Drunken revelers beware, the Isla Vista Foot Patrol will soon have impressive new headquarters complete with cold, hard, steel bars.
The project, located on the 6500 block of Trigo Road, directly adjacent to I.V. Theater, is set for completion in June. The new building will include an entirely new foot patrol office as well as temporary holding cells for those offenders picked up by the IVFP.
The new facilities will be two to three times the size of the current foot patrol office on Pardall Road. The station will also accommodate detectives with additional office space. Currently, due to the size of the Pardall Station, detectives work mainly out of the Goleta office.
Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Dept. Lt. Brian Olmstead said that safety and an increased ability to help serve the community at large were among the reasons to build a new facility. As for the addition of the holding cells, Olmstead said that security was the primary motivation, noting that the ability to hold a person for a short amount of time could greatly reduce risk.
“We are now in such a confined space and we have [intoxicated] people out in the open,” Olmstead said. “The holding cells will only be there so people are safe … We cannot hold them for long term, though.”
According to Olmstead, the state has laws pertaining to holding cells that prevent law enforcement agencies from holding people for extended periods of time without the proper amenities, such as food services. Due to the lack of these necessary requirements, Olmstead said police would only detain subjects in the cells long enough to process paperwork. Afterward, police would send the detainees to a county jail.
According to John Ford, project manager for the development, a sense of urgency also accompanies the deadline for completion. The lease on the current office on Pardall is set to expire in June.
“The location on Pardall is a building that the university actually leases for the foot patrol officers and the university has lost the lease on that,” Ford said. “It has a new owner, so we need a new location … The most important thing is we will be out on the sidewalk if we don’t have a new home.”
UCSB Capital Development Director Martie Levy said the new facility will be a vast improvement over the current office. She said that it will stand one-and-a-half stories tall and will contain offices, interview rooms, meeting areas, locker rooms for men and women, a secure evidence space and a place where officers can sleep.
Levy said the new lease between UCSB and IVFP will last for the next 42 years. Once this lengthy period has passed, the university can potentially take back control of the land.