The over 100 arrests and citations that were made this weekend were no coincidence, as the Isla Vista Foot Patrol’s “Fall Orientation” pumped up police forces with an extra 15 officers.
Previously known as the “Fall Offensive,” the Fall Orientation program began on Aug. 28, coinciding with the beginning of Santa Barbara City College’s fall semester, and will continue through mid-November.
“The primary goal for Fall Orientation is to educate new members of the community, so that they can have a safe experience,” Lt. Sol Linver, IVFP station commander, said of the new SBCC and UCSB students. “We may have people that come from communities where it is okay to walk down the street with a beer, or who don’t think that loud music after midnight is an issue, but it is in Isla Vista.”
Linver said the program has been in place for nearly 10 years and is budgeted for annually. Anywhere from 10 to 15 extra officers will now patrol I.V. during the weekends, which results in increased numbers of arrests and citations issued.
The additional officers come from other stations in Santa Barbara County, including the Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Dept., Linver said.
Rame Hanna, a fourth-year Law & Society major, said the increased number of deputies on duty do little to prevent crime. Hanna has been trained as a legal observer and is a member of the Community Rights Beyond Policing group.
“I don’t think there are any preventative measures; the patrols will only create more tension in the community if the students feel targeted,” Hanna said. “It’s going to be more of the same, just more policing.”
In addition to patrolling the streets, the IVFP will continue its education programs this fall, Linver said.
“We will have officers meet with the fraternities and sororities and any apartment complex that is interested, and provide training on how to throw a safe party,” Linver said. “They can contact our office, and our deputies will come and talk to them about how to do it safely.”
Besides learning to party more safely, Linver said, I.V. residents can learn to prevent common crime, including the high number of thefts that typically occur in fall.
“Eighty percent of all burglaries in Isla Vista happen because of an open door or window, and they usually make out with a laptop and an iPod, which is a fairly substantial amount,” Linver said.