Local officials hosted a community meeting in Goleta’s City Hall last night, discussing how to address yet another Isla Vista Halloween.
The public forum centered on combined efforts planned for the weekend by local law enforcement, county authorities and university officials — such as measures to address crowd control, parking designation, traffic, hotel cooperation, taxi cooperation, local business cooperation and the installment of Porta-Potties. Local elected officials, law enforcement and students were in attendance.
According to Goleta Police Dept. Sgt. Kevin Huddle, a member of the city’s motor traffic unit, it will be important to keep traffic moving smoothly in order to avoid having to close or block roads.
“There are no planned road-closures unless a disaster or declared emergency occur,” Huddle said. “The cars come in the city impacted and go out impacted.”
Although traffic enforcement will focus on Isla Vista Friday and Saturday, Huddle said local authorities will increase their presence in the area Sunday night to ensure the safety of young trick-or-treaters.
“Friday, Saturday and Sunday of Halloween weekend will have additional patrol cars.” Huddle said. “Sunday will also have high concentration of police department [officials] to make sure the children are safe.”
Other agencies are also stepping up the number of response units they will have available during the holiday weekend. Goleta Police Lt. Butch Arnoldi said their plan will prepare for worst-case scenarios.
“We have two additional life support ambulances on hand,” Arnoldi said. “Again, we plan for the worst and hope for the best.”
Arnoldi said additional outside enforcement agencies include groups specifically designed to handle gangs and riot situations, as well as an increased number of officers present in the city (over 300), five to six patrol cars and having both motorcycle and bicycle cops available.
A.S. is collaborating with local agencies to prepare the town for a safe, local holiday weekend by distributing safety campaign advertisements.
According to Rhandy Siordia, major events coordinator for the A.S. Local Affairs Office, the student organization is hosting an alcohol-free event at the Isla Vista People’s Park.
“This event is meant to be a safe space for people,” Siordia said. “People can come grab a snack or some water and use the restroom, [which] will be monitored by an attendant.”
The event will feature giant screen televisions to watch movies from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m., including “Beetlejuice” and “The Ring.” This is the first year A.S. has held this alternative festival.
“This event will give people a safe space to relax,” Siordia said.