non-Revocable Parole (NRP)," are unsupervised and free to move about at will. Supervised parolees are required to provide their current home and work addresses, making them easier to monitor. The NRP felons are supposed to be serving time for non-violent offenses, but a number of them are believed to have prior convictions for violent crimes. The likelihood of these unidentified NRP felons moving in and out of the Old West Ranch area would be higher, since supervised parolees are prohibited from being there.6) Kern County Animal Control would be tasked with checking conditions at the Old West Ranch location. Again referring back to reason #2, at least one Sheriffs Deputy would need to accompany the Animal Control Officer to Old West Ranch each time. If known parolees are present, I would direct two Sheriff s Deputies to assist. Assisting Animal Control Officers on their calls is not a new practice. We have a long history of assisting allied agencies in their investigations for their safety and as a method of sharing resources.7) I have had discussions with residents in Old West Ranch who are aware of this proposal. They have serious concerns with the presence of parolees and large numbers of dogs. It is inevitable that dogs could escape from the compound and be fi'ee to prey on livestock and other animals. The standard acceptable method of dealing with dogs attacking livestock is to shoot them. Those living in the rural areas of the county, especially in cattle grazing areas, are aware of this practice and usually accept it a fact of life. However, in my contacts with animal rescue people, I have found they are very passionate about protecting their rescued animals and can be very confrontational with neighbors and with law enforcement. Should a predacious dog be shot by a neighboring resident, the chance of our Deputies becoming involved is high.8) I was contacted this week by a gang investigator at California Correctional Institution who heard Tia Torres was attempting to set up in this area. This investigator told me he is an expert in gang issues and had some concerns about the potential for increased criminal activity should the conditional use permit be approved. He told me the husband or boyfriend of Torres is an Aren (AJ) Jackson. Jackson was a validated associate of the Aryan Brotherhood (AB), a violent prison gang that also engages in continual criminal activity outside the prison setting. Jackson is now believed to be a drop out from the Aryan Brotherhood. Jackson is estimated to be eligible for parole in October of 2019. The former presence of an Aryan Brotherhood associate at Villalobos Rescue Center led to criminal activity at the Los Angles County rescue center in 2009 (see reason #9). The likelihood he may return to live with Torres upon parole increases the risk of future criminal activity at the Old West Ranch location here in Kern County.9) Torres's rescue compound in Los Angeles County has been connected to criminal activity: I spoke to Detective Dan Dantice with the Los Angeles County Sheriffs Office. Detective Dantice was the lead investigator in the cases involving Aren Jackson. Dantice told me he and fellow investigators served a search warrant at the Torres residence in 2009 and found heroin, methamphetamine and evidence of ongoing identity theft. Dantice said they also found two motorcycles in the garage of a vacant house next door: One motorcycle belonged to Aren Jackson and had been wrecked. The second motorcycle was a matching make and model and was stolen from another location in Los Angles County. The investigators concluded Jackson was using the stolen motorcycle to provide parts for his wrecked motorcycle. Another parolee at the residence took responsibility for the methamphetamine and was arrested. Jackson was arrested for the other items.
None of the points listed above are meant to disparage Tia Torres or to predict future criminal activity on her part. I do, however, believe all the combined factors listed above indicate law enforcement services in the Tehachapi area would be impacted by the approval of a Conditional Use Permit. Currently, law enforcement services county-wide are strained to the point that allied agencies frequently rely on each other for assistance. In the Tehachapi area, all the law enforcement agencies have to help each other on a daily basis to ensure public safety and prevent injury to our officers.
Donny Youngblood, Sheriff-Coroner, County of Kern
By: Sergeant Richard C. Wood
Kern County Sheriff s Office
East Area Substations Section