Police Department

Bear Valley Police

The staff members of the Bear Valley Police Department are a part of a larger District team of talented public servants, all of whom are devoted to providing municipal services that are consistent with our community’s values, traditions, culture and unique beauty.


As a dedicated and professional team, we are committed to excellence in enforcing the law, building positive relationships with our community, and protecting our residents and the traditions of Bear Valley Springs.
Dain Hurst, Acting Chief of Police

Hours of Operation

Administrative Office: 8 am - 4 pm Monday through Friday

Officers are available through dispatch 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Dispatch: 661-861-3110

Entry Gate: 661-821-5261

Click here if you would like to file a complaint.

We’re hiring!

Meet our team

Dain Hurst
Acting Chief
Read Bio
Karolyn Hartmann
Administrative Supervisor
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Jay Rivera
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Stacy Arabello
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Todd Newell
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Jay Stella
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Craving a Change of Scenery? Bring Your Experience to Bear Valley Springs

Continue your law enforcement career in a stunning one-of-a-kind community with resort-style amenities and residents who strongly support their PD.

The Community

Bear Valley Springs is a wonder of natural beauty. Even first-time visitors are amazed by the diversity and concentration of wildlife, including a large deer and elk population. Outdoor activities and recreation were part of the original development design and inspiration. The community enjoys a country club, golf course, tennis courts, swimming pool, equestrian center, hiking and horse trails, two lakes, campgrounds, shooting range, open space, and wilderness areas. All await the residents of this premier community with outstanding services and an extremely low crime rate, which contributes to a desirable quality of life for residents.

Bear Valley Springs is located in the Tehachapi Mountains in Southern California, approximately 125 miles north of Los Angeles. This residential community consists of about 3,600 home sites spanning 42 square miles in Kern County, with most municipal services provided by the Bear Valley Community Services District.

Since its inception, there has been an emphasis on preserving the community’s identity as a scenic, rural residential community with large parcels and abundant open space. Today, approximately 6,000 residents cherish their community’s tranquil lifestyle. Although geographically large, Bear Valley Springs is gated, adding to an atmosphere of security and exclusivity.

The greater Tehachapi area is known as “the Land of the Four Seasons,” and residents enjoy warm Summers, Fall colors, Spring wildflowers, and just enough snow to know it is Winter, with clean, clear air year-round. Bear Valley Springs’ elevations range from 4,000 to nearly 7,000 feet, providing ecosystems from scrub oak and chaparral to tall pine forests.

The District

Community Services Districts in California are local government entities that provide municipal services. While there are many Community Services Districts across California, Bear Valley Community Services District is uncommon in the diversity of municipal services provided, including police, water, wastewater, roads, drainage, solid waste, and parks and recreation. Land use authority (planning and building) and fire are vested with Kern County.

A five-member Board of Directors governs Bear Valley Community Services District. Directors are elected to four-year staggered terms, with elections held in November of even-numbered years. The Board provides policy direction and budget approval, and a professional staff carries out the Board’s agenda.

The FY 2021-22 total budget is $13.2 million, and the District  employs approximately 38 full-time staff and 18 part-time staff. Funding is provided primarily by property taxes, special taxes, and assessments, including a special tax dedicated to police services. The professional staff is led by a General Manager, operating under a Council/Manager form of government.

The General Manager directly oversees the Assistant to the General Manager and the department heads, including the Chief of Police, Administrative Services Director, and Public Works Director. Parks & Recreation is currently provided through contract service.

The Department

The Chief of Police leads the Public Safety Department and serves as the Public Safety Director.

The Department provides 24-hour police patrol, traffic enforcement, crime investigation, crime prevention, and other law enforcement services to protect and preserve residents’ health, safety, and security.

The Bear Valley Police Department is responsible for maintaining public peace, safeguarding lives and property, and promoting a high quality of life for residents.

The Department is committed to the principles of community-oriented policing as an organizational philosophy and problem-solving strategy and by fostering community partnerships.

The Ideal Candidate

In addition to the prerequisites of being ethical, well qualified, and experienced, certain traits will be essential for success

  • Have diverse experience in law enforcement
  • Bring a strong customer service ethic, a desire for long-term affiliation with the Bear Valley Community Services District, and a professional approach to enhancing the community’s quality of life.
  • Cultivate and maintain relationships with the community
  • Have a positive outlook, demonstrate enthusiasm and creativity

Job Summary

Under general supervision, performs field and/or administrative police work in order to protect life and property by detecting and preventing the commission of crimes and enforcing laws and ordinances; may work in various special assignments as required; performs other related duties.

The following classifications of Police Officer are distinguished by the possession of a current and valid certificate issued by the State of California through the Commission on Peace Officer Standards & Training (POST):

Police Officer   I: California Basic POST certificate (or POST Basic Academy graduate and must obtain POST Basic certificate within 18 months of hire).
Police Officer  II: California POST Intermediate certificate.
Police Officer III: California POST Advanced certificate.

Advanced classification does not vest supervisorial authority; it only indicates POST certification level.

All duties are performed under the supervision of the Police Sergeant who reports to the Chief of Police.  Police Officers   I–III do not perform any supervision of any classification.

Essential Functions

Essential functions, as defined under the Americans with Disabilities Act, may include the following duties and responsibilities, knowledge, skills, and other characteristics. This list of duties is illustrative only, and is not a comprehensive listing of all functions and tasks performed by this position.

The following duties are typical for the various classifications. Incumbents may not perform all of the listed duties and/or may be required to perform additional or different duties from those set forth below to address agency needs and changing business practices.

  • Confront problems and enforce laws professionally and within established guidelines
  • Patrol assigned areas by car, foot, or all-terrain vehicle
  • Conduct initial and follow-up investigations
  • Traffic enforcement; stop drivers operating vehicles under violations of the law; warn drivers against illegal practices; issue citations; make arrests for traffic violations
  • Operate a vehicle safely under varied and sometimes difficult conditions, including emergencies
  • Examine and control crime scenes of all types; provide effective traffic control and management of traffic accident scenes; write traffic accident reports and draw related diagrams  
  • Respond to calls regarding burglaries, robberies, homicides, suicides, thefts, domestic violence, and other violations of law; take appropriate action as prescribed by law and departmental policy
  • Respond to fires, accidents or emergency situations, keep bystanders out of danger, safeguard property and render first-aid and/or cardiopulmonary resuscitation to the ill or injured in compliance with departmental training and standards
  • Maintain composure and take appropriate action during emergency or tense situations; physically control individuals, if necessary, with the reasonable use of force prescribed by law and departmental policy
  • Meet qualification standards in the discharge of firearms; proper care, handling and maintenance of firearms and other protective and restraint equipment
  • Practice and emphasize the principles of Community Oriented Policing; participate in community policing efforts and problem-solving projects; conduct a thorough analysis of problems in assigned areas to identify root causes of crime and apply problem-solving principles
  • Work with the community and other District departments to address crime, reduce fear and improve police-community relations
  • Organize or assist in the organization of community meetings aimed at solving specific problems or improving community living standards
  • Recognize visible signs of disorder which often lead to neighborhood deterioration and take positive action to improve the situation through coordination of actions with investigators and other officers, as well as community groups and individuals
  • Conduct parolee and probationary checks
  • Serve warrants
  • Testify in court in connection with the prosecution of offenders; coordinate with the Office of the District Attorney
  • Perform Code Enforcement activities
  • Search for wanted or missing persons and lost children
  • Provide information and assistance to the general public; promote the vision and goals of the organization
  • Provide ethical leadership and uphold ethical standards
  • Act courteously toward others and take directions from supervisors, while maintaining good working relationships with other members of the Department and District
  • Work extended and irregular hours as required; maintain availability for on-call status
  • Complete scheduled assignments in a quality manner and on time; provide dependable service to the community
  • Communicate effectively orally and in writing; prepare extensive and complex reports, which may be used as a basis for potential prosecutions in court; use of police radio in a professional and courteous manner
  • Other duties as assigned

Knowledge and Abilities

Knowledge of:

  • Local, state, and federal laws, codes and ordinances
  • Police methods and procedures including patrol, crime prevention, traffic control, and investigation
  • Laws governing the apprehension, arrest, and custody of persons accused of felonies and misdemeanors
  • Rules of evidence pertaining to search and seizure and preservation
  • Operation of police equipment and tools including firearms
  • Report preparation and writing; proper documentation
  • Court rules and procedures
  • Methods and techniques of crowd control
  • Occupational hazards and safety practices
  • First aid principles, practices and techniques
  • Proper English usage, spelling and grammar
  • Applicable computer hardware and software, including but not limited to report preparation, evidence booking and data retrieval
  • Geography of the area assigned

Ability to:

  • Perform a wide range of law enforcement assignments
  • Respond to community issues, concerns and needs in a tactful and courteous manner
  • Analyze a situation or problem and determine a timely and appropriate course of action
  • Think clearly, act quickly and communicate concisely in emergency situations
  • Disassemble, clean, maintain, load and discharge a firearm; use and care of other police equipment
  • Relate to the public in a fair, tactful and courteous manner; put people at ease to gain their confidence and cooperation
  • Diffuse high stress situations; deal effectively with people in different emotional states or those suffering from mental illness
  • Control violent people and effect arrests
  • Exercise tact, self-restraint, judgement and strategy when dealing with a variety of people, including members of the public, co-workers and representatives of other agencies
  • Read and interpret complex technical documents such as laws, codes, ordinances, court decisions, general and special orders, memorandums and training bulletins
  • Work rotating shifts, nights, weekends, holidays, and emergency call-outs; maintain availability for on-call status
  • Work effectively and independently in the absence of supervision
  • Understand and follow oral and written instructions
  • Accept correction and constructive criticism and apply it to performance
  • Communicate clearly and concisely, both orally and in writing
  • Observe and recognize people, vehicles, activities, street signs and environmental conditions from a reasonable distance during day and night
  • Carry, lift, and run after suspects or victims
  • Maintain physical condition necessary for the performance of assigned duties and responsibilities

Education, Experience & Training


Minimum qualifications for this classification include:

Equivalent to graduation from a U.S. high school or passing score on the General Education Development (GED) exam; college course work in police science, criminal justice, or a related field is preferred but not required.

Completion of a POST certified training academy.

License or Certificate:
Possession of or ability to immediately obtain a current and valid Class C California Driver's License and maintain a clean driving record.

Possession of California POST Basic (or POST Basic Academy graduate and must obtain POST Basic certificate within 18 months of hire), Intermediate or Advanced certificate.

Special Requirements:
Must be 21 years of age as of the date of hire.
Must meet citizenship requirements per California Government Code Section 1031 & 1031.5.
Must be of good moral character with no felony convictions.
Must successfully complete background investigation.

Police Community Advisory Panel

The Bear Valley Police Community Advisory Panel was created to advise the Bear Valley Chief of Police from a community perspective on matters related to community engagement and relations, public education, and other matters requested by, or in consultation with the Chief in order to enhance police-community relations and improve community trust.

The Bear Valley Police Community Advisory Panel is made up of volunteer community members who are active in the Bear Valley Springs community. Group members serve three-year terms, with individual terms expiring in alternating years to allow both fresh perspective and continuity within the Panel each year.

This community engagement-focused group is made up of residents that represent several existing groups and associations throughout Bear Valley Springs and provides opportunity for community members to engage directly with the Chief of Police on issues faced by all Bear Valley Springs community members

“The Police Community Advisory Panel will help enhance our existing relationships with the community and build new relationships. By doing that, we improve our ability to provide the level of service the Bear Valley Springs residents deserve.” — Chief Dan Suttles

Guiding Principles

  • The group will follow the Districts Mission and Vision
  • The group will respectfully seek to understand the varying perspectives on public safety and its impacts on the community
  • The group will recognize that it acts strictly in an advisory capacity to the Chief of Police
  • The group will act only as a group, and there is no individual jurisdiction granted to any single member
  • The group will rely on data (quantitative and qualitative) to inform its discussions and recommendations.
  • The group will recognize that the Bear Valley Police Department does not control the entire criminal justice and/or public safety system, and will keep discussions and recommendations focused on the scope of control of the Bear Valley Police Department
  • The group and its members must follow any applicable statutory rules as they relate to the subject matter being dealt with
  • There is no transfer of authority, administrative accountability, or legal responsibility assigned or delegated to the group

Membership Criteria

Members of the group and alternates appointed by the Chief of Police through the application process must be:

  • Residents of Bear Valley Springs
  • Age 18 or older (except for the appointed youth member)
  • Willing to commit to regular attendance at meetings

Members and alternates appointed by the Chief of Police through the application process must pass a background check before final appointment. Members and alternates may not simultaneously be running for or holding public office.

The youth member must meet the requirements of the youth application process.

Members may not have been convicted of a felony in the last ten years. Individuals with a felony conviction that is more than 10 years old or who have a misdemeanor conviction may be considered for appointment on a case-by-case basis. No member may be on supervised status or pretrial release, have active warrants for their arrest, or be a registered sex offender.

Current Roster
Richard Brown
Amateur Radio
Dave Waler
Amateur Radio Alternate
Michael Lewis
Astronomy Club
At Large
At Large
Cathi Estes
At large
Ashley Krempien
Bear Valley Springs Association
Carolyn Corporon
Cultural Arts Association
Ivette Farrell
Garden Club
Susan Mustaffa
Horseman's Association
Kevin Boesler
Religious Group
Rick Kannard
Sportsmans' Club
Nancy Chefalo
Tailwagger's Dog Club
Bill Kritlow
Veterans' Association
Lee Tharp
Veterans' Association (Alternate)
Kathleen Martin
Wildlife Coalition
Ali Dresser
Women's Club
Youth Representative
Meeting Notes

Briefing from the Chief

· In this meeting the Chief updated the panel on the progress of obtaining an officer wellness app called Cordico (Cordico Home - Cordico). The State of California awarded grant monies to each Law Enforcement Agency within the state to use towards officer wellness programs. The Board of Directors approved the Police Department to enter into a three-year contract with Cordico to supply this program to the employees of the department.

Discussion Topic

The Chief discussed the State of Department, in which he elaborated on the fact he would be leaving the department effective January 2024.

Round Table

Each member of the panel was invited to speak about their respective group or association and let everyone know what projects or events each group was working on.

Briefing from the Chief

· In this meeting the Chief asked the panel members to remind the groups and associations that they represent that the old window stickers utilized to gain entry into the gate will no longer be accepted after July 31, 2023.

· The Chief explained to the panel the plan to change some of the signs at the front gate. The signage at the front gate will be changed in an effort to simplify the information being relayed to drivers as they approach the gate and to minimize the redundancy of information that currently exists.

· The panel was asked to make sure their organizations were aware of the phone number to the non-emergency line for police services, which is 661-861-3110. The panel was reminded that the Kern County Sheriffs Dispatch Center answers our residents calls and will dispatch BVPD officers to calls within BVS.

· The Chief asked each organization to submit an alternate panel member to attend meetings if they were not able to make it.

· The Chief briefed the panel members on the locations the speed radar machines will be placed in the near future. One will be placed on Jamaica Dunes and the other will be set up on Bear Valley Road near Coyote Court.

· The Panel discussed the process utilized to set speed limits in BVS and the requirement for an Engineering and Traffic Survey.

Discussion Topic

Public Engagement Opportunities: The Chief asked the Panel to share the dates of events that their respective organizations are planning. It is the goal of the Chief to attend himself, or have an officer attend, community events in order to live up to his pledge of building positive relationships with the community.

Group Expectations

In the inaugural meeting of the Bear Valley Police Community Advisory Panel, the group discussed the expectations of the Chief and the responsibilities associated to being a member of the Panel. The members of the Panel are representatives of various groups, clubs and associations throughout Bear Valley Springs; therefore, each member has the opportunity to communicate community concerns directly to the Chief of Police. With this opportunity comes the expectation that the members will communicate the topics discussed back to the community members they represent.

Briefing from the Chief

The Chief briefed the Panel on relevant legislative bills that, if passed, could affect policing throughout the state. The bills discussed were AB 742 which would prohibit the use of police canines and AB 93 which would prohibit an officer’s ability to conduct a search despite the consent of the individual.

The Chief also briefed the Panel on a recent Officer Wellness grant that all California Police Agencies received. The Bear Valley Police Department received a grant of $15,000 for the purpose of improving officer wellness and expanding mental health resources. The Chief is currently coordinating efforts of other local agencies to best utilize these funds.

Discussion Topics

In this portion of the meeting the Chief asks the Panel to take a topic back to the community members they represent. In this meeting the Chief asked for feedback on where the residents would like to see the

speed radar machines placed in an effort to calm driving behaviors throughout Bear Valley Springs.

Services offered

File a police report:

‍If it is an emergency, dial 9-1-1. For non emergency calls for service, call 661-861-3110

Crime Report Requests

The Bear Valley Police Department’s Records Manager is responsible for maintaining all police records, including crime reports generated officers.

Crime reports are protected by California Government Code Section 6254(f), also known as the Public Records Act, which dictates to whom, and under what circumstances, copies of crime reports may be released.

The Public Records Act dictates law enforcement make available to the victim (or their representative) copies of crime reports for certain types of crimes, redacting any information the law declares they are not entitled to receive.

The Bear Valley Police Department is prohibited by law from releasing juvenile reports, any reports related to suicides or death, mental health holds/commitments, sexual assaults, and elder abuse. The release of such reports requires a court order.

To request a report, print the attached form (also available at the Police Department) and deliver the completed form to the Police Department. Most police reports are available 10 days after the incident date.

  • Crime Report: $10 per report
  • Traffic Accident Report: $25 per report. No charge if requester is involved in the event.

VIN Verification

Bring the vehicle to the Police Department for verification.

  • VIN Verification Fee: $10 per verification

Citation Sign-off

Bring the citation and the vehicle which was cited to the Police Department during business hours.

  • Citation Sign-Off fee: $10 per sign-off
  • Vehicle release $100

Administrative Citation Payment

Administrative citations can be paid at the District Office at 28999 S. Lower Valley Rd

Vacation Home Patrol Check

VIPS and Officers will make every reasonable effort to monitor your home daily during your vacation.

Click here to sign up for a Vacation Home Check

Safe Medication Disposal Program

Unused and expired prescription medications present a public safety hazard. These medications, when thrown into the trash, can be retrieved and abused or illegally sold. Unused drugs that are flushed contaminate the water supply. To combat these problems and provide residents with a safe means of disposing of medications, the Bear Valley Police Department has installed a safe medication disposal drop box in the lobby of the Police Department. The lobby is open to the public 24/7.

Medications collected through the program are periodically disposed of through a partnership with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

A photo of a medication collection container located in the police department lobby
The collection container is located in the lobby of the Bear Valley Police Department

What is accepted?

  • Unused or expired prescription medication
  • Over-the-counter medications

What is not accepted?

  • Illegal drugs
  • Needles/sharps
  • Lotions or liquids
  • Inhalers
  • Aerosol cans
  • Thermometers
  • Hydrogen peroxide

Volunteers in Police Service

The VIPS primary role is to provide support to the Bear Valley Police department in delivery of service to the community. Without the VIPS, popular community-building events could not happen. The BVPD recognizes and values the selfless contributions the VIPS gift to the community and the police department.
National Night Out
4th of July Celebration
Trunk or Treat
...and more!
Dashboard mockup
Public Safety Projects