From a public safety outlook, Santa Barbara’s Old Spanish Days Fiesta 2010 has concluded as one of the safest in memory.
There was no gang violence or major assaults involving weapons, and many tens of thousands of people enjoyed the festivities.
This year, there were 330 traffic citations, 197 parking citations, 194 municipal code violations and 65 miscellaneous infractions. There were 30 felony arrests, 143 misdemeanor arrests, 22 DUI arrests and two felony DUI arrests.
In 2009, there were 593 traffic citations, 399 parking citations, 258 municipal code violations and 47 miscellaneous infractions. There were 18 felony arrests, 122 misdemeanor arrests and 36 DUI arrests.
The success of Fiesta 2010 built upon progress made during the last two Fiestas. Specifically, the following factors contributed to reduced crime activity:
» Strong downtown presence by officers with the Santa Barbara Police Department, assisted by the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department, the California Highway Patrol and UCSB police.
» Highly mobile officers on motorcycles and bicycles who often arrived to quell disturbances within seconds.
» Teams of gang enforcement officers, including personnel from the Santa Barbara County and Ventura County sheriff’s departments; the Santa Maria and Lompoc police departments, State Parole, and the Santa Barbara and Ventura county probation departments.
» Communication with officers and the public handled by Santa Barbara Police Department Communications Center.
» Pre-planning that included placing bright lights at key locations; police resource distribution; cooperative discussion with Old Spanish Days; and coordination with the City of Santa Barbara Public Works and Parks & Recreation departments.
— Paul McCaffrey is a public information officer for the Santa Barbara Police Department.