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Monday, December 10 , 2018, 1:24 am | Fair 49º


Law Enforcement Preparing for Large Turnout This Halloween in Isla Vista

Additional officers will be staffing Isla Vista, Goleta and Santa Barbara for the weekend as authorities hope to continue the trend of fewer arrests and citations

Rainy weather kept crowds away during Halloween in Isla Vista last year, but with clear skies expected, authorities are planning for a larger turnout this weekend.
Rainy weather kept crowds away during Halloween in Isla Vista last year, but with clear skies expected, authorities are planning for a larger turnout this weekend.  (Mike Eliason / Santa Barbara County Fire Department file photo )

Halloween in Isla Vista isn’t what it used to be — that’s the message law enforcement and students groups are trying to get out to would-be out-of-town party crashers.  

There’s no parking, no amplified music, and lots of restrictions aimed at keeping crowds that traditionally take to the street under control.

Last year, the county lucked out with a rain storm that drove the crowds indoors and kept the festivities from getting too raucous. 

However, with clear skies and warm temperatures expected for this weekend, hundreds of law enforcement officers will be on the streets to patrol.

About 100 deputies from the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office will be working through the weekend, along with 100 University of California Police Department officers, many of whom are from other campuses, said sheriff's spokeswoman Kelly Hoover.

Because Halloween falls on a Saturday night, “we’re prepared for a large turnout,” she said.

That number of law enforcement is lower than last year, however, and is reflective of a shift in the community.

“We are seeing a culture change in Isla Vista with the mentality of not inviting out-of-towners, and out-of-towners realizing it’s not the party place it used to be,” she said.

A trend of fewer citation and arrests could signal that students are more protective of their community and their neighbors, Hoover said.

“We’re pleased with how protective the students are being about their town,” she said.

The community’s festival ordinance will be enforced on Friday and Saturday from 6 p.m. to 7 a.m each day.

No amplified music will be allowed, and Del Playa Drive will be closed to cars. Barricades will also be set up Friday at 4 p.m. to prevent people from driving into the community, though people will be allowed to leave. 

Throughout the weekend, the California Highway Patrol will also be doing patrols looking for impaired drivers.

The sheriff’s Search and Rescue team will work with Santa Barbara County Fire Department medics to help people in need, and a first-aid station will be set up.

“We want people to be aware that there are people who may have criminal intent that are attracted to the party atmosphere of Halloween,” Hoover said, encouraging people to use caution.

Fire investigators will also be in the community looking for crowded occupancies and shutting down those parties, she said.

UCSB’s Associated Students are going to be passing out water and reminding students of the festival ordinance, Hoover said.

“We appreciate their participation. It says a lot to have students who are reaching out to their own to encourage them to do the right thing,” she said.

A whole line-up of events is planned as party alternatives for students, including concerts on Friday and Saturday for UCSB students only.

For a full line-up of ASB-sponsored activities and schedules, click here.

In neighboring Goleta, parking permits have been sent out to about 1,300 addresses, in the area from Hollister Avenue to the southern city limit of Whittier Drive, and from Cannon Green Drive to Storke Road, said Valerie Kushnerov of the city of Goleta.

Those living in those areas who have not received their permits or need more permits for vehicles registered in the city can come to Goleta City Hall for assistance, she said.

The restrictions ban vehicles from parking on the street in that area without a permit on Friday and Saturday from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. 

More information about the permits and a map of the affected area can be found here.

The city is in its second year of doing the parking permits for Halloween, and Kushnerov said that residents overwhelmingly supported the idea in a workshop conducted this summer.

“It keeps the peace in the neighborhood,” she said.  

In Santa Barbara, police will be increasing staffing all across the city, with more DUI patrol officers and even a canine working, said Sgt. Riley Harwood of the Santa Barbara Police Department.

“Every single geographical area of the city will be staffed with officers,” he said.

Extra staffing will be stationed between the 400 and 700 block of State Street, and area DUI patrols will take place all over downtown as well as the Milpas Street area, he said.

Though the city doesn’t usually provide law enforcement to the Isla Vista on Halloween, it is prepared to respond should they be needed, Harwood said.

Noozhawk staff writer Lara Cooper can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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