The Isla Vista Foot Patrol received an early Christmas present this year – $1.8 million in funds to build a new station and holding cell behind I.V. Theater.
On Dec. 5, the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors allotted the money, which was funded by a Certificate of Participation, the county’s means to pay for non-Public Works infrastructure. IVFP Lt. Sol Linver said that as UCSB and I.V. grow, a larger station is necessary to handle the increase in residents.
“The IVFP used to have a staff of only 14 officers: six from the UC and six from the Sheriff,” Linver said. “But now we have a staff of 24 people. We’ve just really outgrown it.”
Three years ago, the county set aside $1.6 million for the new station, Linver said, but as time progressed, these funds were not sufficient to cover the planned expenses. With the additional $1.8 million from the county, Linver said, the station will have enough to pay for the estimated $3.7 million structure.
Third District Supervisor Brooks Firestone said he is concerned with the chosen location behind I.V. Theater, as it is not as central as the current spot on Pardall Road.
“The station is a little bit off the business path and it’s always good to have the foot patrol at the middle, but it does give them a little more room to park,” Firestone said.
The new office will have more accommodations for the IVFP, including a meeting room and holding cells for people in custody.
“It has actually been thought of as a building for the future with a lot of rooms being built that aren’t meant for immediate use,” Linver said. “So this building can be used by the FP for the next 30 years and we don’t have to build another one.”
Firestone said the station will also include an interview room, which can be used to report confidential incidents more securely.
“It would be particularly good for a woman if she had something to talk about … that she doesn’t necessarily want to [discuss] in public; now she has a place to do it,” Firestone said.