While many students have begun to plan parties and costumes for Isla Vista’s notorious Halloween weekend, the I.V. Foot Patrol has initiated its own preparations to try to protect the community and its residents from crime and alcohol-related incidents.
During the weekend preceding Halloween, the county will dispatch over 200 police officers throughout the area. IVFP Lt. Sol Linver said the last time Halloween fell on a Wednesday, most of the partying took place the previous Friday and Saturday in addition to Halloween night itself.
Additional security measures will include floodlights stationed on Del Playa Drive, a no-parking mandate up to the 6700 block and a medical triage tent near Embarcadero Hall for emergency response and medical attention. Linver said all of these precautions are in response to the arrests and injuries that have taken place during past Halloween weekends.
“A lot of what we do is to protect to community from various hazards,” Linver said. “People who are drinking too much, people who go into the streets and start fights or sexually assault women.”
According to Linver, about 80 percent of people arrested over Halloween weekend last year were from out of town.
“What we found in previous years is that the largest problem is people from out of town,” Linver said. “They’re the ones who are doing the vandalism and starting the fights.”
However, Associated Students External Vice President of Local Affairs Lindsey Quock said I.V. residents are also partly to blame for the crime rate, as many of them invite out of town friends who are often left unaccountable.
“Since 80 percent of crimes committed on Halloween are by out-of-towners, we’d really like to keep it local,” Quock said. “We know that isn’t reasonable, so our message is to be responsible for your guests.”
An event cosponsored by A.S. and the IVFP will take place at Embarcadero Hall on October 11 for students to discuss Halloween with the two organizations in an open forum. Lt. Linver said he will attend the meeting and answer questions, while also laying the ground rules for a safer Halloween.
“My whole thing is people,” Linver said. “People should have a good time, but safely and responsibly.”
Linver said alcohol is not the only thing that can get students in trouble over Halloween weekend.
“One night, we took a chainsaw from a guy playing chainsaw massacre. It was a real, working chainsaw,” he said. “If anyone walks around with anything that looks like a weapon, we’ll take it.”
Additionally, local lawyers will appear at a “Know Your Rights” meeting in Embarcadero Hall on Oct. 24 to provide real legal advice to residents in the event that they are later detained by police, Quock said.
“The [District Attorney] is cracking down on students,” Quock said. “The penalties are more severe, so know the rules. We don’t want to see any students penalized.”