When the Hesperia Civic Market & Street Faire began its 2011 run on Wednesday, there was one thing shoppers could count on: reserve deputy Art Osborne was on the job.


"We all tend to work city functions, but the last couple of years, I've gone out of my way to work the farmers market," Osborne said, inside the volunteers office at the Hesperia station of the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department. "We found that if there's two officers on the scene, there's no trouble."


The other officer at the market each week is Jack Thomas, chief of police for the Hesperia Recreation and Park District, which co-sponsors the event, along with the City of Hesperia.


This year, the Hesperia resident is adding a new wrinkle, as he plans to do most of his patrolling via bicycle.


Osborne's dedication to the market, and other park activities, has been recognized by the park district, which nominated him for the California Association of Recreation & Park Districts 2011 Outstanding Volunteer Award. In the past, he's been recognized with other city and park district awards.


Most months, Osborne volunteers 40 hours of his time, in addition to his full time job as a machinist.


Being a machinist has "been a real good career, but it's a little boring," he said. "This gives me some excitement and lets me give back to the community."


He had looked into police work as a possible change in direction back in 1992.


"About 19, 20 years ago, the industry was in a downturn, so I started looking at a different career," he said. In the end, Osborne only added policing as a part-time job. "I wish I had gone full-time. But at 56, it's hard."


Part of the challenge is balancing the demands of work and family with that of the sheriff's department.


"We can always say no" to requests for time, Osborne said, but "most of the reserves, if there's a need, we put aside [personal] obligations and if we can help and help out."


While on duty, the station's four reserve deputies have full police powers, as opposed to the Citizens On Patrol, volunteers who handle many tasks that don't require a fully trained deputy.


"By us going out as reserves" during periods of high demand for police services, "it allows the station to maintain their regular patrols," Osborne said.


And that's something he'd be doing, award or no award, he said.


"I appreciate the award, but that's not why I do this," Osborne said. "There's three other reserves that put just as much into it, in my opinion."


Beau Yarbrough can be reached at 760-956-7108 or at beau@hesperiastar.com. Follow us on Facebook at Facebook.com/Hesperia.Star.