Happy Almost Halloween! I can’t believe how fast this year has been going! It seems like the school year just started and it’s already Halloween weekend coming up. Before you know it, Thanksgiving will be happening, then the Christmas holidays, Valentine’s Day, graduation, Halloween 2012, Floatopia 2014 and all of a sudden it’s the takeover by the alien Garf-Nargent race from the Epsilon Eridani system in 2021. By the way, all hail mighty overlords if they happen to be reading back issues of the Daily Nexus then.

But in the mean time, we are looking at another wild and crazy weekend coming up with a ton of costumes, lots of out of town visitors, lines for a Freebirds burrito that seem to start at Kmart and a couple of cops wandering around town. Or is that a couple of hundred? Either way, it’s more than two.

As it’s one of the busiest weekends in Isla Vista every year, I expect there may be a few of you out there enjoying the festivities as well. I know I will be, so my goal is to help make sure that if I get to talk to you, it’s about the best costumes or the next cop vs. student Call of Duty tournament; or even if I can guess the actual number of pimp costumes per square block. So here is my list of things to keep in mind to have a safe and cop-free Halloween.

1) If you have a party, remember the noise ordinance begins at 6 p.m. and not midnight! This is the yearly change for Halloween weekends, so don’t crank the stereo too loud. The best bet is to forget the stereo, but if you are going to have music, keep the doors and windows closed so it can’t be heard out in the street. People, noise is fine, but any amplified music or sounds after 6 p.m. can get the cops at your front door, and not the cool, sexy cops either. Wait a sec! I mean, ah … Aw hell, you know what I mean.

2) If you have been drinking, stay inside or at the party! Every year the jail fills up with people who felt they would just blend into the crowd. But, of course, even in a crowd of thousands we tend to notice it’s not a cool pimp walk you’re doing, especially since you’re dressed as Scooby Doo. So stay with your friends, and if you see that your friend is a bit messed up, get him or her home so we don’t take them to our haunted house.

3) Don’t bring any props that could be considered a weapon to Del Playa Drive or past the barricades. Sure, it’s a really pretty pink, bedazzled plastic pitchfork, but if it can be used for Whack-A-Mole or to poke someone’s eye out, leave it at home or in the car. Each year thousands of swords, bows, light sabers or even Pete Townshend guitars get seized by the cops. You can pick them up after Halloween at the I.V. Foot Patrol, but in the mean time what good is a Jedi without his guitar? Also, just in case some items don’t get seized, I don’t recommend dressing up as a mole …

4) With all of the cops around, have a good time, but keep these things in mind: Don’t have open alcohol containers; use the bathrooms and not the bushes or telephone poles; and don’t jump on cars — even if the owners were not smart enough to move them off of DP and you call it “Carwinism.” Also, you will likely be bumped into once or twice while in a crowd of about 20,000, so don’t get upset and start a fight with the giant case of Budweiser with legs. Just relax and avoid being one of the thousand tickets or arrests that happens every year.

5) Avoid Friday and Saturday night altogether. Yes, this is a cop telling you not to go to Isla Vista on the busiest party nights of the year. But I can tell you from the 20 plus Halloweens I have been to, the weekend is a bust compared to the actual Halloween day on Monday. The weekend is packed with out-of-towners coming in to trash I.V. and leave. Sure, there are a bunch of costumes, but the streets can get so packed with so many people that it’s hard to see much and it’s not nearly as much fun as on Monday when it becomes a more local event. When the actual Halloween falls on a weekday, there are several hours of mostly local folks showing off the costumes. You can easily get around. The streets are busy, but not packed, and the entire mood is a lot more relaxed. Ask around and there a quite a few people who will leave for the weekend to avoid the mess and instead hang out on Monday. The local I.V. Halloween is a lot more fun. And I’m not just saying that to appease the future Garfian overlords; I really mean it!

So good luck this year, and as I am hanging out in Isla Vista this weekend, don’t hesitate to stop me and Question Authority! Happy Halloween!

Sgt. Mark Signa is an officer of the UCSB Police Dept.


Got caught by a cop? Your party popped by the Po-Po? Ticked by a ticket? If you have questions, don’t let it eat away at you, Question Authority! E-mail me anytime at: QA@police.ucsb.edu or call UCSB PD at 893-3446.