The Associated Students Commission on Public Safety (COPS) hosted a town hall meeting Monday evening to provide a forum for students to ask questions about rules and regulations being enforced this Halloween weekend.
The meeting was held in Isla Vista Theater at 6:30 p.m. and featured five university and law enforcement officials from the Isla Vista Foot Patrol, California Highway Patrol and UC Police Dept. (UCPD) speaking to a group of 50 people. The panel addressed concerns voiced by meeting participants regarding the large number of police officers that will be deployed in I.V. this weekend, as well as ways to avoid being cited or arrested.
After a short introduction from each member of the panel, the audience was allowed to ask any questions they had about Halloween safety and law enforcement. Many of the students at the meeting live in I.V. and said they were concerned about getting ticketed at their Halloween parties.
Lt. Sol Linver of the IVFP said one of the best ways to avoid a citation is to keep parties under control by managing who enters them.
“Try to keep the party inside; that’s the biggest thing,” Linver said. “Don’t make it an open party. … It’s your property. You have the right to tell them to leave.”
Linver said residents hosting a party that gets too large can call the IVFP to break up their party without fear of citations.
“We will respond to people if house parties get out of control,” Linver said. “We won’t cite people who live there.”
The best way for those throwing parties to stay out of trouble, Linver said, is to avoid giving alcohol to minors and to check I.D.s.
However, Sgt. Steve Johnson of the IVFP said residents can still be cited for furnishing alcohol to a minor who uses a fake I.D. to get into the party.
“You’re still required to make sure everyone’s 21 – you’re still responsible,” Johnson said.
UCPD Capt. Mike Foster said students who provide minors with alcohol can be held criminally liable if those minors get injured or killed.
Since past Halloween weekends have resulted in hundreds of arrests, Linver said there will be three jail lines for people to call and find out what is going on if their friends are taken into custody. The numbers are (805) 681-4713, 681-4714, and 681-4263
With parking and traffic high on the list of local Halloween concerns, CHP Santa Barbara Area Commander Cliff Williams said the CHP will also be working to keep I.V. safe. He said the CHP will be manning two sobriety checkpoints over the weekend, as opposed to last year’s single checkpoint. Williams said the CHP arrested an above-average 11 people for DUIs last year.
“[The checkpoints] will give students a second thought about drinking and driving,” Williams said.
If there is an extreme problem with traffic this year, Williams said the CHP may have to close down roads into Isla Vista, allowing only I.V. residents into the area until the gridlock clears up.
“The only time we will barricade I.V. is if we have a major problem in I.V,” Williams said. “Bring I.D. to prove residence, in case they are only letting residents in I.V.”
To avoid the vandalism that damaged numerous cars on Del Playa Drive last year and to make the street safer for the Halloween crowds, the IVFP has announced that all cars must be moved off of DP by noon on Friday or they will be towed.
As part of the continuing efforts to keep the I.V. Halloween celebration local, parking on campus will be limited only to UCSB students and faculty. Students can apply for a special weekend parking permit through Transportation and Parking Services. Cars parked on campus without a permit will be towed, Foster said.
The UCPD is working with the city of Goleta to keep out-of-town visitors from parking there. The parking lots of the Camino Real Marketplace and the Plaza in Goleta will be restricted to customer parking only, and any cars parked illegally will be towed.
Linver also said students should watch out for burglars looking to make off with valuables during parties.
“There are going to be people traveling out there to steal your laptop,” Linver said.
To deal with the influx of people expected on Halloween, there will be extra officers on duty from each law enforcement agency. Over 150 personnel will be working, Linver said. There will be officers on foot, on bicycle, on horseback and patrolling in cars. The UCPD will also be bringing in officers from UCLA, UC Irvine, UC Riverside, and UC San Diego to help patrol the streets.
“There will probably be about 60 officers on DP, half that on Sabado Tarde Road, teams on Trigo Road and other streets … and anywhere from four to 10 mobile patrols working in I.V.,” Linver said.
Safety precautions include floodlights on Del Playa and roadblocks along Trigo, Sabado Tarde and DP starting at 7 p.m. and lasting until 3 or 4 a.m., Linver said. Police will be checking partygoers for any dangerous costume items, such as plastic swords.
“Anything that can be a weapon we’ll seize at the barricade,” Linver said.
Plainclothes police officers will also be patrolling the streets to watch for vandalism and troublemakers, Linver said.
Additionally, there will be four to eight deputies on horseback patrolling the streets, Linver said. The horses offer a better view and faster transportation for officers in the crowds.
There will be first aid stations as well as a search and rescue station at the intersection of Trigo and Camino Pescadero, and teams will be carrying first aid packs through the crowds.
Funding for the extra law enforcement this weekend will come from an overtime budget, Linver said. However, he said the total costs will not be available until after Halloween.