The Isla Vista Foot Patrol will kick off the school year by crack¬ing down and doubling the number of deputies on patrol this weekend.
The increase in patrolling offi¬cers — 20 officers are scheduled for this weekend — is part of the “Fall Orientation,” an annual effort by the IVFP to introduce the roughly 4,000 new students to Isla Vista’s “zero tolerance” alcohol policies. Commonly referred to as the “Fall Offensive” by students, the IVFP’s increased presence also coincides with the rapid surge in population Isla Vista experiences at the beginning of each school year.
According to Lt. Brian Olmstead, the majority of UCSB and Santa Barbara City College students are familiar with local laws and ordinances, but the extra enforcement serves as a “vital tool” to ensure that everyone is aware of the zero tolerance policy.
“The thing that is unique and different about I.V. is that a quar¬ter of the community is brand new every year,” Olmstead said. “Everyone is pretty much familiar with the local laws, but with the amount of alcohol abuse in I.V., we need to step up enforcement. Ninety percent of the problems in
I.V. are related to alcohol abuse. It is worthwhile to spend extra money and add extra enforcement.”
Olmstead estimates the cost of the operation is somewhere between $70,000 and $80,000 each year.
Fourth-year sociology major Brittany Pederson said she sup¬ports the Fall Offensive.
“It’s a good idea because you have so many new people in an environment they’ve never been in,” Pederson said. “I know for a lot of freshmen, it’s their first time away from home and they tend to go a little crazy. I think having that extra secu¬rity for their own protec¬tion is probably a good idea.”
Olmstead said that the Fall Orientation is scheduled to continue until November, after Halloween weekend. However, the timeline for the extra enforcement varies from year to year.
“We like to monitor the activity of each fresh¬man class,” Olmstead said. “Sometimes we add or take away officers. Some freshman classes have more activity than others do.”
The California Highway Patrol will also be conducting two DUI checkpoints in the UCSB/Isla Vista area this weekend, one on Friday and one on Saturday.