Lotspeich, who has patrolled Trona for three years, must carefully decide when to make an arrest.
The nearest county jail is 100 miles away in Barstow, and he has only two other deputies.
"I could spend all day out here doing under-the-influence arrests, but by the time I drive them to Barstow that's half my day, and sometimes they are back before I am," he said.
Minutes later he rounded a corner and spotted a man wanted for a parole violation and arrested him.
He arrested another parolee shortly after. With two men handcuffed in his SUV, he stopped a teenager riding a motorbike on the street.
"Take it out to the desert," he said.
A woman flagged him down to point out a homeless man wandering her neighborhood.
The corporal had been on patrol just 20 minutes.
Methamphetamine abuse is a scourge in Trona, leading to other crimes, such as burglary. Arsonists also have helped destroy much of the town.
"That was the mentality -- you had a problem with someone, you set their houses on fire or you set their car on fire," Lotspeich said. "That was just what you did up here. Once we made an arrest and they saw they would actually do time, it stopped. We haven't had arson in a year."
He credits aggressive policing for an upsurge in arrests. Trona went from 12 felony arrests in 2002 to 56 in 2005, according to sheriff's records.
"The good outweighs the bad here, but there is a lot of bad," the officer said.
Not far away, the Trona Tornados took to their dirt field for practice. "It's 115 degrees but it feels like 105 with the breeze," said Coach Foster, 41.
The team has won its league three times and has a reputation for hitting hard.
"No one else plays on dirt," said running back Emilio Horta, 16. "They all cry about it."
Asked if he will stay in Trona after graduation, he shook his head. "It's not where I want to be," Horta said. "I want a more civilized place."
A hot wind blew, carrying a bracing whiff of rotten egg.
"I said I wanted to leave as a kid," he said. "I went to the Navy for four years, then I came back. I like the small-town atmosphere and I love knowing where my kids are at night. I have no plans on going anywhere."