The Goleta City Council met with local authorities during last Tuesday’s meeting to discuss preparatory measures for the upcoming Halloween weekend celebration in Isla Vista.
Redevelopment Agency, Neighborhood Services and Public Safety Director Vyto Adomaitis and Santa Barbara County Chief of Police Services Lt. Butch Arnoldi addressed safety issues such as overcrowding, parking violations, neighborhood disturbances and pedestrian safety in preparation for the projected 30,000 attendees. The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Dept. spent $9,513 on additional resources for last year’s Halloween weekend and anticipates that costs for this year’s event — paid out of the Sheriff’s Department’s overtime account — will not exceed $11,500.
According to Arnoldi, the city requested additional patrol cars and personnel to handle the influx of out-of-towners.
“The entire operation will be zero tolerance, period,” Arnoldi said. “There will be zero alcohol or criminal violations within the city of Goleta. We are going to have directive patrol units; we are going to assign foot patrol as well as unmarked vehicles and marked vehicles.”
Adomaitis said officials will prepare for the likelihood of a large visitor turnout despite the holiday falling on a weeknight.
“As we do each year, the city of Goleta works very collaboratively with all of the allied agencies involved in this event,” Adomaitis said. “This year, Halloween falls on a Monday. That doesn’t mean that there won’t be impacts in and around the city of Goleta and within some of our neighborhoods.”
The preparation proposal includes two DUI checkpoints running from 7 p.m. to 3 a.m. each day — organized through the Santa Barbara County’s “Avoid the 12” DUI campaign — in addition to a dozen officers on staff on Oct. 28 and 29, and four additional officers on Oct. 31.
Arnoldi said authorities will also be working undercover in Goleta and Isla Vista to limit unlawful revelry.
“There are going to be officers in plain clothes, making contact with your businesses and your motels — in fact, that’s already going to be starting here this next week,” Arnoldi said. “We are going to be out there in force. If you do have an issue, don’t wait for it to become a problem.”
The Sherriff’s Dept. will also collaborate with UCSB staff to provide alternative Halloween events for campus members.
Senior Associate Vice Chancellor of Administrative Services Marc Fisher said the collaborative effort makes the event more manageable and reduces coordination difficulties.
“My sense is that the [crime rate] has dropped over the last few years,” Fisher said. “This year, it is a Monday-night Halloween, which is better than a weekend Halloween. We anticipate internally that the biggest nights will be Friday and Saturday night.”
The Goleta City Council Chambers and the Sheriff’s Dept. will host a meeting on public safety for Halloween this Wednesday as a forum for residents to share their concerns and suggestions with city officials. For more information, contact City of Goleta’s Public Information Officer Valerie Kushnerov at (805) 961-7507.