The Isla Vista Community Services District is funding a full-time sexual assault detective in its first-ever budget that was adopted earlier this month, which alloacated money for a variety of programs aimed at improving the IV community. 

Voters approved a 8-percent utility user tax in June to fund the IVCSD, and UC Santa Barbara provides more than $200,000 for a series of mutually-agreed-upon initiatives mostly focused on resident safety.

Perhaps the most ambitious program put forward by the IVCSD budget is the hiring of a full-time sexual assault detective operating in Isla Vista.

The detective is part of a partnership with the Community Services District and UCSB, and will be hired through the UCSB Police Department. The detective is expected to have an office in the Isla Vista Foot Patrol sheriff’s substation at 6504 Trigo Road.

“The Foot Patrol was the first community-based policing in the United States of America and taking that approach to policing; We’re hoping this will also be a first in the area of sexual assault,” IVCSD General Manager Jonathan Abboud said.

“This is a big one, especially for a college town to be doing it and CSD to be taking it on. I’m really optimistic to see where this goes.”

Abboud said the detective position is meant to help with the difficult experience for survivors of sexual assault seeking help from law enforcement.

“This is going to be a committed investigator for sexual assault and interpersonal violence. If you’re a survivor of sexual assault, you won’t have to endure going through multiple officers and getting bounced around, there’ll be one person who handles all these crimes,” Abboud said.

“They are trauma-informed and well-trained. They will hopefully improve the experience of survivors coming forward.”

The detective position had not been filled as of mid-August, and Abboud said that he expected that someone would be in place by the time UCSB starts classes in September. 

IVCSD’s budget also includes funding for beautification projects, housing mediation, public works programs, and a resource center for sexual assault survivors. 

Along with UCSB, the organization is expanding the Community Service Organization officer program (which provides personal safety escorts on campus and in Isla Vista), and graffiti abatement programs.

“The university’s been a great partner,” Abboud said.

“I’ll say that in the past, when we first forming the CSD there was in some members of the community hesitation about working them. I think they’re amazing partners. We couldn’t do what we’re doing without them.”

The IVCSD has a seven-member board which meets the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month at 6 p.m. at 970 Embarcadero del Mar in Isla Vista. 

Noozhawk intern Dhiraj Nallapaneni can be reached at Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkSociety, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Become a fan of Noozhawk on Facebook.