Isla Vista’s annual Halloween street party was once a raucous affair marred by hundreds of arrests, citations and medical calls in a single weekend.
But in recent years, concerted efforts by law enforcement, UC Santa Barbara and community groups have pretty much tamed that beast in the community adjacent to the university.
This year was no different, as the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office reported just a handful of arrests and citations, while county Fire Department spokesman Mike Eliason said “it was really quiet” in terms of medical calls handled by firefighters.
Raquel Zick, sheriff’s public information officer, told Noozhawk that the Sheriff’s Office was expecting “normal Halloween activity” in Isla Vista Monday night — lots of costumed revelers filling the streets and a scattering of parties — but “nothing big.”
The Sheriff’s Office, aided by the UCSB Police Department and the California Highway Patrol, beefed up law enforcement patrols throughout the weekend, while the university and community groups staged concerts and other events intended to keep students occupied and out of trouble.
Parking in and around I.V. was restricted to residents — part of an effort to discourage attendance by outsiders whom many have blamed for problems in the past.
“This year’s activity has continued the downward trend in attendance and criminal activity that we have seen in previous years,” Zick said.
From Friday through Sunday nights, there were five arrests in Isla Vista, Zick said: three for drunken driving and two for outstanding warrants. Three people received citations for minor offenses.
“The Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Office would like to thank the community stakeholders, residents, and allied agencies that assisted in the planning and logistics involved in this year’s Halloween operation,” Zick said.