With a raucous Friday night Halloween just around the corner, UCSB students and administrators, Isla Vista residents and law enforcement congregated at last night’s town hall meeting to discuss I.V.’s 2003 Halloween.
At the meeting, a panel of four UCSB administrators and five law enforcement officers from three agencies discussed Halloween safety and took questions from the crowd of I.V. community members packed into Isla Vista Theater. The theater was filled to capacity, with many in the audience left standing in the aisles.
Lt. Tom McKinny of the Isla Vista Foot Patrol was the first to speak at length about the increased security measures that will be implemented on Del Playa Drive over Halloween weekend.
“This year on Halloween, we’ll have approximately 100 law enforcement personnel in Isla Vista, a lot of them on Del Playa,” McKinny said.
This number has more than doubled since Halloween of last year, when 30 to 40 deputies were present the first night and 50 on the second night, McKinny said.
Deputies on horseback from the Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Mounted Unit will add to the law enforcement presence on DP over Halloween weekend. McKinny said the horses give officers a higher profile and let them control the crowds more effectively.
“A deputy on horseback has much better visibility than a deputy on foot, especially in large, crowded areas,” McKinny said. “Conversely, people in the crowds can see the deputies on horseback better.”
The only downside to the mounted patrol is the horse manure left on the streets.
“The deputies will do the best they can at the time they’re out there, and the following day we’ll have some inmate workers come out and clean up,” McKinny said.
Floodlights will be illuminating the 6500 and 6600 blocks of DP at night to further aid authorities in keeping the crowds under close watch.
In addition to the increased law enforcement presence in I.V., DP and Sabado Tarde Road will be closed to car traffic from the 6500 block to Camino Corto from about 9 p.m. to 3 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights. McKinny said Pardall Road would also be blocked off earlier in the afternoon.
Sgt. Tom Walton of the IVFP said officers manning the barricades will also be on the lookout for people bringing potential weapons to DP.
California Highway Patrol officer David Nees said the CHP will also increase its patrols through I.V. Residents should expect to see more officers than usual covering the streets of I.V. in cars, on foot and on bicycles.
“In addition, probably the big news is that we also are planning a sobriety checkpoint,” Nees said.
Nees said he was “not at liberty” to disclose the location of the checkpoint but he hopes it will deter drunk driving over Halloween weekend.
Officer Mark Signa of the UC Police Dept. said on-campus security will also be increased over Halloween weekend. UCPD will be increasing staff, conducting more patrols and cooperating with Community Service Officers to ensure students’ safety both on campus and in I.V.
“The CSO program will have all CSOs working [Halloween night],” Signa said. “We’re really encouraging people to take advantage of the program.”
Signa also said the university is implementing a no-guest policy in the dorms over Halloween weekend, and Transportation and Parking Services will strictly enforce parking regulations on campus.
Joseph Navarro, associate dean of conduct and discipline, said his department’s operations have been extended from the campus to include I.V. This means the school can discipline students for violations such as sexual assault in I.V, not just on campus.
“The things you do in Isla Vista could affect your student status,” Navarro said.
Other policies that will be in effect this Halloween include the festival ordinance, landlord notification and parent notification.
“What the festival ordinance says is there’s no live bands or amplified music after 6 p.m. up to 7 in the morning,” McKinny said.
The festival ordinance will take effect Oct. 28 and will continue until Nov. 2, but McKinny said it will be most heavily enforced on Halloween and the day following.
Through landlord notification, tenants who have parties that violate the noise ordinance, block the street or otherwise draw the attention of law enforcement may be reported to their landlords. McKinny said officers will use their judgment regarding the policy.
“One loud music violation won’t result in a landlord notification,” McKinny said. “But two might.”
Deborah Fleming, associate dean of students, said parent notification means that students charged with alcohol or other drug-related offenses will be contacted by the university. Then a letter will be sent to their parents.
“Last year, we sent 330 letters,” Fleming said. “The majority of students in Fall Quarter that we sent letters home for were freshmen.”
Carolyn Buford, associate dean of students, said the primary aim of these policies is to keep Halloween in the community and reduce the number of out-of-town visitors to I.V.
Also on the panel were Dean of Students Yonie Harris and Capt. Cliff Williams of the CHP.