An estimated 20,000 to 25,000 participated in Isla Vista’s infamous Halloween celebrations this past weekend.
Thousands of visitors — roughly the same number of attendees as last year — traveled to the community on Friday and Saturday. Officers issued at least 250 citations and made approximately 235 arrests over the two-day period, though totals are predicted to rise as county law enforcement continues to process its reports.
According to Isla Vista Foot Patrol Lieutenant Ray Vuillemainroy, partygoers generally respected both law enforcement and local safety measures.
“I’m really happy with the way everything turned out,” Vuillemainroy said. “The crowd was cooperative; everyone seemed to be having a good time. I’m happy to see things work out the way it did.”
County officials stationed 12 additional officers, emergency care centers, numerous DUI checkpoints and parking restrictions to handle the influx of people into the area. The additional officers will continue patrolling Isla Vista tonight and enforce parking restrictions on Del Playa Dr. through tomorrow morning.
Santa Barbara County 3rd District Supervisor Doreen Farr said collaboration between county officials and law enforcement helps prevent revelry from getting out of hand.
“Around Halloween time, all branches of law enforcement crack down; there’s zero tolerance for anything,” Farr said. “There’s the Sheriff’s Department, fire department, ambulances, California Highway Patrol, the probation department, the UCSB campus police, as well as people brought in from other jurisdictions. … It’s a really big effort.”
According to Farr, preventative measures help officials keep tabs on potentially dangerous scenarios.
“I’ve been in Isla Vista for the last three or four years on Halloween and walked along DP with some other people and members of foot patrol, so I’ve seen what happens; I’ve seen what the Sheriff’s Patrol office looks like at the beginning and end of the night at the drunk tank,” Farr said. “Safety is the most important thing. Personal safety means always being with somebody, staying with friends, staying with group [and] not putting yourself in a dangerous situation.”
While tonight’s festivities are sure to attract a sizeable crowd, Vuillemainroy said the peak of the storm has likely passed.
“We expect the numbers to pick up again, but not as great as this weekend,” Vuillemainroy said.
“We will continue with the increased manpower.”