Local law enforcement agencies are gearing up for Isla Vista’s biggest event this year with increased officer presence, parking restrictions, and noise regulations.
As in previous years, local officers will be teaming up with police forces from around the state in an effort to control the mob and ensure its safety. With Halloween falling on a Friday this year, the Isla Vista Foot Patrol is taking all precautions possible. This weekend’s estimated operational cost for county law enforcement agencies is over $1 million.
According to Lt. Brian Olmstead of the IVFP, the efforts to curb the chaos that is Halloween have already begun. The Festival Ordinance – which went into effect last night and will remain so until the morning of November 5 – prohibits all amplified music, live or recorded, from the hours of 6 p.m. to 7 a.m. This means any residence playing music audible from the street or sidewalk is in violation of the ordinance and subject to a fine.
Like in past years, authorities will erect barricades and checkpoints on Friday and Saturday beginning at 8 p.m. at the following intersections: Camino Corto and Del Playa Drive; Camino Corto and Sabado Tarde Road; Camino Del Sur and Trigo Road; Camino Pescadero and Trigo Rd; and at El Embarcadero between Trigo and Sabado Tarde roads. According to Olmstead, the barricades are constructed in an effort to minimize vehicular traffic in the densely populated streets closest to the coast.
“Everyone’s gotten used to the fact that we put up barricades – as we’ve seen in the past the cars and people walking on the streets don’t mix,” Olmstead said.
In a further attempt to minimize property damage and free the streets of cars, parking will be prohibited on Del Playa on Friday and over the weekend. Residents are required to move their cars by 3 p.m. Friday and keep them off the street until Sunday.
This year, authorities will issue a $150 ticket to unlawfully parked cars for a first offense. A second offense will result in the car being towed, which will cost the owner approximately another $150.
“We had [between] 40 and 60 cars towed last year, which takes up a lot of resources that are really unnecessary,” Olmstead said. “The university has helped facilitate a parking program where students can park on campus in a couple of the lots – take advantage of that.”
Additionally, authorities will confiscate any props that could potentially be used as – or confused for -weapons.
According to Olmstead, all 240 of the county deputies will participate in the effort to maintain a safe holiday, with additional help from university officials, highway patrolmen and gang enforcement agencies. Additionally, authorities from out of town will be patrolling the streets of I.V. The majority of these officers are from UCLA or UCI, and all have worked in Isla Vista before, Olmstead said. Seventy percent of the officers’ efforts will be concentrated between Del Playa and Trigo, from the 6700 block eastward toward the UCSB campus.
According to the IVFP, there were 210 bookings last year – 154 of which were drunk in public – and 377 citations. Of the drunk in public arrests, approximately 80 percent were people from out of town, while only about nine percent of the 377 citations were issued to students from UCSB or SBCC.
“Not always, but nine out of ten times you can tell [which kids are from out of town],” Olmstead said. “By and far, they cause more harm and are a huge reason for all of the influx in spending on safety and cleanup.”
Rafel Naham, a 2008 business economics alumnus, attributed the increased law enforcement presence to out-of-town visitors.
“We need so many cops because it’s the peak of punks coming into town,” Naham said. “It’s gotten to the point where natives will party earlier and let the out-of-towners fucking kill themselves.”
According to Olmstead, the money and resources spent to ensure a safe Halloween come directly out of the county’s funds, since the event is not sponsored by any one organization.
“Collectively, the resources spent to make Halloween safe pushes easily over $1 million, with $400,000 allotted from the Isla Vista Foot Patrol budget,” Olmstead said. “It’s just a shame to see all that money go to a two or three night event. That money could absolutely be better spent.”
But We’re Just Having Fun
Though many agree with the safety measures, Aaron Falk, a third-year political science major, thinks that the pressure from the authorities has become too extreme.
“It’s gotten less fun but it’s definitely gotten safer for girls,” Falk said. “But, I think it’s a little too safe. Like, I had pre-gamed with this girl and she tripped on our way to DP on Halloween, and immediately she was taken up by the cops – gone.”
However, Kelsey Tinkham, a fourth-year Global Studies major, and RA of the Camuesa House in Manzanita Village, is confident that this Halloween will be very safe.
“I like that the police are getting a little bit more aggressive,” Tinkham said. “But at the same time, I expect the residents to be smart.”
Tinkham said that she hasn’t had any infractions to document on Halloween in two years, although she did have to write up a woman up for urinating near an elevator at Santa Catalina.
Alpha Epsilon Pi property manager Colin Spector, a third year communication and business economics major said he won’t be taking any chances this Halloween.
“Our gates are definitely closed,” Spector said. “We have to have members takes shifts on watching over the parking lot.”
Spector went on to say that if you are from out of town, don’t come to Halloween for your first party in Isla Vista.
“If you’re an out-of-towner, all of the sudden you have to get used to drinking in I.V. People think it’s like UFC here and it’s not. This is our home.”