It’s a major effort to quell the general chaos in Isla Vista around Halloween every year, and officials will be meeting with the public this week to explain just how they plan to do that.
A meeting will be held from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Wednesday in the Council Chambers at Goleta City Hall, 130 Cremona Drive, Suite B.
Representatives from the Goleta Police Department, the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department, the county Fire Department, the California Highway Patrol, American Medical Response and UCSB will be on hand to answer any questions about enforcement, prevention and management throughout the week of Halloween.
Although Halloween falls in the middle of the week — on a Wednesday — this year, Goleta officials estimate that 30,000 people will be passing through the city, starting on the Friday before Halloween and continuing through the weekend.
Law enforcement made more than 200 arrests in Isla Vista over Halloween weekend last year, according to the Sheriff’s Department. That number was down from 251 arrests in 2010. Eighty people were transported to the hospital in 2011.
Sheriff’s Lt. Butch Arnoldi briefed the Goleta City Council last week, and said his department will be working patrol shifts the weekend before Halloween, as well as on the holiday.
“Our patrol posture will be zero tolerance for any alcohol and criminal activity,” he said.
Although parties could wrap up on Del Playa by 1:30 or 2:30 a.m., residents of Goleta may hear some noise around 3:30 or 4:30 a.m., as revelers migrate back to their cars through neighborhoods, he said.
For that reason, patrols will be occurring throughout the neighborhoods “so that we’re not stuck with thousands of people wandering around the city.”
UCSB has continued its “Keep it Safe, Keep it Local” Campaign from last year, which encourages students not to invite out-of-towners to the party.
“Every year, there are serious environmental, physical and fiscal implications that occur as a result of the high number of individuals that visit from out of town,” according to a statement from the UCSB Associated Students. “Isla Vista has become a place that our community has come to know and love, and we would like to ask that you help maintain the high level of respect we have for our home by not inviting guests from out of town.”
The Associated Students will also be holding a Halloween Town Forum from 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday at the Isla Vista Theater 2, and is encouraging UCSB students to attend.