PART 2: Kern County Rangers patrolling local lakes

Rangers utilize "extra help" Rangers, volunteers
Posted at 7:19 PM, Jul 05, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-05 22:22:08-04

The Kern County Rangers are a small force working to try to keep Kern County parks, campgrounds and lakes safe for the public. 

The Rangers pride themselves on taking advantage of proactive policing and stopping small problems before they turn into big problems. 

On Monday, 23ABC took an in-depth look at the Rangers who are working on land. 

Now 23ABC is taking an in-depth look at how the Rangers also patrol on our local lakes. 

RELATED: Kern County Rangers are a small force playing a big role to keep the community safe

The Rangers have boating patrol on Isabella Lake and Lake Buena Vista and their goal is to keep the public safe while they're enjoying the water. 

The Rangers have a private dock tucked away Isabella Lake. 

It's quiet there, but once they hit the water, it's a different story. 

The Rangers are on the lookout for anyone not obeying the law. 

Everything from people in inflatable rafts too far away from shore to someone going too fast in the no wake zone to children wearing the wrong size life jackets. 

The Rangers are the only local law enforcement that patrols on the water. 

When fully staffed, the Rangers have up to 12 full-time Rangers. 

Right now, they have five, including the chief, so they depend on "extra help" Rangers and trained volunteers. 

Brad Armstrong is one of two "extra help" Rangers on the force. 

He's a former Kern County paramedic who got hired on with the Rangers. 

The Rangers also utilize volunteers and those people come from all walks of life. Some have backgrounds in the U.S. Coast Guard, some have backgrounds in the law enforcement and more. 

The volunteers have to go through field training with the Rangers which parallels the same training the Rangers get. They also must be certified in certain areas to be on the water. 

The Rangers policy states two people have to be on the boat whenever it is out on the water. 

On the day 23ABC rode along with the Rangers, Armstrong was accompanied by volunteer Aaron Hight.

Armstrong said having those volunteers make a huge difference. 

"Without a second person on board the vessel for many of the responses we have we could not do the job safely or effectively," said Armstrong. 

Lake Patrol Rangers pay special attention to children without proper life jackets and people who are operating wrecklessly on the water. 

"Many times that will indicate people that may be under the influence and operating vessels," Armstrong said. 

Rangers said that when they are on the lake it instantly changes the actions of those who are out enjoying it. 

"Typically we see people paying more attention to the laws and boating in the manner that they should: safely and with respect to others," said Armstrong. 

With more water in Isabella Lake that recent years, more boaters have also been showing up. Rangers said now, more than ever, it's important to follow the laws. 

"We want them to come out, recreate, have a good time, do it safely and everybody go home safely," said Armstrong. 

Armstrong also said it's important that visitors know the local laws and abide by those laws once they hit the water.