Have fun, just follow the rules – that’s the message to Halloween partiers from the Isla Vista Foot Patrol.
Tonight, compared to previous Halloweens, there will be an increased presence of officers to enforce the Festival Ordinance and prevent an excess of alcohol-related dangers. The Festival Ordinance will be in effect from Oct. 28 to Nov. 2. On any given weekend night in I.V. there are five to six officers on duty. During the period covered by the Festival Ordinance, however, there will be at least 35 officers on duty, IVFP Lt. Tom McKinny said.
According to the ordinance, “outdoor festivals” are defined as any musical activities not held in a permanent building constructed specifically for such activities. If a party violates the ordinance by playing loud music between the hours of 6:00 p.m. and 7:00a.m., the residence in question will receive a noise violation ticket and the music will be shut off immediately.
“The Festival Ordinance prohibits live bands after 6 p.m.,” McKinny said. “We’re not trying to keep people from having fun, we just want them to do it responsibly.”
McKinny said an increased number of law enforcement personnel will be patrolling the jack-o’-lantern-lined streets of I.V. today and Friday. The additional police presence will consist of officers from the Goleta police station, California Highway Patrol and other officers on overtime.
“We are increasing staffing. We will be barricading Pardall Road on Halloween,” McKinny said. “Embarcadero del Mar will be closed up to Trigo [Road].”
There will also be officers on horseback to help control the crowds. The mounted units are used primarily for Halloween, Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Public Information Officer Sgt. Phil Willis said. Officers on horseback can easily see into the middle of a large crowd. The mounted unit will be patrolling I.V. today, and depending on the level of activity, may be used throughout the rest of the weekend.
McKinny said during past Halloweens, most citations have been issued for infractions such as open alcohol containers in public, minors in possession of alcohol and public intoxication. To avoid being cited or arrested this Halloween, McKinny said I.V. residents should not drink alcohol in public and should not drink to excess. Designating a driver is also a good precaution to ensure one’s safety.
“Drunk people will be taken into custody,” he said.
The IVFP has a zero tolerance policy during the period when the Festival Ordinance is in effect, which removes officer discretion in the writing of tickets. In 2001, from Sept. 9 to Oct. 31, there were 457 arrests and 980 citations issued. Partiers were cited and arrested for fighting, urinating in public, open alcohol containers, public drunkenness and violating the noise ordinance.